Fancy Dogs and their Special Hairdos

Has your dog been begging you for a fancy hair do? Are there any Sacramento Dog Groomers who do wild animal styling?

There was a big fad in China a few years back where people were dying their pets to look like wild animals such as tigers and pandas. In North America, it is not unusual to see dogs died to accompany children on Halloween or as part of a statement such as Breast Cancer Awareness Month, when many dogs go pink for a month. Is it safe to dye your dog? Is it cruel? Is it legal?

In some states it is illegal to dye your pet with dog hair dye. These laws were generally enacted to protect small animals around Easter time but can also be applied to normal pets. Some people have been fined for dyeing their dogs.

Whether it’s cruel or not, depends on your pet. Some animals, such as small rodents like rats, mice, and chinchillas, should never be dyed. You don’t bathe them because they get chilled easily and are very vulnerable to illnesses like pneumonia. Dyeing them just puts them at risk of illness and is extremely stressful for them. Cats are also seldom bathed and tend to find it very stressful. Cats are also serious groomers and have many food sensitivities not present in dogs and people. So, dyeing your cat is not a great idea either.

Dyeing your dog can be safe and cause no harm if done right. For starters, your dog is not a good candidate for dyeing if they hate being bathed. Dogs that are groomed regularly are usually quite used to being bathed and it causes no unusual distress in them. If you are going to dye your dog’s fur, it is important to use the right dye. Human dyes are not meant for ingestion and are very toxic. Always remember that anything you put your dog is likely to be consumed when they lick their fur. Also, their fur tends to cover their whole body, making skin exposure to the dye significantly higher than it is when you dye your own hair.

Choose a pet-safe dye (there are some on the market) or better still use food colouring which is very safe when eaten. You can also use Kool Aid. Be careful to avoid getting any dye in your pet’s eyes. The first time you apply a dye, put it only on a small patch of fur and then wait 24 hours. This is to make sure your dog is not allergic to any aspect of the dye. A small patch of itchy skin is much kinder than a whole body itch. If your dog suffers from any type of skin disorder or condition that causes skin irritation, it is better not to try to dye their fur.

There have been no long term studies of the effects of dyes, including the pet safe dyes, on an animal’s health so use it with some caution. Be aware of your dog’s personality as well. Taking your shy little dog and dying him to look like a panda is going to attract a lot of attention. He may not appreciate that and find the whole experience stressful.

As long as your dog does not mind the dyeing process or the resultant attention, it is not harmful to dye your dog. It is important you use the right kind of dyes to avoid making your pet sick. You should never dye pets like cats, rats, mice, and chinchillas. To dye an animal that will find the procedure stressful is cruel. The rest is up to you.

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