Would You Dye Your Dog or Get Her a Temporary Tattoo?

Is making your dog your canvas a whole new level of stupid, or just innocent fun?

Maria Goodavage  |  May 9th 2012

Rainbow dogs. Pink dogs. Dogs dyed to look like pandas or tigers. Dogs sporting tattoos.

Welcome to the colorful world of today’s modern dog. Love it or hate it, decorated dogs seem to be the all the rage these days. Don’t be surprised if you see a dog looking like any of these guys in your neighborhood soon.

Less extreme:

More so:


Most of the dyes we use in the U.S. are supposed to be nontoxic to pets. But that may not be the case in China, where turning dogs into pandas and other critters has been au courant for the last few years.

I recently read a thoughtful, hilarious article on Jezebel titled “To Quicken the Demise of Humanity, Try Giving Your Dog a Temporary Tattoo.” Writer Cassie Murdoch waxed hysterically poetic about how we may be pushing the limits of our dogs’ unconditional love with the trend of creative grooming. (And yes, there’s even an association for people who creatively groom pets. Of course. Check out the National Association of Professional Creative Groomers if you need proof.)

Here’s a dog the NAPCG features on its website. The Gene Simmons poodle was probably a real challenge to do and also quite the piece of living art, but he looks creepy to me. Maybe it’s the “toenails.” Maybe it’s the eye dye. That’s just wrong.

And then there are dog tattoos. Pretty much all the tattoos you see out there are temporary tats. Many groomers are adept at them, and a few businesses, like Pet Ink, create do-it-yourself temporary tattoos, like this:

And this kind, which is — ow — just a bit more hands-on.

The first tattoo of the Christmas decorations doesn’t hurt a bit. The second is done for military ID purposes.

But check out this one. Poor, poor dog. He looks terrified, or in pain, or both.

If it’s truly a permanent tattoo – and I found it on a page about tattooed pets with real-deal tattoed cats, so it may well be — what is the purpose? Should this even be legal?

So where do we draw the line? Should dogs be our canvases to do with as we please, since we feed them dog food and take them for walks and love them? Or is there a limit? If so, what’s okay and what’s not? Is it okay to dye your dog entirely pink? If so, how about giving your dog something like the Gene Simmons look? Are temp tattoos Okay? And what should be done about permanent decorative tattoos? Would you do any of these to your dog? Should any of them be illegal? Let’s talk!

Sources: Jezebel, USA Today

Header image: Chinese Crested with Mohawk by Shutterstock.com