Monday, March 24, 2014

So I Dyed My Dog Pink

I dye my hair pink with Manic Panic, a semi-permanent non-toxic hair dye. It doesn't contain anything caustic or damaging, and I can leave it on my hair for hours on end with no ill effects. The color varies, but usually I stick with Fuschia Shock.

Making everyone's day a little more surreal.
In 2011, while dying my hair, I dropped a big blob of dye on the floor. Ru has always loved eating art supplies, and the dye probably looked enough like fingerpaint to be appetizing because he dashed over and began licking it up. Horrified, I scooped him up with my dye-covered gloves, leaving a pair of bright pink handprints on his body. Frantic research revealed that the dye itself was harmless and wouldn't hurt him.

Next I researched methods of removing semi-permanent dye from a dog. I learned that time and repeated washing would remove it eventually, but anything that could take it off right away would involve peroxide, bleach, or something else I wouldn't want to put on a tiny dog. I asked some of my internet friends for suggestions, and they replied "Dye the whole dog!"

So I did.

Photo by Erin Koski

Dying a dog is incredibly messy, and some colors last longer than others. The label cautions against getting it in eyes, but I've gotten it in my own enough times to feel comfortable applying it to Ru's face. Manic Panic's Fuschia Shock goes really well over Ru's natural color, and blends well with the tone of his skin so his bald areas aren't quite so obvious. Enchanted Forest, on the other hand, ends up leaving him patchy even immediately after dying him.

I use the dye over my own natural hair color, but to get good results I must leave it on for hours. When I dye Ru, I pick a warm day, put on rubber gloves, slather it on, and then let him run around the yard for 10-15 minutes before rinsing him off in the tub. Ru hates baths, and the dying process is basically one big bath so I only do it once a year. I usually let my internet friends vote on a color.

So fabulous!
There are other ways to turn a dog unnatural colors. I don't know of any safe way to put color on a dark dog, mine is naturally light-colored. Washable markers are a great way to do patterns, polka dots, and eyebrows. The markers often rinse off with plain water so they are wonderfully temporary. Koolaid is a safe and nontoxic way to dye pets, but it takes an absurd number of packets to get more than pastel colors. Like, enough Koolaid powder to actually change the consistancy of the water. As an added bonus, Koolaid makes dogs smell fruity. Obviously a dog with longer hair, or an actual dog-sized dog, would take a lot more dye than little Ru.

Does Ru like being colorful? He certainly gets a lot more attention. When he is pink he's like a tiny celebrity, and everyone wants a picture with him.

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