Dog Fur Dye: Are Hair Dyes Safe To Use For Your Pet

Jul 3, 2023 | Dogs, Grooming

So, you’re considering coloring your four-legged friend’s fur? Well, you’re in for a treat! Dyeing your dog’s hair can truly accentuate their unique style and personality (not to mention it’s a great conversation starter at the dog park).

The topic can be pretty divisive – people either love it, hate it, or think it’s just plain silly! But let’s be serious for a moment: using dyes for your pup requires care and responsibility.

However, a little color here and there can go a long way when done correctly. We’re excited to give you the advice you need to get started on your safe dog hair dye journey and information on the best dog hair dye to use.


Why Would You Want To Dye Your Dog’s Fur Or Alter Your Dog’s Look?

Dog lovers often dye their pupper’s fur not only because it makes them look sweet, but also because it’s a fun way to show more personality! At special occasions such as a Pride Parade, sporting events, or costume parties, you’ll spot some pup’s coat sporting colorful, rainbow-inspired vibrant colors.

But there are also other reasons that pet owners may decide to go with a specific color. For instance, Esther and Shimmy of My Bestie Charlie dye their pup’s ears pink, making him look like a cute cartoon character. Charlie is a therapy dog, and the pink ears help kids feel more at ease around him. Now, he’s so easily recognizable by his pink ears that it’s become his trademark!

Is Pet Hair Dye Safe For Dogs?

A Cute Dog with Dyed Fur Walking on a Leash

Be cautious when selecting a brand in hair dye or semi-permanent dyes for dogs, even if it has a veterinary seal. Just because a product says it’s “pet-friendly” does not necessarily mean it’s safe. In fact, some products may contain harmful ingredients that can cause allergic reactions, skin irritation, or even poisoning. That’s why it’s essential to do your research before you use any product on your dog. Take the time to read reviews, and consult with your veterinarian, and groomer to better enable you to choose a brand that you can trust.

Always read ingredient labels and select established brands with a good reputation and safe ingredients. Look for non-toxic dog hair dyes specifically designed for pets and free from toxic chemicals such as ammonia. These harsh chemicals can be highly toxic to dogs and can cause permanent damage to their skin and fur. Opt for brands that use natural, plant-based ingredients that are gentle on your dog’s skin.

Before applying any hair dye to your dog, do a patch test first. This will help you determine if your dog is allergic to any of the ingredients in the pet dye. Apply a small amount of the dye to a small area on your dog’s body and monitor it closely for any signs of allergic reaction. These can include swelling, redness, or itching. If you notice any of these symptoms, do not use the product on your dog.

If you are unsure how to safely dye your dog’s fur, it is best to seek professional help. A professional groomer can help you choose the best color and product to use, and they have the expertise to apply the dye safely and effectively. They can also provide you with tips and advice on how to care for your dog’s newly dyed fur to ensure that it stays healthy and vibrant.


An Additional Note On Ingredients Within A Pet-Safe Dye

If you’re ever unsure about the safety levels of a specific ingredient, check out the EWG Skin Deep Cosmetics Database.

Simply copy and paste the ingredient into the search bar, and voila! Get ready to be dazzled with data-backed reports, along with a hazard score. Trust me, you’ll be a skincare expert in no time!

NEVER Use Human Hair Dyes!

Using human hair dye on dogs is a definite no-no! You need to make sure to only use dog-safe hair dye.

Not only is it quite the pH mismatch (skin chemistry is different between humans and dogs), but it can also lead to severe chemical burns and life-threatening conditions.

History holds several instances where irresponsible dog owners have done just this. Please spare your dog from possible life-threatening injuries and excruciating burns caused by these harmful dyeing practices. Remember, just don’t do it!

The Different Types Of Dyes

A few products are available in the market that you can use to dye your dog’s hair different colors. However, food coloring is the most recommended and the safest option. It doesn’t have any harmful chemicals that can harm your pet, and it’s easy to apply. You just need to mix the food coloring with water, apply it to your dog’s fur, and rinse with water after letting it sit for 15 to 20 minutes.

Blow pens and hair sprays are another option you can use to create precise designs and stencils. They’re easy to use, and you can choose from a variety of colors. However, be careful not to spray directly into your dog’s eyes, nose, or mouth, as this can cause irritation. Always keep a safe distance and apply light coats to avoid overspraying.

Canine-friendly dyes are available in gel or liquid form and come with instructions on how to use them. They’re entirely safe for your pet and are commonly used during events or photoshoots. However, it’s crucial to follow the instructions and not leave them to sit too long as they can cause irritation.

Hair chalk is another popular option that’s easily washable with dog shampoo. It’s a fantastic way to give your dog’s hair a temporary pop of color. However, it’s important to note that it’s not recommended for dogs with white fur as it can stain their hair. Also, avoid using it on dogs with sensitive skin.

