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Home > Dogs > How to Get Your Dog’s Paw Print: 7 Easy Steps

How to Get Your Dog’s Paw Print: 7 Easy Steps

dog with blue colored paws is lying on a brown floor

If you’re looking for a simple yet fun craft project to do with your pet, then this is the project for you. Getting your dog’s paw print is super simple, and you can save it forever on paper or use it to get a tattoo. Most people use ink or paint, so that’s what we’re using in today’s craft.

In this guide, we teach you exactly what to do to go from pawless to picture paw-fect in just seven steps. Let’s start with gathering the materials.


Materials You’ll Need

To get started, you’ll need the following materials:

  • Paper, watercolor paper, or canvas
  • Pet-safe paint or ink pad in any color you want
  • Washcloth or pet-safe wipes
  • Pencils, markers, or additional paint to color and enhance your dog’s paw print
  • Picture frame (optional)
beagle dog trying to taste some homemade edible paint made from cornstarch and food coloring in a muffin tray
Image Credit: tehvon, Shutterstock

What Paints Are Safe for Pets?

Paints don’t typically say whether they are pet-safe or not, so it’s best to look out for paint that is:

  • Water-based
  • Carcinogen-free
  • Petrochemical-free
  • Heavy metal-free
  • Low-VOC or VOC-free

You’ll also want to avoid paints made with ammonia, polyurethane, and acetone. Acrylic paint found in craft aisles is perfect for this project since it’s water-based, washes easily, and dries quickly.


How to Get Your Dog’s Paw Print: 7 Easy Steps

  1.  Gather and set up your materials so they are ready to go to begin the project.
  2.  Taking your dog’s paw, gently press it into the paint or ink pad, ensuring it covers the entire paw.
  3.  Press the paw onto the paper or canvas, evenly distributing it on all sides.
  4. Gently lift the paw straight up to avoid smearing.
  5. Reward your pup with a treat and cleanse the paw.
  6.  Repeat steps two through five as many times as needed.
  7.  Let dry, decorate, and frame.
man presses his pets paw against a white sheet of paper on the floor
Image Credit: Dmitriev Mikhail, Shutterstock

Helpful Tips for a Breezy Project

You really don’t know how to perfect a project until you do it. Even so, it helps to listen to the mistakes of others so you can learn faster.

Here are some quick tips for an easy craft time with your dog.
  • Make sure your dog likes their paws being handled: Some dogs don’t like their paws being handled. If this is your dog, this project isn’t for you—not yet at least. Work with your dog on handling their paws. Ensure they can trust you; otherwise, they’ll never hand you their paws willingly.
  • Trim nails before beginning: No matter how nice your dog is, their nails can be sharp. Don’t risk cutting yourself. Trim the nails first before beginning.
  • Reward your pup: Maintain your dog’s trust and approval by offering tasty treats.
  • Clean paws between color swaps: Clean your dog’s paws in between colors to prevent mixing.
  • Moisturize paws before applying paint: For better results, try moisturizing your dog’s paws using a pet-safe moisturizer to smooth out calluses and cracks for an even paint coating.

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Can I Get a Paw Print Without Ink or Paint?

If you don’t want to make a mess with ink and paint, no worries. Paint and ink aren’t the only mediums to get your dog’s paw print. You can try using clay instead.

Clay requires a few extra steps since there are different types of clay, and all require a specific level of attention to receive the desired results. Still, it’s relatively easy once you have all of the materials on hand. If you’ve ever baked cookies before, the process is very similar.



Obtaining your pet’s paw print is such a treasure. Once you have it, you never want to let it go. Some people go the extra step and get a tattoo of their dog’s paw print. You can absolutely do that if you wish, or just frame it. Either way, the paw print is here to stay.

Featured Image Credit: Dmitriev Mikhail, Shutterstock

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