With pet ownership on the rise in an increasingly affluent China, savvy entrepreneurs are opening animal spas offering dogs a full makeover — even transformation into a panda.
Sun Ruowen opened her pet salon in central Beijing in May. Already, dozens of customers wanting to pamper their pets — mainly dogs — have bought pre-paid service cards which can cost more than 1,000 dollars.
“People are spending more money these days, and more and more people have dogs, so I decided to open a top-end pet store which offers luxury services such as spa and massage”.
At her shop, dogs can have their coats dyed into novelty designs, transforming the pooches into China’s beloved pandas — a service that can cost up to 300 dollars.
Dog-owners can also have their beloved pets made up to look like one of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, from the 1980s cartoon, complete with dark green shells.
Some pets are treated to pedicures, while others are brought in for more traditional baths and cuts. A vast array of products are on offer — everything from pet snacks and shampoos to frilly outfits and doggy sandals.
“Our motto is ‘If you can dream it up, we can do it.’ There is no styling we haven’t been able to achieve,” Sun boasts.
Liu Zhong, 63, has spent 1,000 yuan (150 dollars) on pre-paid treatments for Naonao and says he plans to bring his 10-year-old Pekinese into Sun’s salon every two weeks.
“He is the real boss — the number one in my family,” said Liu, as Naonao was given a good scrubbing.
“Eating, drinking, playing — he is the centre of everything, and our lives revolve around him.”