Cosmetic Surgery and Botox for Pets a Growing Trend in South Korea

Move over, humans, it seems animals need makeovers too. It’s all the rage in South Korea right now as pet owners are actually paying for cosmetic surgery for their furry companions!

Some of the popular procedures include tail shortening and ear trimming for dogs, to make them ‘cute’ with pointy ears. Fat reduction is another popular surgery, along with stretch marks removal, wrinkle smoothing, double eyelid removal and even botox injections. These procedures start from $60 and ostensibly run into the thousands.  

It’s not entirely surprising, given that South Korea is the plastic surgery capital of the world. This is the place where tourists become unrecognisable to the extent that they need special doctor certificates to return to their native lands after having work done on their faces. So it was only a matter of time before people started thinking of botoxing their pets as well.


Photo: Chosun Daily

The dog in the before and after photos above apparently had plastic surgery done because his inner eyelids were pointing towards the eyes. After the procedure, his eyes look bigger, a feature that many pet owners love.

According to one anonymous veterinarian, “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.” Apparently, a few doctors believe that these surgeries are “medically safe” and ethical. They say it’s the “owner’s right” to make their pets look beautiful.

In fact, a few vets are actually pitching cosmetic surgery to pet owners. According to an article in Chosun Daily, a woman visited a vet to get vaccinations for her five-month-old puppy. The doctor, however, asked if she wanted to close the gap in the canine’s mouth which he considered unappealing from a cosmetic perspective.


Photo: Pixable

Animal lovers in South Korea are horrified by the trend, which many consider animal abuse. Lots of them feel people have no right to inflict their distorted sense of aesthetics on helpless animals. Korean veterinarian magazine Daily Vet conducted a survey in which 63 percent of pet owners wanted plastic surgery for dogs to be banned. Many of them have taken to social media to express their disgust.

“Did the dogs say they want plastic surgery,” one person asked.

“I don’t care about people who want and get plastic surgery, but this is too much,” another wrote. “Are you saying because they look up to the owners, the owners can do anything to them?”


Photo: Wikimedia Commons

“What is the difference between this and forcing your own children to get plastic surgery,” another pointed out.