Best Dog Hair Dye Reviews & Advice

As long as its used properly and responsibly, a bit of color can go a long way to accentuating your dogs style and personality. 

Plus, most dog's seem to love the extra attention they get!

This article with aim to give you some advice if you're just getting started along with reviews on the best dyes to use.

Pet Tuning by Kali Topp

Tips Before You Start

As dog owners we have a duty to take care of our pets and always look out for their best interest. So before diving and dying any fur there are a few things you should know.

Is pet dye safe for my dog?

There are mixed feelings on the actual level of safety that can be guaranteed when using any kind of hair dye, and while some products claim to have veterinary seals of approval you should still be very careful when choosing the right brand of hair dye. 

When buying anything that will go near or touch your dog’s skin it’s important to always read the label. Only choose from the more established brands with a solid reputation that use ingredients that meet the minimum standards for safety. 

A note on ingredients

If you're ever in doubt as to the levels of safety regarding a particular ingredient, you can check the EWG Skin Deep Cosmetics Database.

Just copy and paste the ingredient into the search bar on there and you will find data-backed reports along with a hazard score.

Do NOT use human hair dye

One thing you should avoid at all costs is using human hair dye.

Because the pH of a dog's skin is very different to that of a human's, any hair dye products designed for human use are highly likely to have harmful side-effects if used on a dog.

There have been cases in which irresponsible dog owners have used human hair dyes on their pets, leaving dogs with serious burns and life-threatening conditions. Just don't do it!

Do a patch test first

Always test any kind of dye on a small section prior to carrying out a dye job on a larger scale. Apply the test and wait at least 24 hours periodically checking the skin carefully for any signs of irritation or inflammation.

Additionally, if you have never dyed your dog’s hair before it would be wise to use a semi permanent or temporary dye before moving onto a more permanent solution. That way you can wash out the dye relatively easy should any problems arise or if you're unhappy with the result.

Is it legal?

Generally speaking, providing you use a pet safe dye and that you ensure no harm or suffering to the dog is caused, it is not considered to be unlawful to dye your dog's fur.

That said, it is illegal in the following states:

  • Florida
  • South Carolina

We suggest that anyone with concerns regarding the legality of dog hair dye do their own due diligence and check with their local state laws surrounding animal cruelty.

Points to remember

  • Use only hair dye designed for dogs.
  • Take into account your pet’s stress levels, especially if applying the dye takes a while.
  • Do not use dyes on dog's under 6 months (even if the product guidelines state you can)
  • Do a 24-48 hour patch test in advance to check for allergies and irritation.
  • Avoid applying to particularly sensitive areas such as near the eyes, nose, mouth.
  • Keep in mind that some dogs can be quite prone to licking, although dog hair dyes are generally safe and non-toxic, you should limit her ability to lick any dyed areas during application.
  • Be sure that you are not breaking any state laws.

Best Dog Hair Dyes - Overview

With the health and safety advice out of the way let's look at the best dog hair dyes currently on the market.

bottles of OPAWZ semi permanent dye

OPAWZ Semi-permanent

  • Lasts 8 washes
  • Easy to apply
  • Beginner friendly
bottles of OPAWZ permanent dye

OPAWZ Permanent

  • Lasts 20+ washes
  • Brighter colors
  • For professional use
tubs of critter color

Warren London Critter Color

  • Lasts 2-3 washes
  • Comes off by itself
  • Super easy to apply

OPAWZ Semi-permanent

  • Lasts 8 washes
  • Easy to apply
  • Beginner friendly

OPAWZ Permanent

  • Lasts 20+ washes
  • Brighter colors
  • For professional use

Warren London Critter Color

  • Lasts 2-3 washes
  • Comes off by itself
  • Super easy to apply

Dog Hair Dye Brands & Product Reviews

Now let's look in a bit more detail at the main brands and their dye product ranges.

OPAWZ

OPAWZ has been the market leader when it comes to pet hair dyes for quite a while with their dyes being used by groomers all over the world. 

