The Case Against Home Pet Hair Dye Jobs

Pet hair dye has become a popular canine accessory for many dog owners. People dye their dogs to celebrate holidays, to dress them up, even to match the owner's clothing or car. But, should the owner dye at home or have a groomer take care of coloring the dog's fur? The following are some reasons why dying should be left to professional groomers.

Owner Inexperience

An owner, when first taking on coloring their dog's fur, will most likely be nervous about the process. This nervousness will in turn be sensed by the dog, making him nervous and difficult to deal with. An already nervous dog, presented with the new situation of having its coat dyed can easily escalate the process into a frustrating mess.

Inexperience may also lead to the selection of the wrong product. All too frequently people believe if something is safe for them, it's safe for their dog. Product selection is critical to the health and safety of the dog.

Improper Restraint

Many people might think that because they can contain their dog to bathe them, that the dog will allow them to dye their coats too. Because of the new process, the smell of the dye, the fact that the dye must sit on the coat for 15 minutes and in the case of pet hair dye, the pet must be restrained from licking or ingesting the dye, most dog owners do not have the proper restraint system at home. The groomer's restraint system keeps the dog in place, keeps the dog's head up and keeps it from its natural instinct of licking something that gets on its fur. This restraint system also helps prevent the colorant from getting into the dog's ears and eyes.

The Mess

Dying a dog can be a messy proposition. If using the spray bottle technique, the overspray can get on walls, furniture, rugs, flooring, essentially anywhere that isn't protected. And if the dog isn't restrained properly, that can be all over the house. Any towels used will have color on them and need to be laundered. Spray bottles, brushes and containers used to hold the colorant will also need to be washed up or thrown out.

Words for Thought

If an owner decides to have a groomer dye their dog, they should be careful about which groomer they select. Ask the groomer if they use human hair dye products. If they do, move on to the next groomer. There are groomers out there who believe "If it's safe to use on humans, it's safe for dogs". Veterinarians and animal abuse prevention organizations have made very strong statements against the use of human hair colorants on pets. These dyes frequently contain bleach or other chemicals that can be harmful to the dog's skin, causing irritation, sores, scabbing, scarring and excessive dog hair shedding. And if ingested, the dye can cause internal injury and sometimes death.

Dying a dog's coat, while trendy and fun, takes careful consideration. If the dog has sensitive skin, dying may not be for them. An owner's inexperience, improper restraint and the mess left after the process, may turn what should be fun for the dog and owner, into a disappointing event. A better choice would be to leave it to the professionals.