How To Make Your Dog’s Paw Print Safely

We’ve talked about getting a nose print of your dog in a previous post. But let’s not forget paw prints! 

Dog owners have a variety of reasons for desiring a paw print of their dog, from making a pillow with their dog’s paw print on it to getting a tattoo to memorialize their canine companion. 

Whatever the reason, you first have to figure out how to get that print. With this project, it’s good to have a helper, preferably someone the dog knows well and in whose presence he is comfortable and relaxed.

It goes without saying that you should never us a potentially toxic permanent ink or paint on your dog’s paws. Look for child safe, non-toxic water soluble body paints or finger paints will work just fine.

Before you begin, gather all of your materials: water soluble child safe body paint, paper towels, a shallow wide plastic bowl or other container in which to pour the paint and a paper pad on which to make the print.

First of all, it’s important to remain calm. If you show excitement, your dog will think something is up or something is wrong and this will make it much harder to get a good print.

Pour a thin layer of paint into your bowl so it covers the bottom surface. Grasp your dog’s paw and dip his paw pads in the paint. Then immediately press the paw onto your paper pad for a few seconds. 

Lift your dog’s paw straight up to avoid smearing the print. Then with a damp paper towel, wipe all the paint from your dog’s paw pads, getting in between the toes as well. 

That’s it! Reward your dog with a treat for putting up with this. Let your print dry throughly.

We will cover how to make a homemade print using dough in a later article.

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By Ellen Britt

Dr. Ellen Britt has loved dogs since she was a child. She is particularly fond of the Northern breeds, especially Alaskan Malamutes. Ellen worked as a PA in Emergency and Occupational Medicine for two decades and holds a doctorate (Ed.D.) in biology.

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