As professional groomers, our first responsibility is to your dog's health. It must never be about vanity or looks. And, in our view, dying a dog's hair is more tied to the latter.
Just like in the human world, fashion comes and goes and our industry is not exempt from these trends. New styles and procedures become the latest thing to try. Parents try new looks on their pups not only to please their eyes but also to impress friends and other parents at the dog park.
But no matter how interesting, cool-looking or challenging a new style may be, our commitment still lies with your dog's well-being.
Is it safe?
Parents have visited our self-serve stations to rinse off dye they have put at home. We always ask if the dye they have used is pet-graded or if it is for human use.
All-natural and organic dyes formulated for use on pets are for the most part safe. These products do not include the harmful toxins and chemicals found in most regular human hair dyes.
However, professionals recommend the use of dyes on a sporadic basis only. This includes special occasions you may want to have some extra fun with your pet, like Halloween festivities.
Regular use of pet-graded dyes is never recommended.
The problem arises when one of these parents tells us they have been using human-grade dyes on their pets.
These products contain harmful ingredients like ammonia, peroxide, and para-phenylenediamine, a known carcinogen. On top of that, most hair dye manufacturers add synthetic fragrances to mask the chemical-odor punch characteristic of these dyes and bleaches.
It has been well documented and researched that these ingredients cause irreparable damage to a dog's immune system. They also may cause allergic reactions, chemical burns, skin disease, and cancer.
Never, under any circumstances, use human-grade dye products on your dog.
Is it right?
There is a host of opinions on this and when asked, we always try to look at it from the dog's perspective: "If he/she could talk, would he/she ask for it?". We could be wrong on this, but something tells us it's more of a human desire than a canine one.
Pet-grade hair dyes can be a safe and enjoyable way to have some fun with your pooch if you use them correctly. That is unless you become addicted to the unnatural look they create.
Your pet's hair is an important element of his/her health and lifestyle. You should never dye your dog's hair for vanity or because you don't like how he/she looks. We have even had customers who dye their dog's hair because they want them to look younger (hide the natural gray). That is not acceptable, at least to us.
Although we offer a limited array of dying services at our Nashville grooming salon we should point out we will ask as to why you would like us to perform this procedure. The wrong answer will cause for us to point you in the direction of another salon.
photo credit: Betsy Weber