Fashion, well-being and lifestyle trends are evolving all the time, but do these new trends really improve an animal’s quality of life?
Although dog grooming has been an accepted activity for some years, no one could have predicted the extraordinary pet fashion and well-being trends that are now emerging around the world. Fur dyeing, tattoos, artistic grooming and eccentric cuts are just some of the trends being adopted by pet owners wanting their four-legged friends to look their best, in a world where pets are increasingly treated as if they were human.
New fashions and styles tend to emerge in the US and Asia-Pacific. There are more than 170 million cats and dogs in the US alone, and a growing percentage of the household budget is devoted to them each year. The pet industry is continually stimulating innovative ideas in order to capture a slice of this ever-growing market. One such fad is a ‘pawdicure’, in which a dog’s claws are painted to match the owner’s manicure, with products in a wide range of creative colours enabling dogs to stay right on trend.
Other eye-catching grooming trends have originated in countries such as Japan and Korea. Forget hair trimming and bows; the new must-have look revolves around sculpted geometric shapes.
Taking grooming to extremes
Taking things a step further is the crazy world of artistic grooming, in which dogs are transformed to look like a completely different animal using hair clippers, scissors, spray paint and airbrushes. International contests are even held in Japan and the US where expert groomers demonstrate their technical and artistic skills.
Preserving the planet
Alongside these extravagant new fashion trends, there is a growing demand for natural and organic products for pets. Reflecting owners’ concerns for the well-being of not only their four-legged companions but also the planet, this global trend favours products with Mother Nature’s virtues and respect for the environment.
This trend is now being extended with the creation of pet health clubs and well-being centres. Massages, thalassotherapy, seaweed masks, mud baths, fitness programmes and skin treatments are just some of the therapies available.
All of this inevitably raises the question of whether we are guilty of anthropomorphism. Do the new trends really improve an animal’s quality of life? Do such products and services offer legitimate benefits for pets?
In response to this dilemma, a new range of complete treatments is emerging aimed at significantly reducing the impact on pets of environmental conditions and factors in the owner’s lifestyle, as well as problems resulting from incompatibility between a particular breed and its environment. Environmental factors such as pollution, tobacco and climate change can produce symptoms in animals including cutaneous irritation, hair loss, food allergies and intolerances. If owners truly want to improve the quality of life for their pets, they should perhaps take such considerations into account in the future.
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