By Alex Jones
STUNNING vintage photos show pampered pets in an upmarket Paris salon – with dogs undergoing a lavish transformation from ‘a bit ruff’ to ‘fabulously fetching’.
The remarkable shots show an impossibly cute miniature dachshund being fitted with a new coat to keep out the worst of the elements, a groomer painstakingly trimming a dog’s paw fur, and a pup being hand dried with a fluffy towel.
The captivating photos were taken in the Parisian salon Au Chien Elegant in 1951, when lavishly indulging your pets was beginning to become increasingly acceptable.
Although medieval tapestries show that humans have been priming their pets for hundreds of years, it was only in the first half of the 20th century that ‘doggy barbershops’ became commonplace.
These were usually very cramped affairs with equipment which was uncomfortable for dogs or not for purpose.
They would often house ineffective cage dryers which made the shops unbearably warm for both pets and employees.
Advances in technology – and more available resources post war – saw improved grooming equipment for pets in the late 40s, and an explosion in the number of people keeping animals made pet grooming a more enticing business proposal for animal-loving entrepreneurs.
Today in the UK, pet lovers spend over £10billion annually on their dogs and £8billion on their cats.
Over one quarter of dog owners admit to pampering their pet with a spa-style treatment and over 50% of dogs in the UK will receive a Christmas stocking this year.