At the end of last year, US channel HBO aired a programme about a creative dog grooming competition. Groomers dressed their dogs' fur in jewels and extensions, and used hair chalk and nail polish to add colour to the finished product.
The dogs featured on the show may have sported coats that were impressive in their design and finish, but to the eyes of most sensitive dog owners they were garish and hideous.
Charities in the UK, which have noticed a rise in ‘extreme dog pampering’, warn us the process of extreme grooming is not only harmful to a dog's psyche but projects to the public a corrupted image of dog welfare.
Writes the BBC, the RSPCA said of the craze, “Pets can be "frightened and distressed" by treatments like facials and "pawdicures" offered at an increasing number of "dog spas.”
Why choose creative grooming?
Creative grooming is thought of by some as a good way to customize a dog. But it is this 'customising' with little regard for the dog's welfare that causes animal charities to voice their concern. A similar trend has been seen of cat grooming for some time, and only now is it known that the dyes used on a cat's fur interfere with its liver function.
A harmless fashion trend?
Dog grooming site Clippas writes that those who choose extreme grooming point to the process as being beneficial to the dog's health, and that, “it is beneficial to the dog because then the dog gets more affection and love from humans which dogs tend to thrive on.”
Daniela Forshaw, a creative groomer from Burnham-on-Crouch in Essex told the BBC that we should be more concerned about the number of owners who neglect their dog's grooming rather than opine about the psychological effects of creativeness, which she added was simply a “harmless fashion trend".
The argument will continue for some time!