The States that prohibit dying dogs strictly (even for non-commercial intent) are Florida, South Carolina and Maine. From what we found for the rest of the states, we did not find any laws about it being illegal.
However, those 3 States somehow have stricter rule towards dyeing animals. Even it is washable natural dog dye; some people noticed the doggie dyes keep their dog rose pink too long.
Why is Dog Dye Illegal in Some States?
Dyeing the hair of dogs began to become fashionable a few years ago. In Europe, it is not a very popular practice, but in cities like Tokyo, London, or New York, it is widespread to see dyed dogs.
But does this pose any risk to dogs? They can be funny, flashy, fun, but it can have consequences. We tell you the dangers of dying a dog’s hair.
Dogs with dyed hair are not a natural thing. In fact, with these practices what we are doing is “humanizing” the dogs, something that we should avoid at all costs because it makes it very difficult to educate pets.
Besides, dyeing a dog’s hair implies that it later has difficulty interacting with others of its kind. Remember that dogs recognize each other through smell; The moment one dog notices a strange or artificial smell in another dog, they will indeed reject it. Believe it or not, this takes a toll on your pet’s character and self-esteem. 1
Finally, such drastic changes in their appearance can cause a dog a strange feeling, shame, stress, or even anxiety. Some dogs feel bad when their hair is cut, so imagine if it is dyed!
Animal Dye and Toxicity
Some dog dyes use natural ingredients and suitable for use on animals. However, there is little regulation in this matter in some States, so you have to be careful.
Many natural dye products, contrary to what their manufacturers indicate, are NOT suitable. The toxicity of its ingredients can cause discomfort, irritation, itching, or even burns on the skin of dogs. 2
And the danger goes further! It means that a dog dyed with an inappropriate dye will be intoxicated, because the dyes will penetrate through his skin, in addition to being licked, he could swallow it.
If this happens, the dog will surely get sick, even with the risk of death. For these reasons, we must think very well if we want to dye our dog’s hair.
Is It Illegal to Dye Your Dog in California
There is no assertive law in California that mentions you CAN NOT legally do this to your dog. It seems like many professional pet groomers are doing this practice in CA.
The choice is yours! But keep in mind that dyeing pets or animals in the following States for any commercial activities (commercial video shot, selling it, etc.) are STRICTLY prohibited:
Can Dye My Dog Cause Him Allergies?
Even if your chosen dye is dog-friendly and non-toxic, there is still the possibility that your dog is allergic to it. A professional dog groomer will know how to detect if your dog has this type of allergies.
If so, it is better to resort to other safer alternatives, such as vegetable dye. Never dye your dog’s hair with human hair dyes!
Dog Friendly Hair Dyes
- Edible Fruit Juice
- Natural Food Coloring
- Temporary Dog Fur Dye
- Washable Pet Fur Chalk
Edible Fruit Juice
Dyeing your dog fur with safe fruits is the best option. The juice from the real fruits will provide a hint of color, which is not safe for your dog’s fur and skin. You can simply squeeze the juice or take help from a food processor or blender to extract the juice properly.
List of safe fruits for dogs:
- Beets (red/pink)
- Blackberries (purple/black)
- Blueberries (blue/purple)
- Cherries (red)
- Cranberries (red/pink)
- Raspberries (pink)
- Strawberries (red/pink)
Natural Food Coloring
All-natural organic food colors are the best when you wish to dye your dog in a vibrant color. India Tree Nature’s Colors are semi-permanent plant-based colors, which easily comes off in 4-5 washes. Make sure you use a small quantity and do a patch test first before going heavy handed on the colors.
Temporary Dog Fur Dye
Temporary dog fur dyes are great as they are not stubborn and come out easily in 2-3 wash or they fade within a few weeks. Warren London Critter Temporary Color is easy to use as they don’t require to be mixed with water. You can simply apply the color using a brush, spray bottle or fingers and leave it to dry. These color once dry fully will not come off or ruin your furniture or clothes.
Washable Pet Fur Chalk
Washable pet fur chalks are safe and non-toxic to use on your pet as well as on your own hair. Willbon Temporary Washable Pet Chalk is water-soluble and is easily comes off using a pet shampoo, which reviewed here. You also get a variety of bright colors that will look stunning on your dog. 8
Pros and Cons of Dying Your Dog
- Dying your dog in fun colors make them look unique
- Temporary dye comes off within 2-4 washes
- It gives your dog a great personality and he grabs people’s attention
- Some artificial dyes can be toxic to your dog
- Your dog may not like being dyed in different colors
- You pet might get allergies with some dyes
- Dying your dog’s coat can cause him stress
- Your dog might get ear infection if the dye gets inside their ear
- It is illegal to dye your dog in some states and you cost you a hefty fine
- Dog dyes can change your dog’s natural smell
Do authority vets recommend dying the dogs?
A vet may or may not recommend dying your dog depending on your dog’s health, skin condition, fur type, coat quality, and other concerns.
Although, they will suggest you that it is best and safe for your dog when it is done by a professional groomer and not by any untrained person. A professional groomer would know the best and non-toxic pet dyes that would not harm your dog in anyway.
Experts also suggest that it is best to do a deep research in finding the best groomer in your area to perform this procedure on your pet. You may also want to ask the groomer if you could see their past work photos or videos.
However, you may also want to consider your dog’s personality before getting his fur dyed. In some cases, your shy dog may not want to look like a cartoon character or a different animal that would draw more attention towards his appearance. This whole process and experience may cause him stress, which any pet parent would not want their dog to face.
We know that for you, your dog is a member of the family. But remember, it is not human! You do not have to give him the same treatment as people, nor do you give him our customs.
Some acts of humanization towards dogs are apparently harmless and straightforward, such as feeding them our scraps. But some people take it much further: dress them, take them with them everywhere in a bag, and now it is the fashion to dye the hair of dogs.
If you’re thinking of dyeing your dog’s hair, think about this: would he want to dye it if he could choose for himself? Does it bring any real benefit to your dog or are you doing it just because it’s “fun”?
If you do this type of thing, it is essential to assess the character of our pet very well. For example, if your pet is shy or if your dog is fearful, we would not recommend dyeing its hair at all: it will look and smell different, it will cost more to make your dog gets back to its state.