The Dangers of Creative Grooming

Is creative grooming a trendy new way of styling your pet, or is it a toxic process that only harms the pet? Creative grooming is the unique styling technique where groomers use hair dyes and other products to style your pet and make them stand out in a crowd. Most groomers feel as though they are artists and the animal they are grooming is their masterpiece. Several people however, disagree that creative grooming is an art form. They feel as though it is cruel to the animals involved and that the products are toxic. The real question is who is responsible for regulating the grooming and how regulated is it? Also, are there any benefits for the animals involved in the grooming? What I am here to discover is why is there a sudden interest in creative grooming and how detrimental is it.

What Is Creative Grooming?

Creative grooming is the art of styling an animal with different products such as: dyes, hair chalk, nail polish, hair jewels, and feather extensions. Groomer will cut, and color your beloved pet to look however you want them to look. If you search creative grooming on the web you will see tons of images displaying pets with mohawks, neon colored hair, and colored to look like other animals. Groomers have even been known to shave designs on an animal to add more of a unique spin on it. Basically, creative grooming is a pet owner’s way of styling their pet to match their own unique personality.

What is the Appeal of Creative Grooming?

Most pet owners are drawn to the idea of creative grooming because it is yet another way you can customize something. Nowadays, everything is customizable from your cellphone to your shoes, so why not also make your pet customizable? We live in a time where everyone wants to be trendy and stand out; people are constantly looking for the latest greatest way to show off their personality with a custom design. Creative grooming is a great way for these trendsetters to customize their pets in an easy way, that appears harmless. But is it?

Problems of Creative Grooming.

Creative grooming can be problematic if not handled with caution. The latest trend in creative grooming is cat grooming. The problem with using dyes on cats is that cats have an altered glucuronidation pathway in their liver. This prevents them from metabolizing drugs, chemicals, essential oils, and plant botanicals. This results in the potential collecting of chemicals in their body, and that can result in poisoning and underlying health problems. The health problems are more likely when used long term or chronically, and may become fatal over time. Dyes can also be detrimental to dogs, however they tend to be similar to us humans in that they can metabolize many of the chemicals found in dye products in reasonable amounts. The difference is that their hair is different from ours and their skin only has 8-10 layers, so these products can strip and damage their hair along with cause chemical burns to the skin with prolonged use or with animals that have sensitive skin. Hydrogen peroxide and ammonia are irritants or corrosives and depending on the concentration of the product they can cause damage to your pet. Many symptoms that arise from toxic dye jobs are: vomiting, diarrhea, listlessness, licking, scratching, redness, sloughing off skin, difficulty breathing, eye tearing or discharge, excessive salivation, and nasal discharges. If your pet develops any of these symptoms after getting styled, please take them to the vet immediately.

Is There Any Regulation When It Comes to Creative Grooming?

There is an organization called the NAPCG, which stands for the National Association of Professional Creative Groomers. The NAPCG organization was founded in 2009, and oversees the regulating and controlling of creative grooming. There have been developments where they now regulate the type of dyes the groomers can use and the different other types of products groomers use for creative grooming. In regulating the products that groomers use they are preventing toxic products from being used on the pets, making it safer for the animals involved and thus minimizing the negative effects of creative grooming.

Where Does the Animal Cruelty Start?

Many people feel as though creative grooming is cruel to the animals involved and that it is a selfish trend that many pet owners are following. A way it seems cruel is that psychologically animals cannot process what is being done to them, so they don’t understand what is happening. It may seem to them like they are being abused or tortured, also it may scare them since they are unable to comprehend what the groomers are doing to them. Another point of cruelty may be the way in which they need to apply these products. It isn’t comfortable to us humans to be poked and prodded at for beauty, so it isn’t going to be pleasant to the animals either. However, the real proven cruelty begins when the groomers don’t utilize the proper tools and dyes, because then they are at risk of using toxic products that can harm the animal. So, the questions is at this point, is it more harmful then helpful to creatively groom your pets?

The Benefits That Arise for Dogs When You Creatively Groom Them

Many dog owners and pet groomers alike would argue that when you get your dog creatively groomed they do it in the safest manner possible, and that it is beneficial to the dog because then the dog gets more affection and love from humans which dogs tend to thrive on. Many groomers state that they follow the safest practices to make it comfortable for the dog. Many owners argue that once a dog is styled, they get a lot more attention from people then if they are just plain. Dogs thrive on attention and it helps keep them happy and healthy.

In conclusion, this may be a trend that is becoming increasingly popular due to its appeal of custom doggie designing, but it’s also a controversial topic for many. There are two opposing opinions on the creative grooming topic, and both sides bring up valid points. One side argues that it is harmless and it makes the dog look better, and allows the dog to get more attention. The opposing side argues it is frivolous and has dangerous side effects when done incorrectly, and even if done correctly it can psychologically harm the animal. However, at least there is an organization out there attempting to regulate the grooming to keep the animals safe. I personally feel that with more regulation, and limiting the amount of designing one can do, this may in fact be a pleasant experience for all parties involved. As it stands currently, there is way too much creative freedom, and not enough concern for the welfare of the animal.