Dog Hair Dye Products Examined

Dog hair dye is a hot trend in pet grooming that continues to grow in popularity. Whether you're dying your dog or a groomer is completing the dye job, it is important to know the options available and what precautions must be used.

Do Not Use Products for Humans

This cannot be stressed enough. Human hair dyes contain hydrogen peroxide or bleach to lift the natural color. Both chemicals are extremely harsh and can cause chemical burns, sores and dog hair shedding. If a groomer is used, be sure to ask if they use human dye products in their processes. If they do, don't use them.

Dyes Approved for Pets

There are a variety of dyes out on the market specifically identified for use on pets. The majority of these products contain dyes or coloring agents approved by the Personal Care Products Council (formerly the Cosmetic, Toiletry and Fragrance Association or CTFA) which adheres to high safety standards for the cosmetics industry.

There is a botanical-based skin and coat care line of products that includes dyes in their lines. This product is typically only sold out of approved professional grooming salons in Europe, Asia and Australia. The products are botanical-based and thus are chemical-free and gentle to the coat and skin.

A word of caution: Because these products need to be left on the dog coat for 15 minutes, care must be taken to prevent the dog from licking his coat while the color processes. These dyes carry a warning that you must rinse your dog's mouth with cold water for 15 minutes and immediately call a veterinarian if the dog licks or ingests the dye.

Alternate Coloring Agents

While not specifically identified for dying dog hair, the following products are either listed as non-toxic or are food agents. As with any product used on your dog, use a test patch to ensure the dog isn't sensitive to the product used.

BloPens are a non-toxic product generally used for children's craft projects. These pens come in a wide variety of colors and because of the method of application, rarely penetrate to the skin. The color is applied by blowing through the end of the pen and moving the pen back and forth until the desired color is achieved. While listed as non-toxic, the dog should be discouraged from licking his coat. Color can be washed out in a single shampoo.

Unsweetened powdered drink mix is another way of coloring a dog's coat in any number of colors. The powdered mix is combined with water and can be either brushed on or worked into the coat. The dog might be intrigued by the smell, but once he tastes the bitter liquid (remember there's no sugar in this) he'll avoid licking it. Food coloring is another option available for coloring a dog's coat. Because it is approved for food use, it should be safe to use on the dog, barring any skin sensitivities. When coloring a dog's coat, care must be taken when choosing the color product. Take note of the precautions listed on the packaging and always create a test patch to be sure there aren't any skin sensitivities. Individual dogs may still have sensitivities even though the product states it is non-toxic.