Our pets are a great source of love and companionship, but occasionally they get themselves into sticky situations, literally. They may walk through glue, stick their paws in paint, or roll in cleaning products. When they are in these situations, they may wonder how to get paint off dog paws.

It might be tempting to remove paint from dog paws. Strong chemicals can cause skin irritation and are highly toxic if ingested. There are things you can do to remove the color without putting them at risk.

Quick Answer:

  • If you’re trying to figure out how to get paint off your dog’s paws, it’s essential to first make sure the paint is washable. You could use vegetable oil, cooking oil, or petroleum jelly to help soften the paint.

In today’s article, you will find an answer for how to get paint off dog paws.

How To Get Paint Off Dog's Paws

Can Paint Harm A Dog’s Paws

House paint, art paint, varnishes, and other decorative or protective solvents come in many varieties and most are dangerous to dogs.

Paints without lead can be safer, causing little more than mild gastrointestinal upset. They usually don’t cause concern with minimal exposure, but some include a low concentration (5-10%) of glycol, including ethylene glycol (an antifreeze ingredient that’s very dangerous to dogs when ingested in concentrated form).

Water-based paints may cause irritation of a dog’s or cat’s skin and mucous membranes, but they don’t cause toxicity or poisoning. However, large ingestion may cause nausea and vomiting.

Most latex paints can’t be non-toxic. However, when large volumes are ingested, the glycol type and concentration could become troublesome, causing such ailments as profound respiratory depression, metabolic acidosis (too much acid in the body), and crystals in the urine. Without treatment, irreversible kidney failure could occur.

Oil-based paints and varnishes are troublesome since they include solvents that can accidentally be inhaled into the lungs (while drinking or after vomiting) or may cause laxative effects. The most life-threatening concern from ingestion of these products is lung inflammation and infection (aspiration pneumonia) and difficulty breathing. Oils also may act as a lubricant in the intestine and thus cause diarrhea. Heavy metals, such as lead, cadmium, and cobalt can be added to oil paints as pigments, and lead interferes with metabolic pathways and inhibits normal red blood cell maturation.

One should use paints and varnishes in well-ventilated areas to avoid respiratory irritation or light-headedness in pets.

How To Get Paint Off Dog Paws

There are several options available for getting paint off a dog’s paws. You can see them, below.

1. Baby Shampoo

If you want to remove paint from a dog’s paws, you should wash the paint first. This can be true for paint that is water-based. If you are concerned about the safety of this method, you may always use baby shampoo. And also, you can use a non-toxic soap to wash the paint off the paws. But, you should be careful to not touch the skin of your dog as this could damage the fur.

2. Rounded-tipped scissors or a comb

Another way to remove paint from a dog’s paws is to use water-based finger or body paint. These types of paint are non-toxic and washable. You should apply the paint to the dog’s paws with rounded-tipped scissors. If the paint is still on the dog’s fur, you can cut it with a comb.

3. A Mild Dishwashing Liquid

Moreover, to get paint off your dog’s paws, you can use a mild dishwashing liquid. After washing the dog, you need to rub the olive oil into the paint. It is essential to wash the dog thoroughly to get off the paint and grime on its paws.

4. Olive or Mineral Oil

You may also scrub the paint off with olive oil or mineral oil. Then, you should bathe your dog and wash the fur with warm water. Then, you can rinse off the soap. This may help the paint to come off your dog’s paws.

If your dog’s paws have been painted with acrylic paint, you could apply the same method to remove them. Then, you can scrub the paws with a cloth or toothbrush to remove the paint.

5. Warm Water and Soap

One of the most effective methods to get paint off a dog’s paws is to gently wash the affected area with warm water. You should use soap on the area with a rounded tip or a wet rag. You can also soak the dog in mineral oil or vegetable oil. A pet’s paws may have oil, and you should carefully massage it over the area to remove the paint.

6. Bathe the Animal

Another effective way to get off paint from your dog’s paws is to bathe the animal as soon as possible. You need to bathe the dog to remove any accumulated dirt and grime from its paws. After cleaning the dog’s paws, use the appropriate type of shampoo and lather it into the paws. Then, simply rinse the dog with warm water.

