Many people enjoy dying their hair, and those who are dog owners have probably considered dying their dog’s fur. Why wouldn’t you like for your favorite companion to have bright colored fur? However, there is some controversy as to whether it is a good idea to dye a pet’s fur or not. It can be messy and there is always a possibility that the color can transfer onto furniture. Some argue that it is unnecessary and can cause discomfort for dogs, or, even worse, cause irritation and health problems. Most hair dyes contain chemicals and ingredients that are toxic to animals. Thankfully, pet safe dye exists, which allows pet owners to try dying their dog’s fur bright colors. There are many things to know regarding this topic, though.
Never Use Human Hair Dye!
The first thing to know about dying a dog’s fur is that it is definitely not safe to use human hair dye. Not only are they extremely dangerous if ingested, but they can also cause problems with your dog’s skin. One of the biggest problems with using hair dye intended for human use is that your dog may ingest the toxic dye if he or she licks itself. It could become a serious risk.
Another problem is that your dog could potentially be allergic to the dye, which could cause a severe reaction to it. Hair dyes contain many harmful chemical components such as hydrogen peroxide, parabens, and lead acetate. As most people are aware, these chemicals aren’t necessarily good for human hair and skin, so of course, it’s even worse for a dog’s skin.
It can also include resorcinol, which is an allergen. All of these ingredients can irritate an animal’s skin. Therefore, it is highly recommended to never use any dye intended for human hair on your dog or any other animal due to all the chemicals and potential reactions to dyes.
Use a Dog-Friendly Dye
Fortunately, it is still possible to safely dye your dog’s fur without the use of regular hair dye. There are ways you can do it without purchasing a dog-friendly dye, but if you’d prefer to do that, there are several brands available. Top Performance, Critter Color, and Opawz are just a few brands that sell dye that is intended for animal use.
There are several factors to consider and acknowledge before dying your dog’s fur. First, it’s important to remember that the dye will only show up well on light colored fur. If your dog’s fur is brown or black the color likely won’t be very visible or saturated. Tan, white, or cream-colored fur is more likely to have better dye results.
The dye will typically wash out between 4 to 6 weeks.
Be sure to follow the directions on the packaging. Regardless of what you use to dye your dog’s fur, it is necessary to be very careful, especially if you decide to dye your dog’s head. It is recommended to not dye anywhere near your dog’s eyes or ears, but if you need to, you should be extremely careful. You can apply an eye ointment around your dog’s eyes as a precaution, which can be purchased at most pet stores. It will prevent the dye from potentially irritating your dog’s eyes. Also, if your dog has any health issues of any kind, it may be risky to try to dye his or her fur, and it is definitely best to check with your veterinarian first.
Although there are several different methods for dying your dog’s fur, most of these methods require the same preparation techniques. It is recommended that you wash your dog’s fur as you normally would prior to starting the dye process. Also be sure to brush your dog’s fur, and use gloves to avoid staining your hands. One important thing to remember is that no matter what method of dye you use, the color will be more effective if your dog’s fur is slightly damp as you are applying the dye.
No matter what dye method you use, it will likely stain whatever surfaces it touches. Therefore, it is important to understand that whatever towel you use to dry your dog will be stained, and if you choose to apply the dye in your bathtub rather than outside, you may need to clean and scrub it. It is also a good idea to use thick rubber or latex gloves to prevent the dye from getting onto your hands. Just like human hair dye, it can often be difficult to remove.
If you’re planning on using purchased pet-friendly dye, you should follow the instructions on the packaging. However, most directions are typically the same and involve a similar application process as the other methods. Most pet-friendly dye instructions advise you to apply the color to a dry or damp coat using a dye brush or spray bottle.
The most popular and inexpensive alternative to using purchased dye is using food coloring. First, be sure to use a good coloring that is safe to ingest, so that it would be safe for your dog. Some dog owners have tried using Kool-Aid as a dye, which can work well, but the sugar might create some stickiness. That’s why food coloring is such a popular choice.
After you’ve washed and brushed your dog’s fur, begin by choosing a food coloring and mix it with water. The color will dilute, but mixing the coloring with water will likely be a bit more comfortable for your dog. If it becomes too diluted, just add some more coloring. Once you’re satisfied with it, use a cotton ball or sponge to blot the dye onto your dog’s fur. After 45 minutes, the color should be completely set, but be sure to dry your dog with a towel so that he or she won’t transfer it to any surfaces or furniture. And of course, be sure to use a towel you don’t care about because the color will probably stain it.
Another technique of dying a dog’s fur that may be easier is to mix food coloring with water and put it in a spray bottle: It may dilute the dye slightly, but it’s a slightly quicker and simpler method of applying the dye.
There are also more natural ways of dying your dog’s fur. You can use some particular foods to create a dye. Boiling and juicing vegetables, for example, can produce a dye that you can use. Some foods that are safe for your dog to eat, such as carrots, can create a light colored dye.
When choosing foods to create a dye, be aware that fruits contain high amounts of sugar. As you probably already know, sugar creates stickiness, so stay away from fruits when making dyes for your pet. Nobody wants their pet’s fur to become sticky, and even worse, it would probably cause discomfort for your dog.
Therefore, vegetables are best when creating dyes from food products for dying your dog’s fur, because of the low amounts of sugar in them. Beets, asparagus, sweet potatoes, carrots, and spinach are good choices. Although this is a good method, dyes made from edible foods will begin to fade in just a week, or sometimes even less than a week.
Chalk Is a Good Alternative
If dying your dog’s fur seems like too much of a challenge, one alternative is ‘fur chalk’. Petperi brand sells colorful chalk powders that can be applied to your dog’s fur, without any potential effects on your dog’s skin. You can also purchase a grooming spray that will help the chalk stay longer. You can also see if any groomers near you could apply colorful chalk to your dog’s fur; Of course, it’s more expensive than doing it yourself, but it is an option to keep in mind. It is a good idea to try this method if you are unsure about dying your dog’s fur, or if you want to try something that won’t last very long.
These are the multiple ways that you can dye your pet’s fur. It’s a fun idea for pet owners, but it clearly involves preparation and precautions. Obviously, the most important thing to remember is that your dog’s health comes first. But it is typically okay to dye your dog’s fur as long as you do everything safely and properly. Pet safe dye is a great idea, but if you are unsure, you should always consult your veterinarian or dog groomer first.