How to Get Dog Nail Polish Off Dog Fur

how to get nail polish off dog fur
how to get nail polish off dog fur

One decorative activity that lots of dog owners have taken up is painting their dog’s nails with dog nail polish.

Painted nails not only give your pup an exceptional look, but they also serve as a means of identification, if you have multiple dogs that look very similar.

In this article you will learn:

  • how to remove nail polish from your dogs fur
  • the details involved in a pawdicure
  • what nail polishes are safe for canines
  • how to remove dog nail polish in a safe way

How To Get Dog Nail Polish off Dog Fur

If you have nail polish stuck on your dog’s fur, try washing the area with dog shampoo as a first step.

Rinse and see if that has removed the polish.

If needed you can use a very tiny amount of dog nail polish remover soaked on a cotton ball. You’ll also want to avoid pressing too hard on the cotton ball. Doing so will result in the remover getting saturated on his hair and coming into contact with his skin.

The last resort is to trim the hairs carefully with nail scissors to remove the nail polish.

What Is A Pawdicure?

You’re probably wondering, “is there such a thing as a pawdicure?”

Turns out there is.

It’s a series of paw-care related activities geared towards keeping dog paws healthy. 

If your pooch stays indoors often, there’s a good chance that you forget to trim his nails as part of dog grooming. 

Dogs that spend most of their time outdoors get to walk on pavements and other rigid surfaces. This walking naturally wears down their toenails to a reasonable length, minimizing the need to trim them frequently. 

But for dogs that remain confined indoors, their nails don’t get to wear down, and as a result, become long.

So how can you tell that it’s time to trim his nails? Always inspect his feet and length of his nails when grooming him. 

Often though, you’ll be able to tell by the unmistakable clicking sound he produces when he walks. If it sounds like your canine friend is wearing court shoes when he walks across the floor, it’s time to treat him to a pawdicure. 

So what exactly does a pawdicure entail? For the most part, it involves nail trimming. But it could include other activities like a foot massage, paw soak, balm application and nail painting. 

What Kind of Dog Nail Polish Is Safe?

dog nail polish

If you’re thinking of giving your pup a pawdicure, you might be wondering, “can I use regular nail polish on my dog?” The answer to this is a resounding no.

You should never attempt to use human nail polish on your pup. 

Take a good look at the list of ingredients on the human nail polish and you’ll realize how toxic it can be if your furry friend were to lick or ingest it. 

Your next question will probably be, “do they make nail polish for dogs?”

Yes, there are tons of companies that make dog safe nail polish.

However, there are a couple of things you should watch out for when picking dog nail polish. The most important of these entails the ingredients it contains. The best dog nail polishes are made of elements that offer health benefits, like green tea extract and aloe. 

You’ll also want to pick a nail polish color that complements his skin tone. If he has dark nails, you can choose a brighter color for contrast. Similarly, if you plan to dress him in an outfit, then the nail polish color should be something that complements it. 

How Do You Remove Dog Nail Polish?

The easiest way to remove it is to use a dog nail polish remover. As was the case with pet nail polish, we recommend investing in a nail polish remover formulated specifically for dogs. Once you do, go through the instructions listed on the bottle and follow them to the letter. 

In most cases, all you’ll need to do is to dampen a cotton ball with the nail polish remover. Next, use it to wipe off the varnish from your pup’s toenails. 

Once you’ve gotten rid of all the polish, wash your dog’s paws using dog shampoo and water. This will also be the perfect time to trim his nails if they’re grown long. 


If you don’t have access to a dog safe nail polish remover, there are a few other home remedies you can try.

For instance, you can try using a dog nail grinder. Use this tool to gently chip away at the varnish from each nail. That said, this process is more time-consuming and taxing than using a nail polish remover. 

Another trick that seems to work is dipping his nails in a bowl of hydrogen peroxide and warm water. This solution helps to soften the polish; hence, making it easier to remove by filing. 

Baking soda has also been found to be an effective dog nail polish remover.

Using a sponge, gently scrub his nails with baking soda.

After a couple of minutes, wipe them with a paper towel and check if it’s gotten rid of all the polish. 

Is acetone safe for dogs?

No, it’s not safe for your furry friend. Even though it’s a natural product, it’s highly toxic to your pet. 

If ingested, it will cause a burning feeling on his skin, gastrointestinal tract and mucous membranes. 

If he accidentally inhaled the fumes from this chemical, he may experience breathing issues. 

To prevent this, be sure to keep any acetone-based nail polish away from his reach. 

People Also Ask

Is it bad to paint a dog’s nails?


Nail painting for our canine buddies has become a hotly-debated issue, especially with regards to their safety. 

The truth is, it’s not bad to paint your dog’s nails, but you should only use varnish formulated especially for these pets; not human nail polish.

This way, you’ll be sure that it doesn’t contain harsh chemicals like formaldehyde, dibutyl phthalate (DBP), and toluene. 

Regardless of the nail polish’s composition, it should be quick drying. 

Hyper dog breeds – like the Poodle, German Shepherd, Beagle and Airedale Terrier – aren’t exactly known for staying still.

So using a quick-drying polish will prevent him from licking and ingesting it before it dries.

Before you start to paint your dog’s nails, it’s also good to inspect his nails, pads and paws. 

Ideally, they shouldn’t have any cracks or open sores that may be aggravated through contact with the polish and polish remover. 

Why does my dog not like nail polish?

As much as you’d want to glam up his paws with dog nail polish, not every dog will take kindly to this activity. 

The primary reason why dogs hate nail polish is because of the smell. 

According to researchers, dogs have at least 300 million olfactory receptors

This is fifty times of what humans have, meaning canines have a much stronger sense of smell. 

If they don’t like the smell of the polish, they’ll perceive your attempt to paint their nails as a threat, and subsequently, object. 

If you want to get around this, try using a dog nail polish pen

It will make the application easier and faster. Plus, the smell of the varnish won’t be too pungent as it will be housed inside the pen, rather than being out in the open. 

Alternatively, you can look for a way to make the varnish dry faster. Normally, you’d apply a base coat, then another coat of polish and wait for it to dry. 

But after applying the second coat, allow it to dry for a few minutes, then slather a layer of vegetable oil for faster drying. 

Categorized as Grooming

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