Dogs Get Botox and Plastic Surgery in South Korea

by REERA YOO | @reeraboo

It’s no secret that South Korea is the world’s capital for plastic surgery. Earlier this year, the Washington Post reported that about 20 percent of women in South Korea have gotten “some form of cosmetic work” done.

But it seems like doing touch-ups on their own faces and bodies are no longer enough for some Koreans. According to the Chosun Ilbo, there has been a rise in pet owners putting their pets, mostly dogs, under the knife for some nips and tucks, including botox.

“Plastic surgery for pets in the past were for medical reasons but the result also brought better looking dogs, so there is a growing customer base getting a plastic surgery for cosmetic reasons on their dogs,” one unnamed veterinarian told the Chosun Ilbo, according to Kotaku.

The price tags for these pet cosmetic procedures can be as cheap as $60 or go up to thousands of dollars. Some of the most popular ones include tail shortening, ear trimming, wrinkle straightening, fat and stretch marks removal and double eyelid surgery. That’s right, double eyelid surgery. When was the last time you looked at a pair of puppy dog eyes and thought they didn’t look adorable enough?

puppy eyes

Before you condemn the entire country for this trend, many South Koreans are opposed to plastic surgery for pets. In a survey conducted by Korean veterinarian magazine Daily Vet, about 63 percent of respondents said cosmetic surgery for pets should be banned. Among thousands of comments on the Chosun Ilbo article’s webpage, the vast majority of commenters expressed their disapproval regarding the trend.

“Do people who make their dogs get these procedures think their pets are some kind of decoration or ornaments?” one netizen commented. “Dogs are not dolls. They’re so selfish.”

Another commenter wrote, “What is the difference between this and forcing your own children to get plastic surgery?”

However, there seems to be a difference in opinions between veterinarians and animal rights activists. One veterinarian named Dr. Yoon told the Chosun Ilbo that cosmetic surgery for pets was “medically safe” and claimed that it is within “owner’s right” to make their pets beautiful. Many animal rights activists have called cosmetic surgery a form of “animal abuse,” adding that animals can’t voice their opinion on the procedures done on them. 

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