This Bison Barks

This Bison Barks

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The pet care industry hauls in billions of dollars every year. And it appears the next big thing isn’t just a viral email of strangely dyed animals, but an industry in itself. Creative grooming salons and competitions are popping up in the US, and this one in Pennsylvania shows just how creative and outlandish people are prepared to get with their pooches for a bit of cash and recognition.

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Now that you’ve started to believe your eyes (or wiped the tears from them), creative grooming sessions can take up to two hours at a time and include trims, dye, rhinestones and glitter. Like the Standard Poodle above, dogs have their coats grown out in preparation for a shaping trim. Either semi-permanent or permanent dye is then applied to the coat and accessories are attached shortly before showtime.

Temporary dye in small patches start at $8, semi-permanent dyes start at $45, and glitter or rhinestone applications start at $5. As you can imagine, these costs start racking up if you have an elaborate design. But owners of winning pooches can scoop up to $5000 in prize money.

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Where it all comes from

The trend began in China and Taiwan in 2011, where changing attitudes toward dog have seen them move from being consumed and a reminder of poorer times, to becoming fashion accessories and signs of wealth and prestige.

You might recall these pictures from your inbox in 2011 when the trend first started appearing.

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These aren’t pandas, but Chow dogs dyed to resemble the endangered species.

 

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Images from: http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/22951423 and http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/the-rice-bowl/china-panda-pet-culture-dog-tiger-economy

Tracy Lee Nicol
Tracy-Lee Nicol is an experienced business writer and magazine editor. She was awarded a Masters degree with distinction from Rhodes university in 2010, and in the time since has honed her business acumen and writing skills profiling some of South Africa's most successful entrepreneurs, CEOs, franchisees and franchisors.Find her on Google+.