How to Dye a Dog's Fur Safely

Written by ehow holidays & celebrations editor
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Some people like to include their dogs when celebrating holidays such as Halloween. A fun way to dress your dog up for Halloween is to dye his fur as part of the costume. Dye your dachshund green and let him be a dill pickle, or add black stripes to your orange lab and let her be a tiger.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Choose food coloring as a safe dye for your dog's fur. You need to be sure to use something that is safe for the dog to lick and ingest. If the color you need is available in food color, that is the best choice. You can also use unsweetened Kool-Aid to dye the fur.

  2. 2

    Mix the food coloring or the Kool-Aid with fresh water at room temperature. For a small dog, fill a bath with the colored water. For a larger dog, put the colored water into a squirt bottle.

  3. 3

    Saturate the dog' fur with the colored water. Either place your small dog in the bath or spray the colored water onto your dog. If using a spray bottle be sure to get all surfaces fully wet. Use a dog comb or brush to work the colored water through the fur. Be careful not to get the food coloring in his eyes.

  4. 4

    Put the dog on some old towels or newspapers while you wait for her to dry. The colored water drips off the fur while drying, and you could end up dying your kitchen floor if you're not careful.

  5. 5

    Purchase a fur dye sold specifically for use on dogs or cats if the you want to dye your dog a color that is not available in food coloring. Be sure to check the label and all ingredients to make sure it is not harmful if swallowed. Follow all package directions carefully when using.

Tips and warnings

  • Never use a hair dye marketed for humans to dye your dog's fur. Many hair dyes contain toxins that can be very harmful to your dog if he licks his fur.

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