It’s time to add some personality and color to your furry companion at their next grooming session. Sometimes you just want to get creative with your pet. Part of the fun of having a dog as a pet is changing its style and look to fit some pretty fun occasions.
Get your four-legged pet ready to win the best colorful dog contest at a Halloween party or the Mardi Gras pet parade. Turn your Poo-Terrier into an Easter bunny, or your Golden Retriever into a tiger. Create green shamrock, pink hearts, or red, white, and blue 4th of July stenciled designs on their fur without needing to shave them.
Help your sandy-colored pup to stand out and not blend into the shoreline on your next visit to the beach. Coordinate matching hairdos for you and your pet, or get them ready to look like a favorite lovable and ready-to-cuddle cartoon character, so they can bring smiles as they interact with children or the elderly as a therapy dog.
Whatever your reason for turning your dog’s fur into a work of art, here are 9 facts you may not know about hair dye for dogs.
Let’s kick things off with fact #1
Is It Animal Cruelty to Die My Dog’s Hair?
No! You are not mistreating your dog if you want to temporarily change the color of their fur. That is, provided you use non-toxic color and your dog is not anxious when you attempt to do so.
Regardless of how much you want their fur to look amazing in a different color, be attentive to the first sign of nervousness. If the dog doesn’t enjoy or relax through the process of coloring its hair, it’s time to stop.
Can You Bleach a Dog’s Hair?
Never use bleach on a dog’s fur. Their pH is different from humans, so even though you may be able to bleach your hair blond without danger, your canine friend’s skin will react much differently.
If you really want to lighten your pet’s fur, look for products that are formulated just for dogs to brighten, whiten, or lighten their coat.
How Long Will Dying Your Dog’s Hair Last?
Most temporary dyes will only last through the next shampoo or two. Some more permanently set color will take up to 5 shampoos to get your pet back to its natural fur color.
If My Dog Has Black Hair Can I Dye It?
While any color is going to show up best on white or light-colored fur, don’t despair if your dog’s hair is black. You can still change the color. It’s just going to involve an extra step of first using a dog-safe lightener cream. Never use ammonia, peroxide, or bleach on your dog’s hair.
Is It Safe To Use Human Dye On My Dog?
No! Do not use human hair color on your dog.
Your dog’s skin has a pH balance that is different from humans. So, dye meant for you will be too harsh and cause harm to your dog’s skin.
Most human hair dye contains ingredients that are toxic to dogs especially if they get it in their eyes, nose, or mouth. While you won’t intentionally feed it to your pet or rub it in their eyes or nose, they will likely accidentally ingest any chemicals that are on their coat when they lick their fur after it is colored.
Will Dying My Dog’s Hair Cause Harm?
Dying your dog’s hair will not cause any harm so long as you use non-toxic alternatives to hair dye that a human would use. The chemicals in human hair dye is too harsh for a dog’s pH and can cause burns, sores, or excessive shedding.
Choose instead food coloring, canine-friendly fur chalk, or vegetable juice to dye your dog’s fur.
Can I Use Kool-Aid To Dye My Dog’s Hair?
Yes! It is perfectly safe to use Kool-Aid as a hair dye for dogs. Obviously, we are talking about the Kool-Aid flavor packs that contain no sugar. Don’t use the kind with sugar pre-mixed in.
Pour the contents of the Kool-Aid pouch into water or mix with a dog conditioner to thicken it up and make it easier to apply to the dog’s fur.
Be prepared for the color to last for several weeks before it washes out completely. Also, choose a color that looks good on your pup as the color quickly begins to fade.
What Hair Dye Is Safe For Dog’s Hair?
Choose a dye that is intended specifically to be used on pets and is safe to use on your dog’s hair. These are always free of synthetic, harmful ingredients and are often plant-based.
Opt for natural solutions like food coloring, specially formulated pet fur chalk, or juice from mashed-up vegetables or other dog-safe foods that work well and are safe. Avoid foods that are not safe for dogs such as alcohol, caffeine, chocolate, grapes, nutmeg, or rhubarb leaves.
Depending on what color you are looking for, use:
- Red or Pink – Beets, cherries, cranberries, raspberries, or strawberries
- Orange or Tan – Carrots, or sweet potatoes
- Yellow – Turmeric powder
- Blue or Purple – Blueberries, or red cabbage,
- Green – Asparagus, or spinach
- Purple or Black – Blackberries
What Are The Steps In Dying My Dog’s Hair?
First, examine your dog’s skin for any scrapes or open sores. Don’t attempt to dye their fur in these areas.
Once you begin, keep the coloring away from your dog’s eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Prepare the dye.
- Wash and towel dry the dog’s fur leaving it slightly damp.
- Thoroughly brush the dog’s coat.
- Apply sterile ophthalmic ointment to the dog’s eyes. The ointment will help keep the dye from irritating their eyes and cut down on the risk of infection if any particles of the dye ends up in their eyes.
- Put on plastic gloves, so your hands don’t become stained through the process.
- Use a spray bottle, brush, gel pen, or fur chalk to apply the color. If you are using a stencil to create a specific shape or design, use a blow pen to blow the color onto the fur while holding the stencil in place.
- Be sure to apply the color evenly.
- Let the color set for 15 to 20 minutes. If you are using chalk, it will only take about 5 minutes for the color to set. Use a blow dryer on a low setting to speed up the process and ensure the color has completely taken to the fur.
If you want it done well and are unsure of your own skills, ask your groomer to get it done right.
You Decide – To Dye Or Not To Dye!
Now that you know the basics and safety information for coloring your dog’s fur, it’s time to make the ultimate decision – To dye or not to dye?
Always follow your dog’s cues for fear or discomfort. If they show any indication of fear or hesitation about having their fur colored, don’t put them through it.
On the other hand, if they seem as gung-ho about the idea as you, then have fun and get creative while safely transforming the look of your pup.