Is It Safe To Paint Your Dog’s Nails?


Dog nails

For dog lovers like myself, your dog means everything to you. So, you want her to look her best always. Maybe you’ve already gone as far as grooming and decorating her hair with bows. You might have even bought her glossy collars and changed her hair color. This time, you’re considering painting her toenails to give her some extra style.

The only problem is: you are scared the chemical compounds in the nail paint might harm your dog. You know that nail polish can be quite toxic, so you’re not sure what the outcome will be for your dog. Will paint spell doom for your dog’s health, or is it entirely safe to paint her nails? Let’s find out here.

Will Paint Harm Your Dog?

No, painting your dog’s nails won’t harm her. Nevertheless, you should avoid doing it by yourself the first time. Instead, pay a groomer to paint her toenails on your behalf. Since they are experienced with dogs, groomers will know just what to do to get your dog familiar with the idea of painting her nails. Besides, it will only cost you a small fee. Once your dog is settled with the idea, you can start doing it yourself.

Safety Precautions and Guidelines to Take While Painting Your Dog’s Toenails

Don’t paint your dog’s nails with human nail polish. This polish contains dangerous components that have proven to be harmful, even for humans. It’s the reason why your nail artist covers her face while painting your toenails.

We recommend that you get a dog nail polish when you want to paint your pet’s toenails. This polish may cost more money than human nail polish, but spending a few extra cents is worth it if it saves your dog’s life. Moreover, the dog nail polish is odorless, so neither you nor your dog will have to endure strong scents while painting her nails.

Dog nail polish
Shutterstock

We advise that you apply a white color of dog nail polish as the base for dogs with dark nails before you paint them with the actual color you want on her nails. It would be best if you also got a pen-shaped polish to paint your dog’s nails easily.

Before you start painting, shave the fur around your dog’s toenails. You also need to check that your dog’s body is free of wounds. While you are painting, keep an eye on your dog to make sure she doesn’t lick the wet polish. Even after you are done with the painting, you must make your dog stay until you are sure the paint is dry. Once the nail paint is dry, wash the dog’s paws to take out any polish sticking to her fur. Now that the nail polish is dry, your dog will not be harmed even if it licks its nails.

Dog nail polish
Getty Images

If you notice that you are finding it challenging to keep your dog still while you trim the fur, don’t paint her nails. You should only apply paint on your dog’s nails when she is willing or upset her. When you are ready to take off the paint, get a puppy nail polish remover. Once again, if you take the shortcut and use acetone for removing the paint, you might harm your dog.

Consult a Vet Before Painting Your Dog’s Nails

Before you paint your dog’s toenails, always check with your vet. As much as you want your dog to look good, you need to ensure that you don’t endanger her health. Your vet will advise you on the appropriate dog nail polish for your dog, and other precautions to consider before you paint her toenails.


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