Vet calls out dangerous viral TikTok trend which 'encourages members of the public' to dye dog fur

6 June 2023, 09:15 | Updated: 7 June 2023, 07:37

One TikTok of a dyed dog has over 116 million views
One TikTok of a dyed dog has over 116 million views. Picture: TikTok
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

A vet has called out a 'dangerous' viral TikTok trend where pet owners dye their dog's fur.

Several clips show owners dying their dog's fur to make them look like other animals, including pandas and foxes, amassing millions of views.

According to Dr. Anna Foreman from Everypaw Pet Insurance, these viral videos are "promoting dyeing an animal’s fur, and encouraging members of the public to do the same to their animals"

Dr Anna said: "There is no situation (apart from when dyeing a dog’s tail to discourage theft as mentioned below) where dyeing a pet’s fur is benefiting the animal themselves.

"It is purely benefiting us for aesthetic purposes. Some dogs enjoy being groomed or being bathed, however there is no way we can say that animals specifically enjoy being dyed."

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Research carried out by Everypaw shows that searches for 'blue dog hair dye' have increased by 200 per cent in the last three months, while searches for 'temporary dog hair dye' have increased by 100 per cent.

The practice could put dogs at risk of toxicity, skin irritation and serious infections.

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Dr Anna continued: "The only situation where fur dyeing is remotely acceptable (and even so there are other methods to discourage thieves) is when an animal’s tail is dyed a bright, garish colour as a way of preventing them from being stolen.

"This method is sometimes used in the UK, however mainly in foreign countries where microchipping is less common. 

"As well as being a deterrent, as dogs with a brightly dyed tail are easily identifiable, it also discourages thieves as a dog with a dyed tail is less desirable to potential buyers" 

In the rare situation where a dog's tail may need dying, owners are encouraged to seek out an experienced groomer with proper equipment.

She added: "If an owner does want to dye its dog’s tail then food colouring is the safest agent to use as it is made from natural ingredients. It is therefore edible if the dog does lick at it and is unlikely to cause a skin reaction."