We are spoiling our dogs more than ever these days. We love to treat them like our own children! The options in making your dog absolutely fabulous are almost endless as doggie couture becomes more popular. Cuteness options range from plucky haircuts, bows & ribbons, and even some creative and vibrant strokes of dog nail polish. Dog nail polish is too fun! You can use it to match their personality or outfit! Most dog grooming salons now offer nail polish services so your pup can leave with toes that match their spunky personality.
Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique offer 26 different colors of dog nail polish and polish pens. We use Groomer’s Choice Nail Polish Premium Formula and Warren London Pawdicure Pens. Both brands are industry standards and are completely non-toxic and safe for animals. Our grooming salons have dozens of ways to accessorize your dog. Our grooming practices not only help them to be their healthiest but also their cutest.
Keep reading to find out more about dog nail polish, what to choose, pet safety tips, and how your groomer can help!
How to Choose the Right Dog Nail Polish
If you decide to paint your dog’s nails at home, finding the right dog nail polish can be a little overwhelming. There are tons of different brands and colors to choose from. We recommend starting with safety first. Find a nail polish that does not contain formaldehyde, toluene, or dibutyl phthalate—which are all toxic for dogs. Many popular doggie nail polishes have ingredients that are beneficial for a dog’s health. Ingredients like seaweed, green tea extracts, aloe, or Vitamin E are always a positive when shopping around. Also, try and find a quick-drying dog nail polish. This way your dog doesn’t have to sit still for too long.
Next, you will want to choose a color that will show up well on your dog’s nails. If your dog has dark nails you will want to look for bright colors. Dark nails seem to only absorb certain colors, so look for pastels, neons, and flashy colors. Some dog nail polish brands also sell a white base coat which helps make colors ‘pop’ more.
If you are planning an outfit for an occasion, let this be your guiding force. Your favorite sports team’s colors will look great at a tailgate party. Having a doggie birthday party for your princess? Flamingo Pink dog nail polish will match her tiara and princess outfit!
Popular Colors This Season Include:
- Sapphire Shimmer
- Tourmaline Shimmer
- Raspberry Sorbet
- Fire Engine Red
At Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique locations, our groomers also use polish pens. We use Warren London Pawdicure Pens to draw on even more creative designs. The line comes in 13 colors from Black to Gold and everything between. Groomers can draw more intricate designs with polish pens because there is more precision when using a nib over a brush. Seasonal favorites like stars and stripes for Fourth of July or snowflakes for the Winter Holidays are always adorable on your pooch.
The pens only take around 40 seconds to dry so dogs are not under any strain while staying still. The pens are water-based and have no odor. Usually, it only takes one smooth application of polish to fully cover the nail.
Application is simple. Shake the polish pen, then remove the cap. Press the point downward on the nail and the polish will start flowing. Run the nub across the nail for an application.
Never use human nail polish on a dog’s nails! Dogs lick at their paws and nails and even when the polish has dried it can still be harmful. Human nail polish contains formaldehyde, toluene and dibutyl phthalate, which are extremely toxic for dogs. Ingestion of these chemicals can lead to chronic conditions like asthma, developmental issues, and other illnesses.
Also, before applying nail polish, you need to inspect the condition of your dog’s paws. Open sores, tears, or cracks can be worsened by dog nail polish and remover. Make sure your dog’s paws are pristine before painting their nails. A groomer will perform a wellness check for you, making sure your dog’s paws are in the best condition.
Many believe that applying dog nail polish is as easy as brushing the polish onto a dog’s nails. In reality, it is actually a multi-step process even after trimming a dog’s nails to a healthy length.
First, a groomer needs to trim the fur around a dog’s nail so that stray hairs do not interfere with the brushing application. Some try to push the hair back with nylon but this is not very comfortable for a dog. Nails need to be cleaned. Wipe away any dirt or debris that will muddle the polish. Leaving dirt trapped underneath polish can also lead to nail fungus growing.
How to Apply Dog Nail Polish
The first step is always trimming the hair around the nail, then clipping the nail itself. Even if you are not polishing your dog’s nails, they need to be clipped to a safe length. Overly grown nails force a dog to walk with unhealthy posture, limiting mobility and causing arthritic issues later on in life. Without trimming their nails back, paint flakes will chip off quicker as your dog walks on rough surfaces.
As with all grooming, the best time to do is when your dog is nice and calm. Make sure your dog is accustomed to having their paws handled and they are properly exercised before starting. If you do this at home, it’s a good idea to take baby steps and reinforce the process with treats and encouragement. Have a friend hold a chew toy filled with peanut butter for your dog to lick on while you polish their nails. Speak soothingly to them as you work. If your dog seems irritable, stop. You can paint one nail at a time until your dog is comfortable enough to let you paint a whole paw. Once you get all four paws done, you can apply a second coat to make the polish appear brighter or even out the lines.
Removing Nail Polish
You can let your dog’s painted nails grow out and trim them as the paint begins to flake off. This will take some time. Using dog nail polish remover is a more practical and safer solution.
Again, do not use human nail polish remover, which contains acetone, a chemical toxic to dogs. Dog nail polish removers are soy-based. These tend to be biodegradable and help provide moisture. Not only are they good for your dog, they’re good for the planet!
Removal is pretty much the same as wiping off human nail polish. Apply dog nail polish remover to a cotton ball and wipe away the polish.
Consider Letting Your Groomer Paint Your Dog’s Nails
Dogs are notorious for being sensitive when it comes to their paws. Unless your dog is accustomed to having their paws handled from puppyhood, they will more than likely make a huge fit over having their nails polished. If this is the case, as a responsible pet owner, you need to decide if it is even worth it to have their nails painted. Painting your dog’s nails should never be forced on a dog and the process might be tedious, but never uncomfortable.
A professional groomer has the expertise, training, and skill-set to use the highest quality dog nail polish combined with precise techniques for your dog’s safety.
The groomers at Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique do an amazing job painting your dog’s nails for any occasion. Click here to learn more about how our groomers can better your dog’s health through pampering and luxury.
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