All-natural and organic dyes formulated for pets are generally safe, but should be used on a sporadic basis only. Check the ingredients and make sure they’re free from any chemicals that can harm your pet.

Be Sure To Always Do A Patch Test First

Let’s take some precautions before you go all out and dye your dog’s hair. First, test the type of dye on a small patch of your pet’s coat to avoid any allergic reactions. Wait for at least 24 hours before proceeding. Keep an eye on their skin to check for any signs of irritation or inflammation.

Also, if you’re new to dyeing your pet’s hair, it’s best to start with a temporary dog hair dye or semi-permanent dog hair dye. This way, you’ll have the option to wash it out quickly if there are any problems or if you just don’t like the way it looks. Better safe than sorry, right?

A cute dalmatian dog with distinctive multicolor fur pattern

Could It Be Illegal To Dye My Pet’s Fur?

So, is it legal to dye your dog’s fur? In most states, dyeing a dog’s fur is not illegal, but you have to be careful not to cause harm to your pet. Pet-safe dyes that are made from a non-toxic formula are available in most pet stores and from online retailers. These dyes are specifically designed for dogs, so they’re safe and will not harm your furry friend. But it’s important to note that you should always follow the instructions on the dye bottle so your pet is not exposed to the dye for too long.

Florida, Maine, Colorado, and South Carolina are a few states where it is illegal to dye a dog’s fur. You could face legal charges if you live in one of these states and want to add some color to your dog’s coat. However, you shouldn’t assume that dyeing your dog’s fur is legal in other states. Animal cruelty laws vary from state to state, so it’s a good idea to check the local laws in your area before dyeing your dog’s fur.

What Do Dogs Think About Having Their Fur Dyed?

Poodle with rainbow colored fur

This may sound silly, but your pup may have a strong opinion on getting their fur dyed. It’s essential to listen to your puppy if they dislike having their hair dyed. Your dog may not be able to speak, but they can communicate their discomfort through their body language and behavior. If they’re continuously scratching or biting at the dyed area, it’s a sign that they feel uncomfortable. Dyeing your dog’s hair is never worth causing them distress, and you should stop and remove the color immediately.

Your dog’s well-being should come before winning a costume contest. If the reason you want to dye your dog’s hair is to win a costume contest, think twice. Your dog may feel uncomfortable and unhappy all day, and the stress isn’t worth it. Instead, you could choose a costume that doesn’t require dyeing the fur or involves removable accessories.

Not all dogs hate having their hair dyed. Some breeds and individual dogs love the attention they receive when their fur is dyed in bright colors. But you should remember that it should never be at the expense of your dog’s well-being. Only dye the fur if you’re confident that it doesn’t cause any discomfort or harm.

Professional dog salons can dye a dog’s fur safely and effectively using the best overall dog hair dye for your pet’s needs. If you’re set on dyeing your dog’s fur, take them to a professional dog groomer. They have more experience and knowledge about how to safely dye dog hair and reduce the risk of causing any harm. Never use human hair dye to dye your dog’s hair at home, as it can be toxic to dogs.

Some dogs may dislike having their hair dyed. Just like humans, every dog is unique, and their preferences and dislikes can vary. Some dogs may not like the feeling of the dye on their fur or the smell of the chemicals. If you notice any signs of discomfort or distress, stop immediately, and remove the color.

Dyeing a dog’s fur can be a fun and creative way to show off your pup’s personality. But it’s crucial to do so with care and responsibility. Always choose a safe and canine-friendly dye, and avoid using human hair dye at all costs. Be mindful of your dog’s behavior and any signs of discomfort or allergic reactions. And remember, a dog’s health and well-being should always come first.

You May Also Enjoy Reading:

Cat Grudges: How Long Can Cats Hold A Grudge?

Cat Grudges: How Long Can Cats Hold A Grudge?

Have you ever offended your cat and wondered if they're still upset with you? Cats may remember slights for longer than you think. We'll explore how good cats' memories are, the signs that your cat is still harboring anger, whether they can truly get over grievances,...

read more
Odd Feline Behavior: Why My Cat Goes Limp When Held

Odd Feline Behavior: Why My Cat Goes Limp When Held

The tendency of cats to suddenly go limp when picked up can be quite puzzling to owners. This unique behavior prompts many questions about why it occurs and what message our feline friends may be trying to convey through this boneless tactic. We can better understand...

read more
Trust Behavior Of Cats: Why Does My Cat Show Her Belly?

Trust Behavior Of Cats: Why Does My Cat Show Her Belly?

Cats reveal their bellies as a sign of trust, but their body language contains nuanced emotional signals that owners should understand. We'll explore the meanings behind this cat behavior. When felines expose their vulnerable stomach area, they're conveying affection...

read more