Creative Dog Grooming

No matter what type of dog you own, grooming is a necessity for your pet. This can range from regular brushing and bathing at home, to a trip to a doggy spa.  Keeping your pet groomed, keeps your pet looking good.  It’s a relatively basic process.  A bath, clean the ears, brush the teeth, trim the nails and cut and brush your dog’s hair and it’s done.  Your happy, hopefully your dog is happy, and he probably smells a lot better. That’s a win for everyone involved.  Also, consisting grooming can clue you in to your dog’s health.  When your dog is groomed on a regular basis, it’s an opportunity to check their skin and teeth and make sure that all is well.

Creative Dog Grooming

At one point or another, just about every pet owner has dressed their dog up in a costume. Little children play dress up with their family pets, and little girls may try and paint their dog’s nails.  But now, a new trend is sweeping the nation. It’s that of creative dog grooming.  Creative dog grooming is when groomers use dyes and other hair products on your pet. Instead of taking your Cocker Spaniel in and having him come out and look like a Cocker Spaniel, creative dog grooming gives the groomer an opportunity to make your dog look like anything like a dog. No longer are people content to stand out by customizing their own hair with unique styles and colors.  People are now customizing their pets as well.
This trend is quite controversial.  The pet grooming industry is virtually non-regulated.  There is no specific requirements or training to become a pet groomer. Generally, a high school diploma and a brief internship are all that is needed, so it is up to the pet owner to make the best choices for their pet.  Educate yourself about the grooming process and the products so you can ask informed questions. The products that people use on their hair and skin may not safe for pets.  Humans have an epidermis that is between 20 and 25 layers.  A dog’s epidermis is comprised of 8 to 10 layers.   This means that their skin is far more sensitive and can easily be irritated by the chemicals found in hair dyes.

pet grooming industry

Talk to your groomer to find out how they feel regarding the creative dog grooming process.  You want to make sure that they are knowledgeable.  There are no real regulations governing pet groomers so it’s up to the dog owner to do their homework.  Educate yourself, and then don’t be afraid to ask the groomer questions.  Find out what type of products they use.  While it’s true, that some human products can injure your dog, human beauty products also have to provide a list of ingredients.  Pet products do not.  If your groomer uses products for humans, you will know what is in them and if they are pet safe.  You are well within your rights to ask to see the products your groomer will be using on your pet.
Remember, this does not mean that human products are safe for your pet.  If you’ve every had your hair lightened or bleached, you can remember just how harsh smelling the chemicals are and how damaging they can be to your skin.  You can tell your stylist that a product is bothering you.  Your pet isn’t able to tell a dog groomer that the chemicals they are using are irritating their eyes or respiratory tract or burning their skin.

Many people feel that creative dog grooming is cruel to pets.  Some feel that it is emotional cruelty to groom your pet in a creative manner.  Others argue that it is done in a safe and humane manner, with the dog’s comfort and security being of the utmost importance.  It provides human contact to the pet, and once a pet is styled in a creative manner, they tend to get lavished with attention, which is beneficial to dogs.

human products

Anybody who has gone through makeover knows that all the poking and prodding that goes along with it can be torturous.  However, as a human being, we have made the conscious choice to go through that process and we are fully aware of what is going on.  Dogs don’t have a choice in the matter.  They may find the process to be very stressful or fearful.


Creative dog grooming provides no real benefits to dogs.  The chemicals in the products used may be harmful to them, and the process itself may be stressful and scary for your dog.  The only ones who benefit from the process are the groomers themselves who have a new outlet for their creativity, and the dog owner who gets to bask in the attention their dog garners when they are groomed to look like a zebra, a bouquet of flowers or as a replica of their college mascot.  Is this what you want for your pet?  What is wrong with a dog looking like a dog?  This trend of creative grooming calls to mind, the styles of the residents of Capital City in the Hunger Games trilogy.  But people can choose to dye their hair in unnatural colors or have different styles carved into their hair.  It’s their choice.  When it’s done to your dog, your dog doesn’t have a choice, and that’s not right.

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