Nail polish, also known as nail varnish or nail enamel, refers to a lacquer that is applied on human fingernails or toenails for decorative or protective purposes. It is a formula that has been repeatedly revised to make its properties more decorative and effective for suppressing nail peeling or cracking.
Dogs are among the animals attracted to color, especially the bright, shouting ones. This has led many manufacturers to venture into dog-related beauty and fashion. They have introduced a variety of stylish dog products, including chalk stenciling, dog safe nail polish , and dog hair dye.
Most recently, the creativity has taken to more little details, making dog nail polish a new favorite among paw-parents. The temporary pet-friendly polishes come in various colors and finishes, from matte to gloss.
Although painting your dogs’ paws might sound weird or strange to some dog owners, others love the whole concept of treating their puppy to a manicure or pedicure, complete with colorful, artistic polish.
This article will discuss things and factors you need to consider before, when and after purchasing pup nail polish.
Is It Safe To Paint Your Dog’s Paws?
Your dog would look fly with color pop on the nails, don’t you think? However, the question that begs all attention is; how safe is it?
Painting your dog’s nails is safe, but only if you buy and use a specially designed polish for puppies. The nail polish you might use on your finger or toenails is not as safe for your dog. Most of the time, human nail polish is made of ingredients that might prove harmful to your dog.
The dog-safe polish contains harmless, non-toxic components. So, if your pup licks or chews at their feet and ingests some, they will be okay.
Whether To Paint Your Pup’s Nails Or Not
Nail painting is not for every dog. Some dogs take to it and don’t mind the pampering and good grooming. If your dog can calmly sit and let you take its paw in your hand for a while, it may be a great candidate for a manicure or pedicure.
On the other hand, some dogs are really sensitive to touch. If your dog shows restlessness and discomfort whenever you attempt to trim and clip their nails, it is a sign that holding still for you to paint their nails will be a difficult task.
Before You Paint Your Dog’s Nails
Check the condition of their nails. If you notice any brittle or cracked nails, you may want to keep off painting them. It could mean more harm than good for them. You risk the polish seeping through into the nail bed if they are cracked or weak, triggering irritation and pain.
Also, you are advised to thoroughly inspect your puppy’s paws before beginning the artwork. If your dog has sores or open wounds, you are advised to refrain from painting its nails. Nurse their wounds into healing, and make a point of finding out the causative agents of the injuries.
How To Paint Your Pup’s Nails
There needs to be proper preparation before commencing the whole procedure. If yours is one of those long-haired dogs, you should trim the extra fur covering the area around the nails or slick it back using puppy-friendly solutions to prevent it from catching any stray paint. After this, you might want to trim or clip the nails and file them using a nail file made for dog paw use.
Once you file the nails and trim the surrounding area, wipe the nails and paws to remove debris and dirt. The paint you apply on them is less likely to chip or peel if the nails are clean.
Handle one foot at a time. Carefully wipe the brush with nail polish over each claw, leaving behind the color coat. You may use cotton wool swabs to spread the claws apart to make the work easier. Let the claws on each paw dry before you move to the other one. This helps prevent your dog from licking or chewing on its nails when the polish is still wet.
Dogs get easily distracted. Try to make the procedure as smooth and fun as possible. It would help if you let them have frequent treats, say, give them one after every nail painted. Make sure to be gentle with your pup in touch and speech during the whole process. Also, give them brief breaks between paws.
What Nail Polish Qualifies As Dog Safe?
When purchasing dog nail polish, ensure none of the ingredients used pose a threat to your dog. Also, look for nail polish that is low in odor and water-based. Most importantly, purchase polish that is quick to dry.
If you are into painting your nails, you will agree that waiting long for the polish to dry off is a bit annoying. The same applies to your canine friend. They won’t take kindly to having their nails coated in wet and sticky substances.
Colour is a vital factor when purchasing your pup’s nail polish. To determine the best options for your dog, consider the natural color of your dog’s nails. The good thing is most dog-safe polish brands come in assorted colors.
Some dogs have naturally dark or black nails. This means you will need a white polish for the base coat. Else, your effort to paint the claws might not show.
Nail Polish Removal
The time has come for you to either remove the paint or change it to another color or paint-art design. You need to invest in good quality dog-specific polish remover. Avoid polish remover with acetone, as it is poisonous to your dog and also noxious to its sensitive nose.
As you did during the application, you want to keep the removal process as smooth and gentle as possible. Provide a snack in between paws. If available, another person can lovingly pet your pup as you use cotton swabs dipped in dog-friendly remover to wipe the polish away.
Rinse your puppy’s nails with clean water when all paint is off to eliminate any smells or chemical spillovers.
If you cannot find an ideal remover, don’t stress. Leave the polish on, and wait for the nails to grow out. Cut the nail polish off slowly over time.
The Difference Between Dog-Safe Nail Polish And Human Nail Polish
The ingredient composition is the major distinguishing factor between the two nail polish types. Human nail polish contains many chemical elements considered toxic to your canine. These include dibutyl phthalate, formaldehyde, and toluene.
A 2015 Duke University and the Environmental Working Group study discovered that many human nail polish brands were packed with triphenyl phosphate and TPHP. This endocrine disruptor has a high possibility of messing with your hormones. Many women who had their nails painted using a polish with this element reported a metabolite in their systems within hours of application.
As opposed to human nail polish, dog polish does not contain any of the above components, making it generally safer.
The other major difference between the two polish types is the odor.
Most polishes designed for human use tend to have a distinct, unpleasant smell. You can easily tell if the person sitting or standing next to you just had a manicure or pedicure from the scent it gives out. On the other hand, dog nail polish is usually almost odorless.
Most dog polishes are made to dry off quickly, which gives them an advantage over many human nail polishes, whose formulas make them need prolonged exposure to UV light and air to dry.