Fur Dye Is Not DIY – Violet Nearly Loses Her Life After Being Dyed Purple

Easter is a time for dyeing eggs, not pets.

By Jennifer Grant

This growing grooming trend is a dangerous DIY


Who doesn’t enjoy a little spa and makeover day? Even our furry friends have a little extra spring in their step when they come out of the groomer’s coiffed and smelling pretty.  In fact, the pet grooming industry, in North America, paws in an estimated $6 billion per year, so you know pets and people love it.

From time to time, all families need to review their budget and one place that can be easily trimmed is doing the grooming at home. This may be fine for trimming beards, brows, and nails, but there is one new grooming trend that is definitely not recommended as DIY.

Photo: Facebook / Pinellas County Animal Services

Sweet Violet is a Maltese cross from Florida who was recently brought into animal emergency at Pinellas Country Animal Hospital. Violet’s owner dyed her fur purple, using hair dye intended for humans.


This little doggie was so badly burned, she was not expected to make it through the night. On her first night, Violet’s eyes were swollen shut, most of her body covered in second and third degree chemical burns, her demeanor limp and listless.


Photo: Facebook / Pinellas County Animal Services

It was a life-threatening emergency.

The vet team had to anesthetize Violet in order to shave her down and get a look at the true damage. Violet’s skin started to peel off with the shaved fur, and that’s when the team grew certain that this sweet girl simply couldn’t make it.

Photo: Facebook / Pinellas County Animal Services

Violet was determined to survive though.  It took three months before she made her first throaty mewl, but that tiny war cry was the turning point in Violet’s healing process. She got up and moved about, regained her strength, and then spent the remainder of her recovery visiting offices in the vet clinic, looking for kisses and treats.


Photo: Facebook / Pinellas County Animal Services

Violet has a new home now, with a professional groomer no less

Dying pet fur requires products made specifically for animal fur. These are available for purchase at most pet stores, but it really is an unnecessary and potentially stressful procedure for dogs. Dyeing is an absolute no-no for pets that should not get wet (guinea pigs, rats, and other rodents) as it can lead to pneumonia. Cats are also an absolute no for dye as they are meticulous cleaners and there is no such thing as a totally non-toxic fur dye.

Photo: Facebook / Pinellas County Animal Services

You should also be aware that in addition to the moral choice of dyeing a living creature for vanity purposes, certain states have made it illegal, including Florida and Colorado. Consequences range from a fine to charges of animal cruelty.

If you still want to dye your dog’s fur, please check the product with your vet before proceeding. Many products claim to be vegan, non-toxic or “organic” yet still contain toxins to which your dog’s skin should not be exposed. It is always best to be safe than harmful when it comes to our furry little companions.