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Color Has Hit the Fan and Everybody Is Getting Splashed

Posted: February 18, 2014, 12:15 p.m. EDT


By Jorge Bendersky

I would like to put in my two cents as a professional groomer who appreciates dogs with extreme styles. As much as I can admire "creative grooming” as an art form, personally, I am most interested in the bits and pieces that can be applied as a touch of color or style onto a dog that visits a grooming salon. The whole lengthy creative grooming process per se might be a bit too much for me. My curiosity and focus is drawn to aspects or procedures with an emphasis on the safest products that can be used on a dog’s delicate canvas.

For some time now, the pet industry has been well aware of the amount of money that is being poured into the creative grooming arena. In many cases, these products are a result of a fast-growing private-labeling business with a  long list of temporary and semi-permanent color lines. These are commonly made in Asia and are just existing human-use products that have been  relabeled and repackaged and are now being sold by a few professional groomers and a few local manufacturers who are dipping their paws into these rainbow palettes.

Creative Grooming
Is "creative grooming" really safe for dogs' coats?

Attractive as these products for dogs, cats and other pets may be, I cannot embrace them or endorse them wholeheartedly due to their lack of safety regulations. When approaching the controversial topic of just how dangerous  the use of bleaching agents or permanent hair coloring is on pets, the first red flag that I notice is that nobody in the pet industry (as far as I know) seems to be as concerned  about using these products on pets.

As much as I am confident that the professional creative groomers who are using chemicals to bleach and dye dogs’ coats are very qualified to handle the products safely, I understand why some groomers may be concerned  at the prospect of this practice becoming a popular fashion trend carried out by untrained or less experienced groomers. It could turn a fun grooming service addition into a potential pet hazard.

I personally believe there is a need for more safety regulations regarding this cosmetic practice. The day may come soon when we find out that our fears were unwarranted and that these products were safe all along. But until then, my dog Tito and I will hold our breath and wait.

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