The Wonderful World of Creative Dog Grooming

This is the super fun and creative world of dog grooming. Let’s talk about what creative grooming is and what it isn’t.

Creative dog grooming, it’s pure vanity and we love it! While there are numerous health benefits to dog grooming that we’ve talked about over and over again in our blog posts, we have yet to discuss how sometimes, it’s just fun. Is there any health benefit to creative dog grooming? Nope. Is it necessary? Nope. Do we love it anyway? You bet! 

A dog after some creative dog grooming. The are and legs are dyed blue and pink. The rest of the dog is white with black nose and eyes. In the background, "grooming girls" can be seen on a wall.
Aww, look at this cute dog! This is barely creative grooming compared to some.

What is creative dog grooming? 

Creative dog grooming, as opposed to standard dog grooming, is when many liberties are taken in the grooming process. This may include things like different colors, different drawings on the fur, different shapes, jewels that might be added, etc. The only limitation is the groomer’s imagination and availability of products. 

Your dog can be styled to look like another animal, characters from a movie, anything really. Or it could be as simple as adding a little temporary tattoo or making patterns in the fur. Either way, it is a fun way to show off your grooming skills and get some attention for your dog. 

Is creative dog grooming cruel?

There is a definite controversy you will hear about if you start searching Google for information about creative grooming. People are concerned that the products used may be harmful or that the dogs are on their feet for too long during the process. Some states ban the dying of dog fur and some countries ban creative dog grooming all together.

This is very understandable as pets are (practically) people, too! Here is a bit more detail about each of the concerns. 

A white dog with pink and blue ears and legs as well as some colorful leopard spots on it's bottom after some creative dog grooming.
The dog is showing off her spots!

How long are dogs on their feet for creative grooming?

While some designs can take 30-40 hours (yikes!), nobody wants to, or could, keep a dog on the table for that long. Instead, more complex designs can be done in stages so the dog is never on the grooming table longer than he or she would be for a typical grooming session. 

Are the products toxic? 

Another problem critics may point out is that the dyes and products used may be harmful to the dog. This is absolutely not the case. An experienced groomer will know what not to use, and that includes human hair dyes. (Just in case you didn’t get that, we’ll repeat it. NEVER use human products on a dog.) If you’re unsure what is safe for your pet, ask your professional groomer or vet. Pet dyes are specifically made to be non-irritating for your dog’s skin pH, which is very different from human skin. You want to keep the dye away from your dog’s eyes and mouth and discourage any ingestion of the dye. If you aren’t really sure how to dye your pet’s fur, it’s best to take him or her to a professional groomer. 

Food coloring is a great non-toxic dying option as well. It’s available in many colors and can even be mixed with water and sprayed onto your dog’s fur. 

Dogs didn’t consent to this! 

That’s true. Dogs are not verbally consenting to creative grooming. However, they will also not let you do anything to them that’s painful. If your dog hates attention, then this may not be a great route for him or her as creative grooming will most definitely draw attention to your dog. However, if your dog enjoys being groomed and all eyes on him or her, then consider creative grooming to be a win. He or she may enjoy the extra admiration as well as any extra bonding time they have with whoever is doing the grooming. 

A creatively groomed dog looking like a princess with a pink bow, pink eyelashes, and some pearls around her neck.
A princess!

Who can become a creative groomer? 

While grooming, in general, doesn’t require a specific education, you really do want a pet groomer who has a good foundation. Since creative dog grooming requires a unique skill set on top of typical dog grooming, you especially want someone with certification and experience. The American Kennel Club, regarded as an authority on all dog matters, promotes adequate training of pet groomers as safety should be the top priority for your dog. 

Where did creative grooming come from?

The art of creative dog grooming dates back to the Vietnam war period when hippie culture came about. Hippie culture was all about self-expression and breaking away from mainstream culture, so it makes sense that it was true for their dogs as well. 

The first national grooming competition took place in Atlanta, GA, and more have come about since. The world’s largest grooming competition, the Groom Expo, is held in Hershey, PA. And these competitions get seriously creative turning pet’s fur into works of art. 

What kinds of dogs can be creatively groomed? 

Most creative groomers prefer Poodles as they have thick coats that can be sculpted. And while some dogs are more suited for fancy cuts, any dog, whether they be purebred or mixed-breed, can participate. Even if the fur isn’t thick enough to sculpt, accessories like bows and jewels can be added and dyes can be applied. 

Where can you check out some creative grooming? 

Competitions would be a great place to check out the skilled hands of professional creative groomers. If you can’t make it in person or there isn’t a competition near you, or you simply cannot wait to see some creatively groomed dogs RIGHT NOW, Google Images has some amazing photos that will blow your mind. Pinterest of course will not disappoint if you search “creative dog grooming” and you can follow The Creative Groomer on Instagram if you feel so inclined! 

A cute dog creatively groomed with fur of various colors, primarily blue and pink on top of its natural light brown fur.
This is the tip of the iceberg of creative dog grooming!

What if I want my dog styled ASAP?

Then book your appointment ASAP of course! Grooming Girls will be happy to color up your pup! 

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