Those of us with bleached hair will be plenty familiar with the concept of purple shampoo.

Violet tones in the product counteract red and orange ones, reducing brassiness and adding an icy hue to the hair.

There’s a huge variety available, from high-end purple shampoos in salons to budget options in pound shops.

The one thing all these brands have in common, however, is that they’re meant for humans.

Recently, a trend has appeared on TikTok showing people using the toning product on their dogs, with the idea being that it can get their fur as pearly-white at it does on human hair.

Golden Retrievers and other light-coloured breeds like Bichon Frise and Maltese dogs tend to feature, being covered in the lilac lather at groomers or in the home.

Although the majority of creators make it clear on their videos that they’re using purple shampoo specifically designed for dogs, this isn’t always the case.

And, worryingly, many in their comments tabled the trying out their own beauty products on their pets.

Emergency vet Dave Leicester, who oversees the Video Vets Now online consultation service for Vets Now, warns that this could lead to some devastating consequences.

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He tells ‘We would only recommend pet-approved products for use on your pet. Human products should never be used on pets, unless under the recommendation of your veterinary surgeon.

‘With purple shampoo, in particular, a number of these brands are high strength and contain toxins that could be harmful to your pet.

‘Some products may leave toxic residues on your dog’s coat which could be ingested during grooming – or may cause skin irritation and hypersensitivity reactions.’

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While humans may be able to ensure chemicals aren’t ingested, you can’t be sure a dog won’t lick up a spill or groom themselves while you’re shampooing, let alone being exposed in other ways or later on via residues.

Certain essential oils used in cosmetic production (such as cinnamon, citrus, peppermint, pine, and ylang ylang) are toxic to dogs if ingested, so it’s always best to err on the side of caution if something doesn’t specifically advertise being pet safe.

According to Vet Dave, changing your dog’s fur can be problematic in the first place.

‘Moreover, we don’t support dyeing or dressing up dogs purely for cosmetic reasons,’ he says. ‘Dogs are sentient beings, with complex emotional and physical needs, and dyeing, aesthetically enhancing their fur, or dressing them up in fancy dress suggests they’re ours to objectify and treat as fashion accessories or toys.’

Dave adds: ‘Some dyes and shampoos may be marketed as being safe – albeit for humans and not for pets –  but that doesn’t mean your dog will enjoy having their fur lightened, or the colour changed.

‘There is also the risk that owners copying this trend might unwittingly use toxic products.

‘When it comes to anything like this – including clothes for dogs – functionality and keeping your pet safe should always come before fashion.’

We all want our pets to look their best the same way we do for ourselves, but the potential for harming your pet – either through stressing them out or exposing them to dangerous chemicals – doesn’t bear thinking about.

Whether you take your pooch to the groomers or bathe them yourself, always ensure you’re putting their safety and comfort first over aesthetics.

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