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Safety Dog Hair Dye Ideas

Costume plays and parties are becoming more popular, and an increasing number of people are enjoying and participating in them. What’s great about those activities is that you can bring your pet along with you.

If you want to take your four-legged companion to a costume party, you should let him or her match your outfit. One of the ways to do this is to dye their fur with a new color. Continue reading to understand more about putting colors on your dog’s hair.

Is It Okay To Dye Your Dog’s Fur?

First things first before getting excited with costume ideas: is it okay to dye your dog’s fur? The answer depends on the hair dye product and the condition of the dog. There are certain products that seem okay and there are situations wherein the dog is safe to be dyed.

Depending on the products

Generally, dyeing the dog’s fur is safe if you use products meant for the dog. You can take your dog to a professional groomer if they offer such services. If you want to do it yourself, better ask for advice from a veterinarian or from reliable pet stores.

Do not ever use human hair dye for dogs because there are chemicals experts find toxic. There are even instances where using human hair dye can be fatal to the dog’s health.

If somehow one managed to dye the dog’s hair using a hair dye for humans, the only ways to keep it from doing more harm are through trimming the dyed hair and consulting a grooming expert urgently.

Depending on the condition

It is highly recommended not to frequently dye your dog’s hair. Better reserve your crazy costume ideas during special occasions or competitions.

Aside from the frequency, you must also consider your dog’s condition. Here are the following common health conditions wherein you must not try coloring the fur of your beloved pet:

  • Skin allergies
  • Open wounds, moles, and sores
  • Old age

There can be specific dogs that are not allowed indicated in the instructions for dog hair dye products. Furthermore, it may be appropriate to try hair dyeing on dogs with abundant furs, like a poodle. If you have a Doberman, it may be a waste to try and color that beautiful short fur.

What Hair Dye Is Safe For Dogs?

If you are looking for hair dye for dogs, do not ever use those hair products for humans. As mentioned above, they are toxic and can cause more severe health problems if dogs start to lick the dyed area. Below are products that are okay to use for dyeing your dog’s fur:

1. Non-toxic dyes

When selecting hair dyes for dogs, always choose non-toxic products. Aside from being non-toxic to dogs, these products are also harmless to the environment since they are made mostly from organic ingredients. How to spot a non-toxic hair dye? Look at the ingredients on the label and spot the following:

  • Ammonia
  • Peroxide
  • Para-phenylenediamine
  • Synthetic fragrance

If any of those appear on the product, don’t purchase it. They don’t only trigger allergies and other skin diseases, and they can also be carcinogens.

2. Food coloring

If you can’t afford a non-toxic hair dye for dogs, the next best thing and probably the safest of them all is food coloring. Food coloring is a naturally safe product. After all, it is deemed edible for human consumption. Therefore, it can be generally safe for grooming purposes. Food coloring is a great DIY option for decorating your dogs.

3. Blow pens

Blow pens can be a safe option for dyeing your dog’s hair. Yes, it may be a child’s coloring material, but it can serve well as a dog’s hair dye. The only disadvantage of blow pens is that decorating using them is only very temporary. If you are a beginner, it is recommended to try using a stencil first and gradually transition to blow pens.

4. Hair sprays

Hair sprays can be used in dyeing your dog’s hair also. The residue can be washed easily with water. Just remember to use it at a safe distance wherein the liquid will not enter the eyes and limit the use for very special occasions only. More importantly, choose this product only when food coloring and blow pens are not available.¬†

How Long Does Dog Hair Dye Last?

The hair dye lasts depending on the product used. Temporary ones like hair spray and blow pens can be easily washed with water. For non-toxic dog hair dyes, if there is an indication that the product is semi-permanent, then that can last up to 6 washes.

This means that if you use the product on your dog, it will take 6 full baths for the effects to completely fade away. For food coloring, the most extensive usage can last up to 2 months.

Tips For Hair Dyeing Dogs

General DIY tips
  1. Wash your dog first before applying hair dye.
  2. Choose to dye dogs with light-colored furs so that you’ll have more options.
  3. Do not dye the hair of an unhealthy dog.
  4. Use dog goggles to avoid any eye mishaps.
  5. Dye your dog’s hair outdoors to mitigate any damages when your dog shakes.
  6. Wear thick rubber gloves during the process.
  7. Use a disposable towel when drying dyed dog hair.
  8. Anticipate the schedule with the duration of the hair dye. The darker the dog’s dyed fur, the longer time it will completely wash out.
  9. Use spray bottles when applying hair tint on the dog’s fur.
How do you dye a dog’s hair with food coloring?

When using food coloring as hair dye, the general tips stated above are applicable. Try to watch the above video, so you might have an idea of how to DIY using food coloring.

You can see in the video that there are many ways how you can apply food coloring as dog hair dye, either using natural or artificial food colorings. Here are some useful tips.

  1. Try to look for actual foods that are safe to consume by dogs. These foods have secretions that will naturally stain your hands. Examples of these are cherries, blackberries, blueberries, and beets.
  2. When choosing an organic food coloring, make sure the product doesn’t contain corn syrup or synthetic materials. If possible, choose products that are plant-based.
  3. If you plan to apply artificial food coloring, test a little first so that you can gauge how dark the color can become.
  4. Kool-aid can be used for dog hair dye, but it can be very difficult. It needs to be almost unsaturated since the ingredients can make your hair dye a bit syrupy. If you don’t have a proven ratio of ingredients, then avoid using Kool-aid at all.


While it is fun dyeing your dog’s hair and creating the best costumes possible for a certain occasion, always prioritize your dog’s comfort. If it doesn’t like its hair dyed, seek other options that are safe, convenient, and creative.

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