Dog Pawdicures: How To Color Dog Nails
We are often asked questions about Dog Fashion Spa nail polish. Many dog parents would like to learn why and how to color dog nails. Here are our tips and suggestions, just in time for Halloween.
Pawdicures are a fun, bonding experience. Dogs with colored nail bring a smile on everybody’s face and surely make a fashion statement.
The first thing you’ll need is your pawdicure client. Nail polish should only be applied to dogs who are comfortable with basic grooming. Only work with dogs you know well. Painting an aggressive or frightened dog’s nails will only increase their anxiety level. It’s important for both you and your dog to stay calm. Make your decision based on the dog’s individual personality and temperament.
Dog-safe nail polish is the way to go. Get the right polish! Do not under any circumstances use human polish or acetone remover. It can be poisonous and contains harsh, potentially toxic chemicals. Nail polish specifically made for dogs is safer, and don’t be afraid to ask your groomer or vet about ingredients. If you have not tried Dog Fashion Spa non-toxic nail polish, check it out to see the difference. The best part is that it’s great for human nails too so you and your dog can have matching nails!
Have fun picking colors! Your dog’s nails can complement his or her fur, bring out their eyes, match their collar or even your own manicure. Our favorite is Dog Fashion Spa nail polish in chic paw (silver). Notice Dog Fashion CEO Elena wearing it all the time!
Before you begin, inspect your dog’s nails and make sure the dog nails are healthy. It’s important to only paint healthy nails – brittle, cracked or badly split nails will only be aggravated by applying polish. Make sure to treat your dogs nails immediately and do not paint until they are in good condition.
To trim the dog’s nails and smooth the surface, we suggest using a Dog Fashion Spa nail file made out of glass. Its non-porous surface does not absorb water and can be sanitized 100%. Nails files for dogs made out of glass reduce peeling and splitting of dog nails plus you can see exactly how much of the nail you are taking off reducing the probability of hurting the dog. The best way is to trim the dog’s nails a day before painting them to save time and make it easier and more enjoyable for the dog.
Gently trim fur around nails and wipe clean for a longer-lasting pawdicure – just like you would before applying your own polish or at a salon. Trimming the excess fur allows the polish to be seen and also prevents it from sticking. This step can be done a few days beforehand as well. If you are not comfortable with handling your dogs nails, bring them to a groomer or vet and have their nails properly trimmed and polish-ready.
Create a safe, stress-free atmosphere. Carpeted areas are not recommended. Instead, a bathroom floor covered with a towel or blanket is ideal and easy to clean. Have plenty of treats on hand and an extra set of hands whenever possible. It can be difficult to hold your dog and paint at the same time – a helper can make the process move quickly and smoothly. Just relax – your dog will too! Sit on the floor with him or her, and have your partner keep them as still as possible.
Paint carefully but paint fast. Work quickly and gently. If you see your dog becoming agitated, it’s okay to stop. Let your dog rest if necessary and use treats for distraction so the experience does not turn into a stressful one.
If the dog moves a lot, try wrapping paws in a clear wrap used in the kitchen, making wholes for nails only. This way if the dog moves, you will avoid painting the fur and instead will paint the clear wrap that covers it. Use a cotton ball with a small amount of dog-safe non-toxic nail polish remover to clean any polish that may have gotten on fur. Another trick is to raise one paw so the dog will be left on three legs and paint the opposite paw. It will be difficult for the dog to move while trying to balance on three legs.
Dogs with dark or black nails will need a white base coat before adding color to cover nail pigmentation.
The below picture shows a light pink color applied without a white base, and you can see the color is not perfect. Some colors may need 2-3 coats. If your dog is patient enough, go for at least two to make it last longer and for better appearance.
When finished the application, let the nails dry five to ten minutes. Active, wiggly dogs won’t sit still for long – a fast-drying top coat will make the process faster and avoid smudge while polish is still wet. Try using Dog Fashion Spa fast dry top coat for dog nails to help the drying process.
Although nail polish formulated for dogs is not toxic, try to prevent licking. Use a cotton ball with a small amount of dog-safe non-toxic nail polish remover to clean any polish that may have gotten on fur.
The nail polish of a good quality can stay for a long time but when it’s time to take it off, make sure only dog-safe non-toxic nail polish remover is used. We at Dog Fashion are crazy about Dog Fashion Spa soy-based non-toxic remover, which is derived from crops and includes soybean esters to moisturize and nourish dog nails. It does not include chemicals like acetone, carcinogens, or petroleum ingredients and is 100% biodegradable. Small secret: we use it on our own nails to moisturize and nourish them!
Is your dog ready for a pawdicure? Try it and let us know how it goes! We are confident that you will master it with practice!