The lifestyle gap between rural dogs and their urban cousins is never more apparent than on a visit to a city pet shop. Apart from extensive shelves of ‘dog toys’ there are also dog toothbrushes (attached to the end of a firm plastic finger stall for the owner to administer), accompanied by beef flavoured toothpaste. There is shampoo and conditioner in fragrances of chamomile and strawberry. A plastic ‘peeing post’ treated with a pheromone, persuades the dog to pee wherever you put the post – rather than where the dog might want it.
Some pet shops in America offer even more attentive care: pasta packs with lamb, duck or turkey sauce, doggy ice cream, and apple-pie flavoured biscuits shaped like cats and postmen.
Pets’ health is also to the fore. For dogs who need ‘weight management’ there are low calorie foods and aromatherapy to help retain their emotional balance. Appointments can also be made for dogs to have acupuncture.
From Max Cryer’s book Every Dog has its Day