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Can You Dye a Guinea Pig? Facts to Consider

Dyeing pets is a contentious topic. While some people consider it hazardous, others perceive it as an interesting way of enhancing their pet’s appearance. Indeed, if properly done, there is nothing wrong with applying dye on animals.

Still, animal experts rarely recommend the practice. This is because some regular dyes used have a detrimental effect on your pet’s health. If you have to dye your little friend, use approved animal dyes. In most cases, your fuzzy friend may not consent to the uncalled-for alternations. Therefore, be gentle to them and do it comfortably.

Qualities of a Good Quality Animal Dye

An ideal animal’s dye should not trigger an adverse reaction on your pets. It should be 100% animal friendly and usable for different types of pets.

Although animal experts recommend the usage of semi-permanent dyes, they should be strong enough to last for at least six months. This minimizes the duration that you expose your pet to foreign substances.

Likewise, it should last longer on the coarse coat and less on the soft hair. The main purpose of dyeing your guinea pig is to give it a facelift in the safest way possible. Thus, settle for a dye that gives a superior coloring, smells nice, and with no peroxide or ammonia.

Note that the final results vary with breed and coat types. Also, colors last longer on softer hair compared to the coarse type. Most importantly, check on the application duration. How long it takes for your pet’s fur to fully absorb the dye? If it takes an average of 20 minutes, then you are good to go.

How to Dye Your Guinea Pig?

Depending on your intended color, you may have to use different water measurements. All in all, start by mixing one drop of pet dye with a cup of water.

The most convenient way is to use a spray bottle. Then, on a previously cleaned guinea pig ensure that the fur is well brushed with no tangles.

Bear in mind that dye works better on clean and lighter fur. To protect your hands, wear plastic or latex gloves. Below are easy steps to follow when applying dye to your guinea pig.

  1. Make your pet’s fur damp using a sprayer. Avoid making the hair excessively wet. Using a spray bottle apply the dye to a less noticeable area to test the color. Avoid spraying directly around the nose, mouth, eyes, and ears to protect your guinea pigs against harmful elements. Instead, use clean brushes or swabs around the areas.
  2. If you are using different colors, apply each at a time. The best approach is to allow one color to dry before applying the other. This prevents the colors from mixing or running.
  3. Give your pet ample time to dry. For faster results, use a blow dryer on a medium setting.  In the process, do not allow your pet to lick it. In lieu, concentrate on distracting them from it.
  4. Observe any allergic reaction. Some guinea pigs have sensitive skins.  Hence, dye application may cause swelling, scratching, or redness.
  5. Monitor behavior change. In some cases, the dye’s side effect may take time before it becomes physically noticeable. If your pet suddenly stops eating, most likely there is something overly wrong. Other indicators include becoming excessively aggressive and licking or biting off the fur. If this happens, rush your pet to the vet.

Is Food Coloring Safe for Dyeing Guinea Pig?

There is no major harm in using food coloring to dye your guinea pig. If your pet happens to ingest some, rest assured that they would be minimal or no side effects. There is no documented evidence of food coloring efficacy on guinea pig’s skin. Yet, with so much controversy surrounding the issue pet owners should look for other approved methods.

It is worth noting that some fool colorings may cause damages to the liver and kidney. The magnitude of complications differs with dye concentration and ingredients used. Before using any food coloring on your guinea pigs, read through the ingredients. If possible, seek help from pet experts on the best food coloring to use.

Is Hair Coloring Dye Toxic for Guinea Pigs?

Most hair coloring dyes contain lethal chemicals to animals. After all, they are specifically developed for mankind’s hair and skin. Given that the PH level of animals and men varies, there is a higher chance that a guinea pig would get a reaction out of it.

Animal’s first intuition is to lick off any foreign content that touches their skin. This poses a great risk to your animal’s internal organs.  By all means, avoid using any form of hair dye on an animal skin.

Can You Use Tempera to Dye Guinea Pig?

Tempera paints contain calcium carbonate, preservatives, water, and other non-toxic pigments. Although manufacturers state that Tempera pigments are non-toxic, they do not disclose the main ingredients and purpose. This raises a lot of questions on the safety of Tempera paints on animal fur.

There are free allergen Tempera paints on the market. Some of them do not contain gluten, peanuts, soy, latex, casein, tree nuts, and eggs. Additionally, most brands swear that their products contain no toxic elements. Nonetheless, most professional paints contain harmful pigments like cadmium or cobalt. These ingredients are also harmful to human beings if proper regulations are not put into place. So, whether Tempera contains any toxic element or not, avoid using it on your guinea pigs.

Bottom Line

Your little friend may look dashing in that pink or purple color, but it is not one of the wisest decisions. It should be noted that dyeing an animal causes immense stress and possibly life-threatening allergic reactions.

After all, animals do not understand the hullabaloo behind the latest trends and colors. In reality, they easily become distressed and take time to adjust to the new color. All things considered, animals adore us regardless of our skin color and tone. Consequently, we should extend a similar gesture to them.

Guinea Pigs - Updated: March 21, 2021
avatar I’m Noah, chief editor at VIVO Pets and the proud owner of a playful, energetic husky (Max). I’ve been a volunteer at Rex Animal Rescue for over 2 years. I love learning and writing about different animals that can be kept as pets.

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