Plastic surgery for pets is the latest craze among obsessive animal owners who spent £2million on nose jobs for dogs in America last year alone.
Looking good also extends to exercise for animals with dog yoga, known as doga, and Pilates for pets also catching on with plenty of classes, videos and equipment available to keep your animal well toned.
We now spend more on our pets than ever (£50billion worldwide last year) with part of that going on such unlikely services as pet psychics, acupuncturists, masseurs and even swimming coaches but cosmetic surgery is the fastest growing area of the business.
Hollywood producer and blogger Kristen Hansen Brakeman got cosmetic surgery for her German Shepherd Buddy: “Age had not been his friend,” she says. “Buddy looked old and worried because his ears had folded back down the side of his head and that made him less attractive.
I checked with my vet and found there was surgery that could alter his ears to their alert, happy position but it was expensive.
I sent my children down to the local pet store with a picture of cute Buddy and a collection bucket. They stood in the store, their cuteness did the rest and eventually we had the cash. The vet worked his magic and after a few weeks of painful healing, Buddy looked great.”
The world’s richest dog is Gunther, he inherited a £230million fortune. He is so rich he even bought Madonna’s old house
Yet owners who opt to put their animals under the knife commonly tell vets they do so to improve their pet’s “self esteem”. The extremes people go to for their animals are examined in a new TV special, The World’s Most Pampered Pets.
One of the featured guests is Aubrey O’Day, an American reality TV star, who started a trend by getting her dogs’ fur dyed vivid colours at LA pet spa Bubbles, one of many emerging extreme pet colouring boutiques.
“My dogs, Ginger and Mary Anne, pamper me and in turn they are pampered with love. On our last trip to the spa, I dyed them pink and purple. They looked so gorgeous and happy. I got them a bath too but I usually just put them in the shower with me at home. Do you think I’m weird for doing that?”
Paul Crompton, executive producer of the Channel 5 show, told the Sunday Express: “Travelling all over the world in search of pampered pets showed me that in spite of our cultural differences, we are all united when it comes to an affection for animals.
It isn’t just Americans who go to such extremes however: Chelmsford, Essex, is home to Lola whose owner Louise Harris has spent £100,000 on her dog, including £20,000 on a doggie wedding that sadly ended in divorce. “She’s like my child,” says Louise, who sends the dog for weekly spa treatments.
The world’s richest dog is Italy-based Gunther, who inherited a £230million fortune. He is so rich he even bought Madonna’s old house. The most expensive pet paraphernalia in the world is at Beverly Hills boutique Doggie Styles, where Jennifer Lopez, Jessica Alba and Christina Aguilera are regular customers.
Among the bespoke bling available is Chewy Vuiton luggage, life jackets for animals going on yacht trips and even pet bikinis.