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In the marquee cities of Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou, a growing nouveau-riche class even sees pets - particularly dogs - as fashion items, outfitting them in designer clothing, paying for spa treatments and dyeing their fur unnatural colours.

That trend, experts say, is a stark contrast to the tradition of eating everything from silkworms to pangolins.

'In Beijing, there's a huge market with pitiful dogs waiting in cages to be sold as meat, and literally a few yards away standard poodles dyed in all colours of the rainbow,' said Jill Robinson, CEO of Animals Asia Foundation, a Hong-Kong based animal welfare charity.

China's thriving industry of fake designer goods is even taking on designer doggywear. In Guangzhou, hawkers sell fake Louis Vuitton dog carriers as a dog in a faux Louis Vuitton sweater naps nearby on the dusty sidewalk.
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