How To Safely Dye Your Dog's Fur

feature 4, Dyeing - By Staff Writer on Monday, August 30, 2010 - 12:36

Personally we thing our dogs look great just the way they are, but if you think yours could use a little more color in their life then you might just be tempted to break out the color and give them a dye job.  Public opinion varies greatly on the subject, some people think its fun while others find it cruel, so if you do decide to have Fifi rock the pink fur be prepared to hear both sides.  

Our take is that we are not going to stop anyone from dying their dog so we would rather that they do it the safest possible way.  Below are instructions on how you can dye your dog different colors without hurting her.

Dog Safe Dyes
The most important step is to make sure you are using a dog safe dye.  People and dogs have different skin so using a human dye on a dog could lead to irritation, skin burns and rashes.  Some people use Kool-aid to dye their dogs or even food coloring.  For the best results go with a vegetable based dye to color your dog.  They are safe and if your dog licks their fur they will not get sick.  Manic Panic is always the dye of choice for kids wanting to turn their locks pink and will work just fine for your dog.  Or you could use Top Performance Hair Dye, the dye used by professional groomers. 

Test The Dye
We highly recommend you test a small spot of skin with the dye.  Apply a little bit with a cotton ball or q-tip to see if your dog reacts.  Leave it on for the amount of time stated on the bottle and rinse off.  Give your dog a day or two to see if there is a reaction before dying your dog.

Wash With Warm Water First
You should start by rinsing your dog with warm water and using a mild dog shampoo to wash your dogs fur.  The warm water will help to open up your dogs fur follicles for the dye.  Make sure the water is not too hot for your dog

Apply Dye
You should wear gloves while applying dye unless you want to turn the color of your dog.  working in small sections apply the dye directly to your dogs fur.  If you want you can dilute it a little and place it in a squeeze bottle.  Coat your dogs fur entirely or in sections that you want colored making sure to avoid your dogs eyes, inner ears, mouth and nose.

Most dyes need time to work. Sit with your dog to make sure that they do not lick or eat the dye.  Regardless of the dye if your dog does ingest it make sure to rinse her mouth out with water.  If you want you can wrap a towel around your dog to keep them warm.  Use a dark color or a towel you don't mind getting dyed.  Make sure you leave your dog in the tub as dyes can stain tiles and floors.

Once your dog is done rinse the color off very well.  Use warm water and make sure you rinse until the water coming from the fur is clear.  If you leave any dye on your dog it will stain anything your dog touches so make sure you are careful to get it all out. 

Dry your dog well.  you will be able to see while towel drying if you have removed all the color.  You can let your dog air dry or you can blow dry her coat to make sure she does not get a chill.

Dying your dog could be traumatic so make sure you praise your pup and treat her for all of her patience.

Color will fade over time so just repeat the steps above.  You want to make sure not to dye too often as any bathing can dry out your dogs fur and cause rashes.  You can dye in sections to create effects like panda bear looking dogs or just simply color your dog pink.  If you are going to dye then get creative!


Have a dog with a dye job?  We would love to see it!  Send any photos of your dog's colored hair to

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