A 25-year-old nail technician from California is causing quite the stir on social media. Maritza Rubalcava started her own reusable, press-on nail business in October of last year. She enjoys posting videos featuring them on TikTok.
But after sharing multiple videos of her creating and applying “fake nails” to the paws of her five-year-old Chihuahua, Coco, she has received both backlash and a boom in business.
Response on social media is divided between support and shock. Quite a few fans loved them so much they asked her to make sets for their own furry family members, while other users categorize this as “animal abuse.” One of the most shared of her “doggy nail” videos had 920,000 views and over 700 comments at the time this article was written.
‘I had some people who were so shocked at what I was doing but it’s just for fun. I would never actually do anything to harm Coco,” says Rubalcava.
Concerns were most often expressed about Coco’s ability to walk while wearing the “decorative nails.” Our furry family members’ claws are used for traction when walking, and contain both blood vessels and nerves. It is extremely important to keep your canine’s claws trimmed to a suitable length. When they are too long, it can lead to pressure and pain. This pressure affects the alignment of their joints and can contribute to arthritis.
When asked about the subject, Rubalcava expressed that the “mini dog nails” are only intended as a prop for photos. She sticks them on with a small piece of tape for the length of the photoshoot, but takes them off Coco immediately after.
“Coco just models them for pictures because they’re obviously really not practical for a dog to wear all of the time. It’s just a little bit of bonding time with my dog and I really enjoy it.”
Since posting the videos, Rubalcava has launched three limited edition sets of “mini dog nails” that match the ones she featured in her videos on TikTok. They are for small breeds only, and she is selling them on her website for $15 each. She has multiple warnings on her website stating that “Walking in these nails can be harmful to your pet. These nails are for prop and not for actual wear.”
“So many people were requesting them so I decided to create a collection that other people and dogs can enjoy, but I’ve stressed that they’re just a prop.”
Rubalcava adopted Coco after she was abandoned in a cardboard box outside of her mother’s shop. She plans to donate 25 percent of her sales of the limited edition “mini dog nails” to Hope for Paws, a nonprofit animal rescue organization.
“I’ve always loved animals and I decided to donate a portion of the sales to an animal rescue organisation, in ode to Coco.”
Featured Image Credit: @bellamourbeauty/TikTok