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Painted Shih Tzu Dogs

Facts About Painting a Shih Tzu

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; however owners all over the world do this. When a Shih Tzu is "painted", it is important to note that the dog is not actually painted. The hair on the dog is dyed with non-toxic substances. We do not advocate "painting" your Shih Tzu. Why? Read on....
Is Painting a Dog Safe?

Human hair dye must never be used. If so, this could cause serious reactions to the dog. When a Shih Tzu is painted (technically dyed), vegetable coloring, KoolAid or a combination of both are used.

Most owners who do choose to dye their Shih Tzu opt to have a professional dog groomer do this. This is because even with the non-toxic ingredients of vegetable coloring or Kool-Aid, it is very important to not allow any substance to get into the dog's eyes. For a Shih Tzu to be dyed correctly, the dog will optimally have all of its hair colored, even close around the eyes.
Dogs that have shown past health issues with their skin and/or fur should not be dyed, as any substance would increase the odds of some type of reaction. The dog should not be dyed if there are any open sores, dry skin issues, fur loss issues or any other health concern of the dog's skin or fur both past or present.
A Good Idea?

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 dye their dog.

Those who argue against painting a dog mainly do so because:

1) 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...however some dog owners who have painted their dogs report that they found their dog to act shy and show odd behavior in public.

2) Not enough studies have been done. 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.
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