Can Dogs Get Their Hair Dyed? (Is It Something You Should Be Doing?!)

hair dyed dog eyebrows
Fact: 45 million homes in the US have at least one dog. Many of these dogs visit a grooming parlor regularly which explains why the pet grooming business is now worth in excess of $8 billion

One trend which is growing in popularity is having your dogs hair dyed. You may well have seen images of celebrities with their tiny dogs, color coded to their outfits. However, just because a celebrity has their dogs hair dyed does not mean that it is acceptable or safe.

You should consider the following points before you pick up the pink hair dye!

Why Have Your Dogs Hair Dyed?

dog with hair dyed feetThe first question is why do you wish to have your dogs hair dyed?

Simply matching your outfit is not really a good enough reason; especially as you will be wearing a different outfit the next day.

  • Fashion
    Your dog can look as good as you when walking down the street
  • Seasonal –
    Keeping your dog involved in family activities by giving them their own Halloween costume.
  • Raise Awareness –
    Some people dye their dogs pink for breast cancer awareness month. In this instance they are trying to help others.

Is Hair Dye For Dogs Safe? (yes and no)

Dying your hair usually involves washing it, at least after the dye has been applied if not before as well. This is a definite no for small pets such as mice and chinchillas because they can get cold very easily. A bath will leave them vulnerable to pneumonia and other fatal illnesses.

However, dogs are generally larger and better able to deal with damp and even cold. This means that it is generally safe for them to have their hair dyed. However, you should consider the following before you proceed:slightly annoyed dog

  • Irritation
    Before a human uses hair dye they are supposed to test the product on a small area. This is to ensure there are no unfavorable reactions.  While you can apply the same methodology to dog hair dying; it is difficult to know if they have a reaction; unless it is very obvious. If your dog has excessive amounts of pet dander it may not even have a reaction until the whole hair is dyed.
  • Comprehension
    Your dog will not understand why they are having their hair dyed or even what is happening. Owning a dog is a big responsibility and you should be committed to the welfare of your and what is best for them.You have to ask yourself whether dying your dogs hair is really something a loving owner should be doing.
  • Cleaning
    If you have a dog you are already aware of the need for the best possible pet vacuum. If you decide to dye your dog’s hair you may wish to consider the additional effort you will need to put into cleaning up after your pet. Dog hairs are bad enough around your home but pink dog hairs may illustrate just how many places they get.

5 Tips When Dogs Have Hair Dyed

food coloringsIf you decide that you wish to continue with the idea of dying your dog’s hair then you may find the following tips beneficial:

    1. Food Coloring
      Research suggests that using human hair dye products on your dog can have damaging long term effects.These include skin irritation issues and behavioral issues if your dog does not enjoy the hair dying process.It is, therefore, best to avoid human hair dyes and use food colorings instead. The more natural the coloring the better.
      TOP TIP Natural food colorings work best on lighter dog hair; it is very difficult to dye dark hair without using a bleaching agent.

    3. Avoid harmful chemicals
      There are a number of pet friendly hair dyes available on the market. You may think that you are being a caring owner if you opt to use one of these products.However, even these have chemicals in. It is vital that you check the PH rating of the product and what chemical are included. If you must dye your dog’s hair then the more natural it is the better.
    4. Bath Your Dog Firstdog in the bath
      Before you can apply any hair dye product to your dog you will need to ensure your dog is clean and knot free.This will allow the dye to be applied evenly and not trap dirt or other irritants in their fur; which can cause a range of issues from mild irritation to infection.
    5. Submerge your dog
      When applying human dye you simply place it into your hand and then rub it into your hair. However, this is not an easy process to complete with a dog; unless they are very good at standing still.It is generally more effective to add the dye to a small amount of water and then get the dog to stand in the water. You can use a sponge to cover your dog and make sure all the fur is colored.
      TOP TIP If you are only doing a small part of your dog you may find it preferable to add the dye to a spray bottle and apply it directly to the desired area.

    7. Complete the Process Outsidedog hair dyed as tiger
      If you have ever bathed your dog; and you should have done; then you will know that their first instinct, after a wash, is to shake.This removes excess moisture from their fur and speeds the drying process. Of course, if you have just managed to get your dogs hair dyed they will be shaking colored water everywhere.To ensure this is not an issue then you can dye your dog in the garden and wear old clothes. It is best to ensure their fur is fully dry before letting them back into your home.


    Cats – Can They Get Their Hair Dyed?

    It is important not to forget the other popular furry pet; your cat. Although this is not as popular a trend there are those who have attempted to get their cat’s hair dyed.multi colored kittens

    Unfortunately, this is not a good idea, no matter how gorgeous they may look!

    • Licking
      Unlike dogs cats will spend much of their time licking their fur; to clean themselves. This means that any chemicals in the dye will be ingested by your cat and could prove to be fatal.
    • Claws
      Cats have very sharp claws and teeth; they are also not good at standing still or being immersed in water. You will have an uphill battle to dye their fur.
    • Natural Options
      Dogs can have their hair dyed with food colorings. However, just because a product is natural does not mean it is safe for cats. This links back to the point about licking. Unless you are 100% sure that the product you intend to use to dye your cats hair is safe for cat ingestion; you should not be trying to get your cats hair dyed.



    You can get your dogs hair dyed and potentially even your cats. But, the real question is why you want to. No matter how festive or coordinated they look; this is not a natural process and your dog, or cat, probably looks fantastic as they are.

    Sometimes it is best to leave things as they are.

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