There’s a growing trend owners colouring their dog’s hair for a bit of fun. But is hair dye for dogs safe, or should it be avoided at all costs?

Be careful what you use!

The Number One rule to remember when using any products on your dog, is that human products are not designed to be used on pets.

This not only relates to hair dye for dogs, but to the many other products we might be tempted to use on our pets from shampoos and conditioners through to nail polish (also a new trend).

The chemicals used in many human products, especially in hair dye are extremely toxic and could cause serious illness if digested by your dog, as well as causing severe skin and coat issues.

The pH level of your pet’s skin is very different from a human’s, which is why products that come into contact with your pooch need to be toxin free so event thought they are designed for pets, it is still important to check the ingredients on the hair colour products you are using on your pet to ensure they are free of toxic chemicals and look for reputable, natural brands rather than cheap imports that may not comply to the same laws and ingredients.

Pet friendly alternatives

Fortunately, if you are looking to add a bit of colour into your dog’s life there are some pet friendly hair colour products on the market that are safer for you to use including pet chalks, pet hair sprays and semi-permanent pet dyes.

PETstock has some great hair colour for dogs in the form of pet chalks from Buddy & Belle available in a range of colours.  Chalks are great because they can be removed with shampoo and warm water instantly.

However, beware if your pooch is prone to rolling on your carpets or couches as you may end up with some brightly coloured furniture as a result.  Pet hair sprays and semi-permanent pet dyes are for a more permanent look, and they generally wash away after around 8 washes.

Whether it’s your groomer or yourself using pet specific hair dye,  you need to ensure your dog is relaxed and not showing any signs of distress when you are colouring their hair. 

If they are showing any anxiety signs such as licking of the lips, flicking of tongue, yawning, ears back and more, stop immediately otherwise you could be creating a negative association with this activity and the stress may increase over time and lead to wider anxiety issues in your pooch.     

Saying that, there are plenty of pooches that are up for a pampering of any kind so you may find your dog is more than happy to be part of this latest trend and sport their new colourful look at the dog park with their mates proudly.

In regards to hair colour for dogs and pooch-colouring trends here’s what we have found:

  • A bit of colour on the tail is IN.
  • A bit of colour on the ears is IN (long hair only).
  • And a bit of colour on the mohawk is IN (if your pooch is lucky enough to be blessed with one).

About the Author: Lara Shannon is co-Host of Pooches at Play and has completed a Certificate III in Dog Behaviour & Training with the National Dog Trainers Federation. Lara also runs her own dog training, minding and walking business in Melbourne’s Bayside area.