Guide to Dog Nail Polish Options

dog nails

Want to paint your dog's nails at home instead of taking her to a groomer? Don't use the polish you use on your fingers and toes as it is not safe for dogs. Dogaholic warns that human nail polish contains formaldehyde, toluene and dibutyl phthalate, all of which are toxic to dogs. Instead, coat your pouch's nails in nail polish made for especially for him.

Color Paw Nail Polish

Color Paw Nail Polish is widely available for less than $10 per bottle. The price is average for a bottle of nail polish, but the big pro for this line is its wide range of colors, from Candy Pink and Very Berry to Electric Lime and Fresh Mint. There's a color to match any dog's personality (or sweater). Some other brands may be available for less per bottle, but Color Paw has a better color selection. Aside from the range of colors, the polish also dries quickly, requires just one coat and is chip-resistant.

Reviews

Reviewers at Chewy.com love the colors which are vibrant for dogs. They also liked that it looks good on dark nails. Amazon reviewers give the color sections primarily excellent reviews with over 150 reviews available. Happy users claimed it lasts a long time, and they found they only needed one coat. Less satisfied users found it requires more than one coat, especially on dark nails. Some colors are more opaque than others, so it may be a good idea to scroll through reviews to find reviews for the shade you want if you have a dog with dark nails. In addition to the Chewy.com and Amazon, you can also compare prices and color availability at Funny Fur and Pet Edge. Prices range from $5 to under $10 per bottle.

Pet Head Nail Polish

Pet Head Nail Polish is, as you may have guessed by the name, created by the same company as Bed Head products for humans. This edgy brand has created colors like creamy Love Red and vibrant Cool Teal to color your dog's nails in a single coat. It also dries fast. These polishes stand out because they contain nourishing ingredients like shea butter, oatmeal, coconut oil, olive oil, aloe vera and vitamins in addition to excluding the chemicals that are dangerous for dogs.

Price per bottle ranges from around $1 to just over $10, depending on where you shop and the color you choose (not all colors are available at every retailer). You can find them at Jeffers Pet and Amazon. Because some shades are available for around $2, Pet Head Nail Polish is one of the more affordable polishes on the market. They are also widely available as they're sold in-store at Walmart. One downside is the lack of colors; there are only four.

Reviews

Though this brand doesn't have as many reviews as some others, it has generally positive reviews on Amazon, with some colors scoring higher than others. Though reviewers tend to like the colors and results, some complain this polish doesn't dry quickly enough. The reviewers at Jeffers Pet rated it overall excellent because they approve of the colors and says it dries well but recommend putting dogs outside until the polish is dry.

Warren London Pawdicure Polish Pens

Warren London offers a different take on doggy nail polish. Instead of a bottle with a brush, this brand offers water-based, odorless polish pens in 13 different colors, available in bundles or single shades. The pen makes controlling the product easier, and you won't have to worry about spills from a bottle in your other hand or on the table. There's even a French manicure set. If you want to take your dog's nails to the next level, these pens are one way to do it. These polishes are designed to cover nails in one coat, but the Warren London website suggests using white as a base coat before applying other colors if your dog's nails are dark. It should only take about 40 seconds to dry before you're ready to add color, so it won't require you or your pooch to sit still for a long time.

Reviews

This brand is one of the most reviewed nail polishes for dogs, and with over 500 reviews on Amazon, it receives mostly positive reviews and is designated with the Amazon's Choice title. Reviewers loved the fast dry time, colors, ease and lack of messes. However, they were less impressed with the longevity and coverage, especially on dark nails. Some reviewers even used it on their children because it's nontoxic, dries fast and these factors make it ideal for any pet that won't sit still for long.

In addition to the Warren London website, and Amazon, you can pick up these pens at Groomer's Choice. The pens are less than $10 each, but if you buy them in a bundle, they are cheaper per pen. Warren London sells the set of all 13 colors for under $80, and Groomer's choice offers a set of four for around $20.

Davis Pet Nail Polish

The Davis brand is advertised for use on dogs or cats. What's not to love about a brand with 22 quick-dry colors and 13 sparkling shades? There's even a glow-in-the-dark option. The selection of colors and finishes is one of the biggest pros of this line. If you try to order through the Davis site, you'll find you have to apply for a wholesale membership, which could be the end of the path for some people. However, you can purchase it through sites like Pet-Agree for about $3 per bottle.

Reviews

There aren't many reviews on this one, but reviews on the Davis page praised its quick dry-time and ability to cover in one coat. A user also recommends it at PetGroomerForums.com, saying it's the best product they have used over the course of 11 years and praising the dry time and ability to cover in one coat. Reviewers at Groomer Choice all give it excellent ratings citing the ease of use and fast drying time.

How to Put Nail Polish on a Dog

The steps involved to paint a dog's nails are simple once you're used to it and your dog is comfortable with the procedure.

  1. Put something down on the floor that may get stained, such as an old towel or a canvas painter's tarp.
  2. Get your nail polish ready and look over your dog's nails. If your dog has dark nails, you should apply a coat of white first so have a bottle of white and your chosen color ready.
  3. If they trimming or grinding, do this before you add nail polish.
  4. If your dog has long hair, it's a good idea to trim any hair around the nails otherwise it will get stained or can get caught in the wet polish.
  5. Once your dog's nails are ready, hold your dog's paw without squeezing so he feels relaxed.
  6. You can give him some treats and praise him to make him comfortable. You might also give him a chew or a food-stuffed Kong toy that he can work on while you work on his nails.
  7. Put the polish on each nail slowly and carefully so you don't upset your dog and mess up the polish.
  8. You will need to keep your dog from moving while you wait for the polish to dry. You can ask the dog to do a down stay, calmly lay next to him and brush him, or continue with the chew toy as long as he stays down and doesn't move about.

How to Remove Dog Nail Polish

When it comes time to remove the polish, make sure you use a nail polish remover made specifically for dogs. Take some cotton balls dipped in the remover and gently wipe it on your dog's nails one at a time until the polish is gone. Then wash the dog's nails and paws with some dog shampoo to remove any residue left behind by the remover.

What to Look for in a Canine Nail Polish

Of course, you want the best for your dog when you're pampering her. While trimming your dog's nails may still be intimidating to do at home, painting them should usually be doable. Look for nail polishes free of harmful chemicals. The best polish for you and your pet will depend on your dog and what's important to you. Is she a hyper puppy with dark nails, look for quick-drying polishes that cover even the darkest nails in one coat. Do you have a calm dog that is content to lie around all day and doesn't mind when you touch her paws? You will have more room to play with your color selection since dry-time and instant coverage won't matter as much. The perfect polish is what works best for your dog's nail type and personality.

Guide to Dog Nail Polish Options