Professional Results Using OPAWZ

Below are two fantastic creative grooms done by two professional dog groomers. The way the color has been used in a controlled manner to highlight the natural features, fur color and fur type of the dogs is amazing.

creative grooming work by Pooch Styles

Groom by: Pooch Styles

creative groom by Anais

Groom by: Anais

OPAWZ Semi-Permanent Dye - For Groomers New To Dye

OPAWZ semi permanent hair dye is a "non-toxic and gentle" formula that can, in theory, be applied in just "20 minutes". Unlike permanent dye, this washes off fairly easily with around 8 baths. 

While not recommended for darker fur types, the color result from the semi-permanent is almost as good as the permanent dyes, especially on lighter fur.

In terms of color longevity, this lasts longer on fine and soft-haired coat types such as poodles than it does on breeds with more a wire-hair textured coat.

If you're looking to get your feet wet with color we'd definitely recommend choosing semi-permanent over permanent. It is by far the easiest of the two to apply and comes without a long-term commitment.

bottles of OPAWZ semi permanent dye

Ingredients

Aqua, Xanthan Gum, Glycerin, Alcohol Denat, Citric Acid, Acid Red 52, Acid Orange 7, Acid Yellow 23, Acid Blue 9

Pros
  • Fairly quick application
  • No ammonia or peroxide
  • Washes off in approx 8 washes
  • Safe and non-toxic
Cons
  • Not suggested for dark fur types
  • Color may fade quicker on some breeds

Customer Reviews

OPAWZ Permanent Dye - For Professional Grooming

OPAWZ permanent dye is definitely not one for beginners but seems to be the go-to choice for creative grooming professionals.

With the color holding for at least 20 washes, you'll have to be pretty sure of yourself before applying this.

Unlike the semi-permanent dye, this yields a bright and vibrant color result on most fur types, such as "white, grey, apricot, and brown coats". As for black fur, you should use a lightener before applying the dye.

If you're experienced with dog dyes, perhaps you have used semi-permanent in the past and want something much more longer lasting, OPAWZ permanent dye is a good way to go, otherwise stick with semi-permanent.

bottles of OPAWZ permanent dye

Ingredients

Aqua, Glycerin, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Polyquaternium-10, CI 42090, CI 15985, CI 19140, CI 16035

Pros
  • Very long lasting
  • Bright and vibrant color on most fur types
  • Safe and non-toxic
Cons
  • Color lightener required for black fur
  • Application is more time consuming

Customer Reviews

Warren London

In addition to their popular pawdicure polish pens, Warren London also have a temporary fur color product.

Critter Color Temporary Dye - Great For Holidays

Made in the USA, Critter Color by Warren London is by far the easiest dye to apply currently on the market, and is suitable for all skill levels. Simply apply the dye to a dry or damp coat and wait for it dry (or use a hair dryer).

Once it's dried the dye will not spread to other areas of the "fur or skin" and fades in about a week though it can be washed off in generally "2-3 washes".

The fact that it's temporary makes it a perfect option for holidays or festivals when you will generally want the color to fade after the special day.

In terms of color intensity, most people claim the dye works great on lighter types though it doesn't show at all on black fur.

If you just want to try a different color or two on your dog for a week and don't want all the hassle that comes with permanent or semi-permanent dye, Critter Color is the top recommendation.

tubs of critter color
Ingredients

H20, Carbopol, TEA, Caprylyl Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Hexylene, Polysobsorbate 20, FDC Approved Color

Pros
  • Super easy to apply
  • Great for holidays and festivals
  • Made in the USA
  • Safe and non-toxic
Cons
  • Doesn't work well on black fur

Customer Reviews

Conclusion

If you're a groomer and using dye for the first time, it may be best to stick with OPAWZ semi-permanent. 

As an owner looking to do something special for Christmas (or any holiday),you will likely want something that fades quickly (after the special day), in which case, Critter Color is the one to go for.

Experimenting with dog hair dye can be fun, just make sure it's also safe!

bottles of OPAWZ semi permanent dye

OPAWZ Semi-permanent

  • Lasts 8 washes
  • Easy to apply
  • Beginner friendly
bottles of OPAWZ permanent dye

OPAWZ Permanent

  • Lasts 20+ washes
  • Brighter colors
  • For professional use
tubs of critter color

Warren London Critter Color

  • Lasts 2-3 washes
  • Comes off by itself
  • Super easy to apply
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