Can You Dye Animal Hair?

A lot of pet owners often ask this question: can you dye animal hair? I will try as much as possible to answer that question in this article.

Dyeing animal hair is a concept that is met with contrasting opinions. While some persons strongly think it could be dangerous to an animal, some persons see nothing wrong in giving their pet a colorful look. The question of, can it be done requires a simple answer.

Yes, it can. It depends on the animal and its owners preferences. In some places like china, it is not uncommon to see dogs with dyed fur, making them to resemble other animals. Dyeing animal hair is common practice in places like that, but it is also banned in some places as persons feel like dyeing animal hair is a form of animal cruelty and should not be done.

When it comes to research, there is currently no material available that tells us it is a 100% safe to dye an animal hair or that it can’t be done at all. It is a matter of discretion and following a few rules to ensure the safety of your pet while trying to make them look colorful for whatever reason.

Whether you decide to dye your pet or not is your call to make. This article does not intend to lecture you on what to do, but to inform you of the argument surrounding this topic and also advice you on the right way to go about dyeing your pet if you eventually decide it is something you would like to do. Ultimately, I advise putting your pet’s safety and comfort as a top priority in any decision you make for them.

Should You Dye Your Pet’s Hair?

The answer to the question above is really up to anyone in charge of the animal. Some persons say it is totally unnecessary to dye a pet’s hair giving the reason that those who perform the act primarily do so to attract attention to their pet and please others.

In addition, some others are concerned with the stress the process can cause the animal. They argue it is cruel to put an animal through stress just for a colorful look. PETA, the group for animal rights feel that dyeing animals is not only stressful for them but could result in allergic reaction which could pose a threat to the animal’s health.

On the other hand, some pet owners would go for a different colorful look for their pet any day, especially during festivities like Halloween. They would take the extra time and effort to dye their pet’s fur to achieve that stunning look. Some persons even argue that their pet loves the extra attention the colored look brings their way.

There are those who might consent to dyeing an animal, but only during special occasions and festive seasons. These persons see no reason while you would color a dog on a perfectly normal day and are also unsupportive of regular dyeing.

Whichever group you fall into, I believe that your pet’s health and well-being is your primary concern and whatever you do, including dyeing their fur, their safety should be of utmost importance to you. That being said, if your pet appears really stressed anytime you dye their fur or seem really uncomfortable with the attention the colorful appearance brings their way, I suggest you desist from the act entirely. So, would you dye your pet?

Safe Dyes For Pets

If you made up your mind to give your pet a funky look, make sure to go about it the right and safe way. Heed warnings and have an extra look at labels before you purchase anything. Below are dyes you can use on your pet:
Organic Food Dye: These dyes are made out of organic food products and are relatively safe to use for dyeing animals. Go see your veterinarian to make sure there are no toxic substances in the ingredients before use.

Organic Food Coloring

If you are a DIY enthusiast, you can always go for the foods themselves and make the dye out of them. That way you do not have to worry about the ingredients contained in the dye. Foods like cranberries, strawberries, beets, asparagus and carrots are great options. You can also search for other options depending on which food you can easily get access to.

Pet Dye

Dyes made for pets are also considered safe and less toxic to animals. Still, it is important to run any product by your vet before you use on an animal.

Organic Chalks

There are organic chalks that are not toxic to animals. You can ask your veterinarian before application.

Human dye should not be used in any circumstance to dye pet fur; they are made specifically for human use. They contain chemicals and toxins that could result in allergic reactions and are generally detrimental to your pet’s health. Use any of the dyes above if you must.

Steps And Things To Note When Dyeing An Animal

  • Make sure to get the right dye. It might help if you go over the ingredients with your veterinarian just to ensure there is no toxic substance in the dye you intend to use on your pet.
  • Remember you are working with dye, so protect your hands with gloves; a simple pair of latex gloves (1) will do the trick.
  • Mix food coloring or dye with water. Mix thoroughly and put some mixture into a spray bottle for easy application. If you are making use of food, grind into a paste with a food processor first. You can add in a little water while you do so.
  • Prior to the dyeing process, ensure the animal has been groomed, clean and brush its fur well. This is essential to get a good look.
  • Apply the dye on to the animal with the spray bottle. Check the color first on a small area and also keep an eye out for its reaction. Do not spray directly on the animal’s face. If you will dye the face, use a paint brush or cotton swab to get around the eyes, nose and mouth.
  • If you are making use of a chalk, apply directly on a damp fur. Wet the area you want to apply using a spray bottle and go on to use the chalk, then allow to dry. The more chalk you use, the more conspicuous the color is.
  • what is the function of mammal hair
  • Do not apply two colors simultaneously to prevent them from mixing up. Wait for the first to dry off before adding the other.
  • Animals might be tempted to lick their fur when they notice something different on it, watch out for that. Prevent your pet from licking its fur until the habit is broken and it gets used to its new look.
  • I know you might be totally into the cute colors, but if your pet shows any signs of an allergic reaction, do not hesitate to take it to see a veterinarian immediately.
  • If you notice any strange behavior at all or discomfort, remove the dye or take the pet to see a veterinarian.

Final Thoughts

Wherever you stand on the subject of dyeing an animal, their safety should come first before anything else. If you decide to dye your pet, ensure you follow all the necessary protocol, use the right products, and pay attention to the animal’s reaction. When you need to, seek the advice of a professional.

With the trend of dog owners flaunting their pets in cute pink and bright purple fur, the temptation to dye your pet might get intense. Ensure you do your research before attempting to go on with it.


  1. Ammex (link)

Leave a Comment