How To Get Paint Off Dog's Paws

How To Get Oil-based Paint Off Dog’s Paws

  1. You can get oil-based paints off the dog’s paws by using vegetable or mineral oil. This may take a considerable amount of time but is safe and effective.
  2. Once you have removed the paint, apply flour to the area.
  3. Allow it to clump up.
  4. Then use a wide-toothed comb to remove the accumulated oil/powder mixture.

Another way to get oil-based paint off dog’s paws is:

  1. Use canola, olive, or other vegetable oil on the paws like soap to moisten and loosen the paint.
  2. Rub paws and fur around them with paper towels to remove the paint.
  3. Put dish soap on a cloth and get it wet and sudsy. Then rub paws with that to remove the oil and any remaining paint.
  4. Rinse paws under the faucet.
  5. Dry them with a towel or a hair dryer.

Is Oil-based Paint Safe For Dogs

Oil-based paint is very toxic to dogs and other animals. The pigments that make up your color contain heavy metals and depending on the color, this will be at varying degrees of toxicity.

Oil-based paint is harmful to dogs and to humans as well. The solvents that you use with them can cause lung damage if your pet is inhaling them. But the biggest danger comes from the pigments that create those lovely colors. Some are more toxic than others, with some highly toxic examples being barium yellow (which contains barium chromate), burnt umber (with manganese silicates and iron oxides), and even cadmium red (which has cadmium selenide).

Oil-based paints that can be inhaled into the lungs may cause difficulty breathing. Vomiting and diarrhea are also commonly associated with the ingestion of oil-based paints.

Is Acrylic Paint Good For Dog’s Paws

Yes, acrylic paint is one of the easiest paints to work with. It isn’t toxic to your pup’s skin. They can have an allergic reaction to it and experience some irritation. You may use it on their paw, but it can be good to do so with extreme caution. You may also use tempera paint as an alternative.

Washable acrylic paints or finger paints are good for young children and work equally well for pet paw prints. As the paints are designed for children to use directly on their skin, the paints are non-toxic. Tempera or water-based paints are also good as they tend to be non-toxic.

How Do You Get Acrylic Paint Off A Dog’s Paws

If you wash the dog’s paw, you should have no problem getting the paint off with soap and water. If the paint dried before you could wash it off, you can still use soap and water, but you may have a harder time.

The best soap to apply to get acrylic paint off your dog’s paw is dish soap. Work the dish soap into the paw with a cloth if it needs some extra help. If that can’t work, you may also try rubbing some olive oil into the paint to help loosen it. If you do this, wash the olive oil off then wash again with dish soap.

Acrylic paint could not always come off easily, but don’t worry. You should get as much off as you can. The rest will come off gradually over the course of about a week from walking around. 

Best Paint for Dog’s Paws

There are so many options that you can use on your dog’s paws, but you want to make sure you are applying the best brands possible.

Crayola Washable Paint for Kids

Crayola has been making art supplies and paints for kids for more than 100 years now. All of their paints are safe, non-toxic, and affordable. This is one of the best paint that you may use when making a dog paw print. These are tempera paints and are available in red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple. The best part about this paint is they wash off so easily.

Paint TypeWatercolor
Surface RecommendationPaper
Unit Count20.0 Fl Oz


  • CRAYOLA PAINT SET FOR KIDS: Features 10 paint bottles in classic colors.
  • VARIED SURFACES: You can use on construction, poster and drawing paper, cardboard tubes and boxes, paper mache, and more.
  • IDEAL FOR KIDS PAINTING PROJECTS: This water-based paint is great for arts, and crafts, school projects, and holiday decorating.
  • WASHABLE KIDS PAINTS: Easily washes clean from skin and most clothing, making mom’s job easier and worry-free.
  • SAFE AND NONTOXIC: Painting supplies for kids, ages 3 and up.

Apple Barrel Acrylic Paint

This paint is extremely affordable, non-toxic, and easy to use. It is available in such widely different colors that you will have a hard time choosing one.

While this paint is washable, you might have a little bit of a harder time getting it off your dog’s paw. The durability of the finished product is worth every second you spend washing off your dog’s paw when you have finished.

