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 Painted Poodles

One Poodle trend is "painting Poodles", although when done correctly (and done with the dog's safety priority #1), paint is not used. Painted Poodles are actually dyed. Let's see how this is done.
Facts About Painting a Poodle

This is a recent trend, seen in some countries more than others. Painting a dog is seen more often in the United States and Canada and Britain; however owners all over the world do this. When a dog is "painted", it is important to note that the dog is not actually painted. Doing so would be extremely dangerous to the dog. When done correctly, the coat on the dog is dyed with non-toxic substances. If you are thinking of having your Poodle painted, be sure to understand what is involved.
Is Painting a Dog Safe?

Human hair dye should never be used. If so, this could cause serious reactions to the dog. 
When a Poodle is painted (technically dyed), at-home methods involve using vegetable coloring, KoolAid or a combination of both. There have not been enough studies to know if this is safe long term. 

Manufactured 'pet paint' products are available that are essentially colored hairsprays. While many will say that they are 'vet approved' this label can be given to any product that has the backing of even one veterinarian.  If you plan to use one of these paints, it is recommended to ask your vet if he/she approves of the ingredients that are used.

Many owners who do choose to dye their Poodle opt to have a professional dog groomer do this. This is because even if non-toxic ingredients are used, it is very important to not allow any substance to get into the dog's eyes. When done professionally and carefully, even the hair around the eyes can be dyed.  And of course, a groomer with experience will be able to produce even lines and a more polished finish. 
Some Things to Keep in Mind

Dogs that have shown past health issues with their skin and/or coat should not be dyed, as any substance would increase the odds of some type of reaction. 

Any dog with any open sores, dry skin issues, hair loss issues or any other health concern of the dog's skin or hair both past or present should never have this done.

When polled, there are the same amount of dog owners for this as against it. Although, out of those roughly 50% of dog owners who are not outwardly against the idea, only a small fraction of them actually have this done to their dog or are planning to.

Those who argue against painting a dog do so because:

* It is an unproven, yet popular theory that when a dog is dyed, they can become self conscious. 

While there is no method of knowing if a dog is aware that their coat is a new color (especially in cases of painting the coat a very muted pastel color) or if the dog is aware, if this bothers him or her...
brightly painted Poodle
however some dog owners who have painted their dogs report that they found their dog to act shy and show odd behavior in public. For dogs that are already shy, one must think about this element.
purple and pink painted Poodle
* Not enough studies have been done for some of the methods. There are no long term studies to show the effects of vegetable coloring or Kool-Aid on a dog's coat. 

Although these substances would not cause any problems if ingested by a dog (other than the fact that they should obviously not be part of a healthy dog food diet)...there are no clinical studies to show if this, over time, would have health effects to the dog.

* Most paints wash out over time.  Very few can be easily removed the same day that it is applied. This should be taken into consideration.  If you (or your Poodle) does not like the paint, you may have to wait several days to a week for the dye to fully be removed from the coat. 
Also see: Pink Poodles
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