Although the ‘panda dogs’ might look cute, this Chinese pet café is facing serious backlash after they have dyed at least six pups to look like tiny baby pandas.
One vet has warned those going to the café and those who support the dying that it could be harmful to the dog’s fur and skin.
The owner of the café says that videos of customers playing with the panda dogs going viral has increased his customer base, and seems to have no plans to stop dying the dogs.
The café, which is called Cute Pet Games Café, has at least six chow chow dogs who have been “transformed” into baby pandas by dying their face, ears, and legs black.
And we’ll give them this – these little dogs do look an awful lot like tiny pandas. It would be hard not to stop and pet the dog if you passed one on the street or in the park.
A quick Google search suggests that coloring a dog’s fur is a bad idea, but it seems obvious, too – there are an awful lot of chemicals in hair dye, and dogs regularly lick themselves. What could that do to a dog’s insides, if the dye was ingested?
What if all of the traces weren’t fully removed from the fur?
The owner, whose name is Mr. Huang according to his Weibo page (Weibo is sort of like China’s Facebook equivalent), insists that the dye that he uses for his dogs is completely safe, and he would never put them or his business at risk.
He insists that he imports special dye from Japan specifically for this tiny panda purpose.
“Chengdu is home of pandas. We wanted to do something different, to differentiate us from other regular dog cafes and pet shops,” Mr. Huang explained.
The Cute Pet Games Café doesn’t just have their own dogs dyed, either. For a measly 1,500 yuan, or $212 USD, you could bring your pet there and have the café dye them for you.
A vet from China weighed in on the subject, saying that no matter what dye is being used, it “could damage their fur and skin”.
The reaction seems to be split 60/40 on whether people hate or love the dyed dogs, but Mr. Huang says that the exposure is good – he has seen an increase in customers since videos of the dog have spread across Weibo, and there are no current plans to stop dying the dogs.