Animal Services Warns Against Using Human Hair Dye On Dogs After Seeing Injuries

Keep pet fur dyeing to the professionals, who use animal-safe products.

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Violet suffered severe burns from a chemical hair dye meant for humans. Via Pinellas County Animal Services/Facebook
Anastasia Thrift

An animal services department based in Largo, Florida, put out a warning on Jan. 23, 2018, against dyeing pets’ fur at home. Their experience with a dog who nearly suffered blindness compelled them to alert others to the danger.

Pinellas County Animal Services posted a message to its Facebook page that shared the story of Violet, a Maltese mix who was dyed with products not meant for animals. The photos they shared showed a dog with badly burned eyes and bandages, and are painful to look at.

“Do NOT, under any circumstances, use hair color intended for humans on your pets,” the post reads. “Chemicals in hair dye are TOXIC causing a wide array of external injury to your pet — possible burns, blindness and because an animal’s first instinct is to lick, it can cause poisoning or internal burns. Just don’t.”

They chronicled their 3-month experience with Violet, who came to them limp and lifeless, eyes swollen shut, with obvious skin burns and a vibrant shade of purple on her fur. She received fluids, pain meds and repeated baths to clean off the chemical dye.

She then went home with a staff vet and staff spent the next few months wondering if the dog would ever see again, and whether she would fully recover. Thankfully, the story ended on a positive note.

“So as you dry up those tears please take one thing away from Violet’s journey – only use products specifically meant for pets or you could be putting your pet’s life on the line,” the post ended.

They stayed consistent with the message that dyeing pets is all right — it’s fun, even — but strictly with animal-safe products and primarily by a groomer. It’s the way to keep all the Violets in the world safe and sound.

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