Haute Off the Press: Is Canine Primping a Do or a Don't?
Each week our no-holds-barred contributor Grace Gold picks apart a hot beauty topic. It’s our version of an op-ed—with lipstick, laser treatments and eyeliner.
We’ve all seen posh pups saddled up in coordinating outfits, pink bows and rhinestones. While we may think their owners are a bit loco, it all seems harmless enough. But is the new craze for primping your pooch with dye, nail polish and all other manner of beauty shop treatments taking it all a Paris-Hilton-step too far?
Supermodel Alessandra Ambrosio has come under fire from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals for coloring her formerly white bichon frise in purple and pink hues. The rad-looking canine was spotted in tow last week as the Victoria’s Secret angel walked to lunch in Malibu.
And Ambrosio is not alone in giving her dog a little touch-up here or there. Last month actress Emma Watson left a London salon with a friend’s Maltese terrier, who had just been dyed fuchsia. Actress Amber Heard has been photographed with her flaming-red Yorkie, while Victoria Beckham's bulldog, Coco, is often seen brandishing a pepto-pink pedicure.
Even politics has tossed a bone to trend-followers. In April Governor Rick Scott signed an agricultural bill allowing the dyeing of animals in Florida, which overturns a ban intended to deter the practice of coloring rabbits, chicks and ducks pastel hues during Easter.
“What most people don’t know is that dyeing a companion animal’s fur can cause the animal stress and can lead to complications or allergic reactions that endanger the animal’s health," PETA argued in a recent statement. "Our dogs and cats love us regardless of how we look; why not extend the same kindness to them?”
At the British salon where Watson’s furry friend routinely gets the pink treatment, owner Stuart Simons specifies that any dye used on pets must not be toxic. “You can’t use human dyes on dogs, it wouldn’t be safe, and can compromise their immune systems,” he tells the Daily Mail.
Instead the groomer recommends using gentle vegetable-based dyes and refraining from multicolor treatments, since he feels the pets have to stand too long to process repeatedly.
While I’m tempted to cast a sideways look at an owner who showers beauty treatments on Fido (I can hardly make time to get my own roots done, much less upkeep my dog's roots), people I know who groom pets tell me half the fun is the delight they display after all that attention and adoration.
I can understand how that could be fun, but I’ve got to tell you: the reason I’ve always adored animals (and for the record, the opposite sex) is because they’re so refreshingly simple in their wants, needs and maintenance. Shouldn’t we keep them that way?
Do you think primping a canine is a doggy do or doggy don't?