Best Nail Polish for Dogs

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Dogs have a personality all their own, and as their human companions, what can be more fun than to help them express themselves?

One way to add a pop of color and style to your dog’s look is by painting her nails. As long as she will sit still for it, this can be a great way to spend time and bond with your furry BFF, but there’s a few things you need to be aware of.

Let’s start with the obvious question, “Is it even ok to paint your dog’s nails in the first place?”

The short answer is yes, but before you go running for your favorite bottle, be aware that all nail polish isn’t created alike.

Is Regular Nail Polish Safe for Dogs?

No, the nail polish you would use on your own nails isn’t safe to use on your dog’s nails.

“There’s just too many harsh chemicals present in human nail polish, including dibutyl phthalate, toluene and formaldehyde”, explains Lina, founder of Nail Art Gear.

“These chemicals can be toxic to dogs, particularly if they happen to chew on their nails and ingest them internally. In addition, the fumes from regular nail polish can be harmful and irritate your pet’s airways”, says Lina.

While you can safely use nail polish on your pup, you need to be sure that you’re using one that’s specifically created for pets, not the kind meant to be used by humans.

Below are the best nail polish picks for dogs.

Editor’s PickProductPrice
Best OverallWarren London Pawdicure Polish PenCheck Here
Best BudgetColor Paw Premium Pet Nail PolishCheck Here
Best SplurgePiggy Paint Nail PolishCheck Here

What’s the Best Nail Polish for Dogs?

pet safe nail polish

1. Color Paw Premium Pet Nail Polish

Top Performance Color Paw Nail Polish for Dogs, Blue

Available in six different colors, ranging from electric lime to pale pink, this nail polish is water-resistant and doesn’t chip away, so your dog’s manicure stays looking new for days or even weeks on end.

It also dries quickly and only requires one coat, so applying it doesn’t take up a lot of time. Additionally, the color is quite vibrant and stands out nicely against your dog’s fur, just be aware that some darker colors won’t show up as well on dogs with black nails.

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2. Ryan’s Pet Supplies Fancy Finishes Gemstone Glitter Polish

Ryan's Pet Supplies Fancy Finishes by Value Groom Gemstone Glitter Clear Coat, Rose Gold

Who doesn’t love adding a little bit of sparkle to their everyday life? This glittery, non-toxic polish is specifically designed with your dog’s safety in mind (though you might be tempted to paint your own nails with it as well.)

It’s FDA approved, as well as Formaldehyde and DBP-Free, and unlike some glitter polishes, it goes on quickly and smoothly, with minimal clumping.

Fast-drying and long-lasting, simply apply one coat and wait anywhere from 30-60 seconds for a manicure that won’t chip or peel off for up as quickly as other brands.

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3. Lesotc Pet Nail Polish

This nail polish actually comes as a set of six different colors, so you can experiment and try out different shades and designs.

The non-toxic, water-based formula goes on easily, with one coat being enough to make the bright colors pop. Likewise, the polish dries fast and doesn’t chip, making it so that your dog can go up to a month at a time between manicures.

Surprisingly, it’s incredibly easy to remove as well – simply wet a cloth with warm water and rub the nail for a few minutes, and it’s gone.

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4. Pet Head Mommy and Me Pet Nail Polish

Pet Head Mommy and Me Pet Nail Polish

This dog nail polish comes in vibrant shades like red, teal and purple. One of the best things about it is its extremely fast drying time. In just 10 seconds, one coat goes from wet to dry!

Therefore, it’s an ideal option to use for dogs who quickly grow impatient with having their nails painted. Plus, it lasts for about a week at a time, but may not show up as well on dogs with darker nails unless you use more than one coat.

I should mention, however, that some customers did complain that it chipped off in a few days. That said, it may be worth a try.

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5. Piggy Paint Nail Polish

Piggy Paint - 100% Non-Toxic Girls Nail Polish, Safe, Chemical Free, Low Odor for Kids - 6 Polish Gift Set - Happy Girl

This nail polish is different is really made for small children rather than animals, but it’s still completely non-toxic, water-based and totally free of dangerous chemicals, so you can use on your dog without worries.

It comes in a package with six different colors, and as an added bonus, it also dries pretty quickly and almost 100% odorless, so it won’t irritate your dog’s nose. It’s a bit tricky to remove, though, unless you use something like alcohol prep pads.

For more long-lasting results, you can purchase their basecoat and topcoat separately.

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6. Warren London Pawdicure Polish Pen

Warren London Pawdicure Dog Nail Polish Pen - Quick Dry - Water Based - Non Toxic - Made in USA - Pink

While all of the other nail polishes for dogs that are included on this list come in a traditional bottle form, this product is actually a nail polish pen, where the color is dispensed directly from the container onto the nail.

Obviously, it’s easier to control than a brush, and provides neater looking results. Also, it makes it easy to do different designs.

But most importantly, these nail polish pens are totally non-toxic and pet-safe, coming in a huge variety of colors. Like most of the products we liked, they dry quickly, and the color won’t flake off or chip.

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What to Look for In a Pet-Friendly Nail Polish?

Non-Toxic: Always be sure the label boasts non-toxic ingredients, and that the nail polish is specifically designated as being pet-friendly. In most cases, nail polishes for toddlers will work, too.

Easy to Apply: Dogs normally don’t like beauty treatments. You want something that will go on smoothly and quickly, as well as something that doesn’t require multiple coats.

Fast Drying: Similarly, find a nail polish that will dry fast (such as Pet Head Mommy and Me Pet Nail Polish), so your dog doesn’t have to sit for too long without smudging all of your hard work.

Chip-Resistant: Even though the ingredients are non-toxic, you still don’t want your dog ingesting the flakes, so opt for a product that won’t come off easily.

Color Selection: Cause you never know when you might want to match colors.


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How Can I Make Painting My Dog’s Nails Easier?

While the process isn’t painful, some dogs are more energetic and restless than others, and may not have the patience to sit through a manicure.

There are a few things you can do to make painting their nails easier. These include:

  • Get a Nail Polish Pen: These tend to go on quicker and more easily than pet nail polish that’s applied with a brush. Warren London Pawdicure Polish Pen is a perfect example.
  • Use a Distraction: Give your dog a stuffed toy or a chew bone to munch on while you’re working on her nails. This will make the job so much easier.
  • Pick a Good Time: Some pet owners find that it works best to paint their dog’s nails while they’re sleeping or at least lying down relaxed (i.e, after a long walk).

How Do I Remove My Dog’s Nail Polish?

Again, you need to be sure you’re buying nail polish remover that’s specifically advertised as pet-safe and non-acetone. Most nail polish removers for dogs have a soy-based formula that helps keep your dog’s nails from drying out.

Apply the remover to a paper towel or cotton ball and rub your dog’s nails until all residue and color is gone, then wash and dry her paws thoroughly to be sure nothing is left behind.

Some people even like to rub a little bit of coconut oil into the paws for extra moisturizing.

About the author

Li-ran Bukovza

Li-ran believes that our dogs can teach us more than we could ever teach them. He's fascinated by the dog-human bond and loves researching and writing about new pet trends. With the help of Richie (his trusty Maltese sidekick), he hopes to help as many people as possible understand the beautiful, complex world of canine companionship.