Paint TypeAcrylic
Surface RecommendationWood
BrandApple Barrel
Unit Count36.0 Fl Oz


  • CONVENIENT SIZE AND FUN BRIGHT COLORS – This versatile acrylic paint set includes 18 – 2 oz bottles of colorful craft paint. The colors in this kit include White, Yellow Flame, Bright Yellow, Bright Magenta, Fuchsia, Jack-o-lantern, Flag Red, Purple Iris, Parrot Blue, Bimini Blue, Bright Blue, Too Blue, New Shamrock, Holly Branch, Nutmeg Brown, Melted Chocolate, Pewter Grey, and Black.
  • MATTE FINISH – Each of these bold and bright colors dries to a brilliant matte finish – perfect for all your arts and crafts!
  • EASY AND SMOOTH APPLICATION – Use on a variety of surfaces including wood, Styrofoam, plaster, terracotta, and more. This versatile acrylic paint can easily be brushed, stamped, stenciled, or sponged to your projects.
  • SIMPLE CLEAN-UP – Clean-up is easy with Apple Barrel acrylic paint. Simply clean up while wet with soap and water. Great acrylic paint set for adults and kids!
  • AMERICAN MADE – Apple Barrel is proudly made in the USA.

U.S Art Supply Washable Paint

U.S Art Supply also offers washable paint that is available in vibrant colors with good quality. It is non-toxic and easy to wash off paws, which makes them a great option for this project. These paints will not be as permanent on a surface as acrylic, but they are still a fantastic option. 

Paint TypeTempera
BrandUS Art Supply
Unit Count36.36 Fl Oz


  • A full selection of 18 unique eye-catching vibrant colors at your disposal.
  • Perfect for the young aspiring artist, as these washable colors are fun, safe, and easy to use.
  • Multi-purpose tempera paint for kids, students, and teachers for use in creating art, crafts, and poster projects on almost any surface.
  • Colors are easy to apply, have a creamy consistency and provide excellent coverage.
  • Cleans up with soap and water. Formulated to be washable from the hands and most machine washable clothing. Repeat washing in warm water may be required to prevent staining.

How To Get Latex Paint Off Dog’s Paws

Most latex paints are non-toxic for dogs. If you want to get latex-based paint off a dog’s paws, you can use soap and water to remove the paint from them. Dog shampoo or gentle baby shampoo can work best, and you can also use liquid dish soap as well. Wet down the dog’s paws completely and then apply shampoo or soap, bringing it to a lather. Rinse and repeat the process until the paint is gone.

How To Get Dried Paint Off Dog’s Paws

If you spill and your pet finds its way into your mess, you need to coat the affected area on your pet with vegetable or mineral oil (butter also works when in a pinch). For paint that is already dry, you can use vegetable oil, petroleum jelly, or peanut butter on the affected area. You should rub it into the dog’s paws and allow it to sit for a few minutes. Repeat this method until the paint is gone, and then give the dog a bath with shampoo or soap and water

  • For paint that is already dry, use vegetable oil, petroleum jelly, or peanut butter on the affected area.
  • Repeat this method until the paint is gone, and then give the dog a bath with shampoo or soap and water.


We hope that these methods will be useful for you. But you should keep in your mind that never use paint thinner or similar solvents to remove paint, as this can result in a painful chemical burn for the animal. Be careful not to get soap, shampoo, or any other products into the pet’s eyes. Be gentle and patient with your methods to keep the dog calm.


Can paint hurt dogs’ paws?

Paint can definitely hurt dogs’ paws if they step in it while it’s wet. The paint can peel off their paw pads and cause irritation.
Once the paint dries, it’s not as big of a deal, but it can still be uncomfortable for them if they step on it. It’s best to keep your dog away from wet paint, and if they do step in it, make sure to clean their paws off right away.

How to get acrylic paint out of dog fur

If your dog has gotten into your acrylic paint, don’t panic! There are a few simple steps you can take to remove the paint from their fur.

* First, wet their fur with warm water to help loosen the paint.
* Then, using mild soap, lather their fur and gently work the soap into the paint to remove it.
* Rinse their fur thoroughly with warm water to remove any soap residue.
* Finally, use a pet-safe shampoo to clean their fur and get rid of any lingering paint fumes.

How to get water-based paint out of dog fur?

To remove water-based paint from dog fur, you will need to use mild soap and water. Begin by wetting your dog’s fur and then lathering the soap into their fur.

Be sure to avoid their eyes, nose, and mouth. Rinse your dog off thoroughly and then dry them with a towel. If the paint is still present, you may need to use a pet-safe stain remover.