Standard dog grooming service usually includes brushing, bath, ear cleaning, nail trimming and a blow dry. Extreme grooming includes these things, but goes way beyond what most pet parents consider to be typical. Extreme grooming allows professional groomers to create amazing looks on the hair of dogs by using colorful hair dyes and props. The National Association of Professional Groomers allows groomers to run free with their creativity. While it is amusing to see the imaginative designs and colors, many pet parents have concerns. Learning more about the issue will help responsible pet parents decide if this type of grooming is right for their dog.
Table of Contents
Is it Animal Abuse?
Many animal advocates and organizations along with pet parents have a concern whether extreme grooming is animal cruelty. Although the dog does not know or realize what he looks like afterwards, the entire process can cause emotional distress.
These creative designs take time to create and dogs aren’t created to sit still and feel bored for long periods of time, although there are some dogs that are trained to do so. The topic of animal abuse is debated by both parties due to the fact that the process does not result in physical pain. However the psychological and physical ramifications are arguably enough reason to refer to extreme dog grooming as animal abuse.
Does it Affect Dogs Psychologically?
As a result of extreme dog grooming your dog will experience added attention from strangers. Your dog will have a unique color and design on his fur that attracts attention. People may point and laugh or respond in a negative way by stating negative comments. These responses are not necessarily geared only towards your dog they may be direct towards you as well. Your dog may not understand why he suddenly is receiving strange looks and a variety of unusual behavior from onlookers. This can cause anxiety and emotional stress.
In addition, some people may have a harsh reaction and exude negative feelings that will also cause your dog to sense emotions that cause emotional discomfort, therefore affecting your dog’s psychological state.
Are there Health Risks with Extreme Dog Grooming?
During the process of dying a dog’s hair, the entire body is covered in hair dye. The dye can seep into the dog’s mouth, eyes and ears causing burning and irritation to the skin and mucous membranes. Due to the chemicals in the hair dye there is also risk of allergic reactions due to ingesting the hair dye during the dog’s natural instinct to lick and groom the fur. Ingestion of the hair dye can cause serious symptoms such as diarrhea, dehydration, vomiting and other health issues.
What about Natural Hair Dye?
Many dog grooming salons throughout the United States offer extreme dog grooming to be performed with organic substances only. This actually lessens the risk of the dog experiencing health issues and skin irritations. However, the psychological effects still remain. If pet owners feel the need that they have to allow their dog to go through the extreme grooming experience, at the very least it is recommended that organic, non-toxic pet safe products are used.
The Creative Process
Pet parents may come up with specific ideas for the design for their dog. However, many dog grooming salons provide plenty of options and have a photo book for pet parents to choose from. Options include a panda bear, monkey or Disney characters. This creative way of basically decorating your dog becomes more popular around October and in time for Halloween. Other times, some pet parents may choose a different look for their dog every time they visit the groomer.
During the dying process the color solution is applied in different stages and may be spread out over the course of a few days, depending on the desired look.
Competitions and Contests
Many pet parents embrace the creativity and even enter their dogs into competitions and contests for extreme grooming. These pet stylist super shows are meant to show the creativity and imagination of talented groomers. In the United States the dog grooming business is a multi-billion dollar industry. The extreme dog grooming business is increasingly becoming popular in the United Kingdom as well as other parts of the world.
The United Kingdom and the United States holds annual competitions for professional dog groomers to show off their creative skills. Winning an award at one of these competitions can increase the popularity of the specific winner and drum up business for the future.
The Pet Parent makes the Decision
Since there are not any regulations for extreme dog grooming, the decision is up to the pet parent.
Some pet parents think of this type of grooming as an exciting new world to allow them to spend more time with their dog and have bonding experiences together. The dog is completely in the hands of the pet parent. This can be a great thing for those dogs who have responsible pet parents that will assure they are receiving the best care and organic products are being used at all times.
Other times, some pet parents may not be aware of the risks the toxic chemicals in hair dyes can cause and continue to put their dog’s health at risk.
Extreme Dog Grooming – Rules and Regulations
Since the popularity of unregulated extreme dog grooming business is increasing worldwide, there may be a time in the future when specific regulations and rules will be set. All of the future regulations should be in the best interest of the dogs and assure that the dog’s safety and health are the number one priority at all times. In addition, no harm or pain can be caused and limitations on the amount of props used should be minimal.
Pet parents have the freedom to choose to enter this creative world of extreme dog grooming or not. If you are artistic and have a dog that enjoys every moment of being groomed, you may have a good opportunity to enter competitions. If you are the type of pet parent that prefers their dog to be in his or her natural state, sticking with a standard grooming process is recommended.