Pretty Paws: The Japanese art of dog manicure

In my April 17 column in the Japan Times, I introduced Sase Eiko 佐瀨栄子, a “pet beauty artist” who is booked a month in advance for the high-fashion manicures she does on dogs. That’s her in the photo below, at work on a client.

Eiko Sase dog manicure

Here’s the finished manicure, which is called “dog nail art” ドッグネイルアート in Japanese:

“You have to work fast on dogs, because they don’t stay still, and their claws are much narrower than a human fingernail,” she told me. Despite the space limitations, she’s done even small dog’s claws up up with flowers, hearts, paw prints and even Christmas trees and snowmen.

Sase uses nail color formulated for dogs with more pigment to cover darker claws. It’s supposedly safe even if dogs lick it. She charges between 3,000 to 5,000 yen ($35-58) to do both front and back paws, and says she gets a lot of requests to do up dog’s claws to match their owner’s nail jobs. That’s a stone glued onto in the center of the flower:

dog nail art

Sase is a sought-after trimmer instructor and chair of Pet Esthé International Association, Japan. She must have good eyes and a steady hand: there’s a photo on her blog of the tiny designs she’s painted on grains of rice!

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12 Responses to Pretty Paws: The Japanese art of dog manicure

  1. Allan Murphy says:

    Ridiculous! It’s a sign of social decay. There’s a place in Ikebukuro that offers aromatherapy for dogs. Last year, I saw a dog with its ears dyed blue to match the airheaded owner’s outfit. Isn’t there an SPCA here – or how about just some common sense?

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  3. Mchan says:

    Hi, I rebblogged your post. I had already posted on the same topic and was suprised to get 800 viewers from Japan alone so it must really be popular. My concern (other than the ridiculous aspect and spending so much money on animals when so many people even in Japan don’t have enough) would be for the animal since they must have problems walking with such long nails and may even get leg problems. So why pay to make your animal sick?

  4. Marionchan,
    Thank you for reposting. I’d love to read your original post, the one that got 800 views (!) from Japan. I’m sure other readers would too.
    Can you leave us the URL for your original post, s’il vous plaît
    The “just for dogs” nail polish Sase Eiko uses in Japan is imported from France, by the way.

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