TikToker dyes her dog bright red for good reasons, she says. Is it safe?

Dye your dog red? Pros and cons.
Dye your dog red? Pros and cons. More cons than pros in my view. Screenshot.

This TikToker decided to dye her dog, Dandy, red for several good reasons, she says, in a successful video. I think she dyed her dog red to have a successful video 😊. However, I will put that cynical idea aside for a minute and state that she dyes her dog red to help her dog avoid an accident with a vehicle i.e. because it makes the dog more visible and to protect him from getting stolen. Also, it makes him more identifiable and his fur is very soft and it sheds less when dyed, she says. And he likes the attention when she dyes his fur. I suppose too that all the fuss you have to give to a dog while you’re doing it helps bond between person and dog. The final reason is it teaches others about this process. Not sure about that. The video does not teach anyone anything.


Hes a happy red dog 😌♥️

♬ Just A Picture – KYLE

Note: This is an embedded video from another website. Sometimes they are deleted at source or the video is turned into a link which stops it working here. I have no control over this.

So, there are many claimed positives to dying your dog red but, my god, I’m not sure it’s a good idea. The overriding question when you view of the video is whether it is safe to do this. She says that she uses a pet-safe dye which makes the whole process safe.

Putting aside the ethics of dying your dog red (or any other primary color) – and some people will object to it on an ethical or moral basis – it is apparently safe according to this person and I suspect that this dog in question, whose name is Clifford, is well looked after and that he is safe.

Perhaps the problem I have is that she will encourage other people to dye their dog (her objective?) and in doing so they may use the wrong product and be careless and harm their dog.

My gut feeling is that what she’s doing is unethical and a bit silly to be honest for this reason. But, as mentioned, I think the true reason why she’s doing it is to attract attention in order to gather those all-important likes and views on TikTok.

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It should be noted that dyes made for humans use can contain toxic chemicals. What if a person who watches the video grabs hold of a dye that they have a shelf in the bathroom and decides to change the colour of their dog’s fur?

Hair dyes and highlights can cause skin irritation and can cause burning and itching. They can even be lethal. And what if a person decides to dye their cat. Cats lick their fur all the time. They will ingest the dye. Okay, perhaps the dye is pet-safe but perhaps it isn’t and does pet-safe mean that it safe to be eaten?

Apparently, in 2018 a Maltese dog almost died from severe burns after being dyed purple. The owner used human hair dye.

The dye has to be semi-permanent. If it’s not, it is going to wash out in rain. And it might drip all over somebody if the dog is in a public place. What if a dog brushes against somebody and they just been in a rainstorm? Might not the die be brushed onto a person’s trousers? I’m being picky and perhaps I’m dreaming up some extreme situations but I can see some hazards here.

Legal where you live?

Another hazard is that it might be illegal to dye your dog in America. On a state-by-state basis there are different rules. Apparently four US states have decided to ban dying dogs. They are: Colorado, Florida, Maine and South Carolina.

Colorado prohibits dying any kind of animal. If you try it, you will be arrested apparently and your dog will be impounded. You will receive a $1000 fine on conviction. Apparently even if you visit the state with a dyed dog, you will be arrested!

In Florida dying a dog is a second-degree misdemeanour. On conviction you will be fined up to $500.

In the state of Maine, they treat the dying of a dog as slightly less serious with a $100 fine as it is treated as a civil violation, whatever that is. Excluded from this rule are dogs raised for hunting or exhibition purposes.

In South Carolina it is a misdemeanour to dye your dog even if you are visiting the state. They will impound your dog. Worse, your dog will be taken from you and adopted out to a new family. The dog may be euthanised which to me seems absolutely extraordinary and entirely incorrect because it means that the state is punishing the dog when they are innocent victims.

In the UK it may fall foul of the Animal Welfare Act 2006. Someone might report you to the police. And then what?

How to

Clearly you have to use a dog-safe dye and never use toxic human hair dyes. Try the dye out on a patch of your dog’s fur first to ensure that your dog’s skin is not irritated or in any way inflamed by the product. You should wait one or two days after applying it to check for symptoms.

The dye, as stated, should be semi-permanent so that it can at least be washed off eventually. Clearly it should not be permanent.

The dye should not be applied to sensitive areas such as mouth or nose or around the eyes.

If and when you dye your dog you should stop and give up if she becomes stressed.

Your dog might lick her fur after he’s been dyed bright red. What do you do then? Try and stop him with a cone or some other protective gear. But if you use the wrong dye your dog will be ingesting a possible poison. Are you prepared to take that risk?

You should check symptoms for a skin allergy. You should know what the symptoms of a skin allergy are before commencing dying your dog.

My personal feeling is that you shouldn’t do it. I can see the advantages as listed by this woman in the video but the disadvantages for me outweigh those advantages. And, in any case, I prefer the natural look! 😃

Update: I think I need to add some more to this story. As might be expected some people have accused Chloe, Dandy’s owner of animal abuse. In response Chloe says that she uses the dog-friendly Opawz Dog Hair Dye. Apparently, this hair dye also makes a dog’s fur soft and fluffy. They last for more than 20 washes. It is a hair dye which is specifically formulated for dogs and horses. That is according to the bumf.

The hair dye is made safe because it is plant-based. This means that it can be ingested without harm. A vegan commenter said:

“As a vegan who thinks animals are not toys, I think this is adorable.”

In general, people seem to accept it because Dandy looks happy and healthy.

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