Charities have warned that the rising popularity of “extreme dog grooming” is jeopardizing the welfare of pets and sending a very worrisome message.
The RSPCA noted that pets may be distressed and frightened by treatments such as “pawdicures” and facials that are increasingly being offered by all of the dog spas that are springing up.
Despite how fast this extreme grooming industry is growing, it is still completely unregulated.
Many dog spa questioned said this types of treatments they provided were “harmless fun’ so long as the pet was “freely compliant and happy.”
Kate , who is based in clacton on sea, Essex and provides ” dog grooming services,” says it is much more concerning that a majority of dogs do not receive enough grooming, and that causes severe matting, overgrown nails, and infections.
The Pet Industry Federation (PIF) which is the groomers’ trade body, states that dog spans meet some owners demand for ‘humanizing their pets. On the other hand, the Kennel Club thinks that the surging interest is due in part to more people grooming their dogs instead of more demanding household additions.
A spokesman stated that individuals were increasingly seeing their pet dogs as a substitute for children and deciding to spend their attention and money on them.
One pet owner, 34-year-old Vicky Allender said she is completely unashamed at spending around £500 per month on her two chihuahuas on their dog spa treatments. She says they are able to enjoy having a great life after they were rescued from harsh conditions.
Allender says she has done little gems, feather extensions, multi-colors, bright colors, pastel colors, what’s wrong with that?
Vicky Allender says she thinks the makeovers really put a spring into the step of one of the two chihuahuas named Fred.
She says he is noticed more after he has had a extreme dog grooming. He struts across the road with his tail up. It is really good interaction and he has gained a lot more confidence.
Ms. Forshaw says she offers just a couple of harmless fashion trends (dog grooming art), but adds that dog fur only should be colored by a professionally trained and qualified groomer, and with products that are formulated for using safely on animals.
Not every spa has the same ethos.
For example, Jane Shaw who operates the Dog Spa located in Penzance, Cornwall, will not dye animal fur.
She says that the pet’s well-being is what they focus on.
Shaw says that the alternative treatments they offer include cucumber and foaming avocado massage, pawdicures, and facials, since they think the dog really benefits and enjoys it.
According to an RSPCA spokesperson, extreme pampering of pets gives a very worrisome message that they may be viewed as being novelty accessories instead of sentient, intelligent animals.
The charity, which provides advice on how to select a groomer, said that even when a dye is marketed as being ‘pet friendly,’ that they strong advise against them.
A Kennel Club spokesperson stated that if extreme pampering were to become even more normalized that there is a risk of animals starting to be viewed as accessories, and that could result in their welfare becoming jeopardized.
Veterinary director Paula Boyden at Dogs Trust, the biggest dog welfare charity in the UK, backs this verdict.
She says that grooming must be for the needs of the dog.
It is important for dog groomers and owners to keep in mind that dogs aren’t fashion accessories to use the latest trends on.