Turns Out China's Panda Cafe Is Full Of Dyed Dogs
China is the undisputed home of the giant panda and now it seems the country's obsession has kicked up a notch, with one cafe owner dying dogs to look just like the national treasure.
Cute Pet Games became an instant hit after opening in Chengdu in south-western China last month.
Staff were quick to upload photos and videos to social media of what appeared to be six adorable giant panda cubs wandering around the quaint cafe as customers sat and drank their morning coffee.
On closer inspection though, the pandas weren't actually pandas at all -- they were dyed Chow Chow dogs.
It appears the novelty dye job is no secret.
The cafe's owner, known only as Mr Huang, told Hongxing News that he imports the dye from Japan and hires specialised staff to carry out the transformation.
"Every time we dye it costs 1,500 yuan (AU$310)," he said. "The dye is really expensive."
But along with the hype came a lot of concern, with some vets and animal activists warning the chemicals could cause serious harm to the animals.
"This could damage their fur and skin," Li Daibang, a local vet, told Hongxing News.
PETA also condemned the move.
"Dyeing hair may be fashionable, but only for humans who willingly have it done," a spokesperson told Mail Online.
"There are always risks with using dyes on animals, to their fur, skin, nose and eyes. Animals should not be a tool for people to paint".
Mr Huang denies his animals are at risk, claiming the dye is "100 percent safe" and that all of his dogs are healthy and happy.
Colouring dogs isn't a new craze in China. In 2010, the Pets Show Taipei had a fierce competition for dog-dying.
Nowadays, it tends to be a common practice for owners, with many transforming their pets into moving neon signs to welcome New Years Day.
China isn't the only country that has been slammed for colouring animals.
In the U.K Latitude Festival were accused of animal cruelty in July for dyeing a flock of sheep pink as part of a marketing campaign.
Despite severe public backlash, Latitude defended the stunt explaining that the sheep had been “dip-dyed using natural, water-based dye which they are used to as part of their normal farm life for insecticides and parasites like itch-mite, blow-flies, ticks and lice”.