Is Acrylic Paint Toxic To Dogs? (How To Keep Your Dog Safe)

Crafters often use acrylic paint because it is one of the most versatile crafting and home decor paints on the market, but what if you have furry friends at home? Is acrylic paint toxic to dogs? It's important to understand what can and cannot harm your dog at home.

Read our guide to determine how to use acrylic paint safely without harming man’s best friend.  

Acrylic paint is popular because it is a flexible paint with vibrant colors. The paint itself has a thick consistency, but by adding water, the paint can become thin and glide across surfaces easily.

This flexibility means that acrylic paint can be used for many different projects. It can be used on traditional paper, cardboard, or canvas, but you can also use it on wood, glass, plastic, stone, metal, leather, and some fabrics (although we recommend puffy paint for fabrics).  

If you want to create art with your dog, you need to look for non-toxic water-based paints. Most acrylic paints are non-toxic and water-based; however, some paints are better than others. So if you have any pets like dogs, cats, birds or fish make sure to choose one of these.

Liquitex acrylic paint and Sherwin Williams Emerald interior acrylic latex paint are non-toxic to dogs and shouldn't cause a problem if they touch the dog's skin or fur; however, they may cause mild irritation.

If you are painting in the same room and your dog runs over the paint, all you need to do is wash the paint off.  

If you want to create art with your dog, we would choose Apple Barrel acrylic paint. Apple Barrel acrylic paint is a paint that can be used on dog paws to create art with your dog.  

Can dogs eat acrylic paint? No, they should not. If the acrylic paint formula is non-toxic, then your dog should be okay if they ingest a small amount, but large amounts can create vomiting and nausea.

Dogs will not have a toxic reaction or end up poisoned from most latex paints, including most acrylic paints.  

We always recommend reviewing the manufacturer's instructions to ensure that the paint is truly safe.

No acrylic paint should ever be ingested by your dog, and we recommend supervising your dog with any paint (regardless of whether you are painting with your dog's paws or painting on your own).

If your dog does consume acrylic paint, we recommend contacting your veterinarian.  

White Dog Running on Grass

What To Do If My Dog Eats Acrylic Paint? 

Your dog should not eat acrylic paint. Acrylic paint is most often water-based and non-toxic. As long as your paint is both water-based and non-toxic, your dog should be okay. However, too much paint eaten can lead to nausea and vomiting.  

If your dog accidentally ate acrylic paint, try to determine how much was consumed. Then, get in touch with your veterinarian to walk through the process.

Most likely, you can stay at home and monitor your dog. However, we recommend first calling the veterinarian to be sure. It is always better to be safe than to take chances.  

If it is after hours, an emergency vet clinic should be called. Keeping a close eye on your dog for 24-48 hours after ingestion is vital to make sure that symptoms are mild and not severe. You can expect nausea and vomiting; however, too much vomiting is cause for concern.  

Bottles of Acrylic Paint

Can You Use Acrylic Paint On Dog Paws? 

You can use acrylic paint on dog paws if the acrylic paint is both water-based and non-toxic. Some dogs may have an allergic reaction to even a water-based and non-toxic paint, however. We recommend placing a small amount of paint on your dog's paw as a patch test.  

Rinse the paint off with warm, sudsy water (create suds not with human soap but with a tiny amount of dog shampoo).

Wait 24 hours and see if your dog's skin or mucous membranes have an allergic reaction. If no reaction occurs, you can use that particular safe paint on your dog’s paws.  

When painting with your dog’s paws, you want to gently hold their paw and run it over the paper, canvas, or cardboard area that you are using to paint. You can try creating abstract images or painting landscapes.

Many dog owners enjoy using their dog's paws to create a "stamp" of their paws. This is a unique way to capture a piece of your dog's history, similar to how humans might “stamp” their hands onto canvases.  


How To Get Acrylic Paint Out Of Dog Hair? 

It can be challenging to remove acrylic paint from dog fur, but if you are using a non-toxic and water-soluble acrylic paint, it shouldn't be too difficult.

Do not use human soap to remove acrylic paint because this can create rashes and other allergic reactions. Instead, take a bottle of dog shampoo and squirt a quarter-sized amount onto your hand.  

Create suds by adding a little water and then gently massage your dog's paw. Continue massaging your dog's paw for a few minutes, and then place the paw under running water and massage.  

From here, you should see the paint begin to wash away. Repeat as many times as necessary to remove all acrylic paint from your dog’s paws. You may need to do this on your dog’s body as well and opt for a full dog bath if you find acrylic paint on their stomach, ears, chin, and body.  

Dog Full of Paint

Common Acrylic Paint and Dogs Questions 

What paint is safest for dogs? 

The safest paint for dogs is acrylic paint that is water-based and is known for its use with dogs. We recommend sticking with brands that have a reputation as being used for creating art with dog paws.


We also recommend doing a patch test before painting to ensure that the paint won’t create an allergic reaction with your dog.  


What type of paint is toxic to dogs? 

Lead-based paint is the most toxic paint for both dogs and cats. These paints are banned in the U.S., but not all countries have banned these paints. Varnish is also poisonous for both cats and dogs.


Paints without lead that are not water-based are also toxic to dogs and should be kept away from your dog. There is an ingredient in paint that can be highly toxic to dogs, and these are glycols.


If the paint you want to use includes glycols, you need to keep it away from your dog (do not even let them in the room with the paint) and do not use the paint on your dog’s paws to create art.  


Can dogs die from eating acrylic paint? 

Acrylic paint is not considered to be lethal unless it contains glycol ingredients. Most acrylic paints do not contain glycols. However, it is best not to allow your dog to spend time with any paint alone so that ingestion is not possible.


If you do want to use acrylic paint with your dog's paws, choose a trusted brand that has proven to be non-toxic to dogs, such as Apple Barrel acrylic paint. If the acrylic paint contains dangerous glycol ingredients, then it could possibly be lethal.  


How long after painting a home is it safe for dogs? 

If you are painting your home, we recommend keeping your dog away from the painted area for 48 hours. This allows the paint to not only dry (so that your dog cannot lick the walls) but also allows the fumes to disperse. 


If you can open a window, this can help with airflow and keep the indoor air quality in a healthier range. Fans can also help to circulate the air and dry the paint.  


Conclusion

Using acrylic paint at home should not harm your dog. However, make sure to check the manufacturer’s instructions before using acrylic paint in the same room as your dog.

Do not leave acrylic paint with your dog unattended, and do not place acrylic paint on your dog's body for more than a quick paw press. Keep the acrylic paint out of reach, and your dog will be safe.