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Jan 27

Nail art for dogs

You probably have heard countless vet jokes and one-liners, but here’s one I experienced: A lady walked into the vet with a really fat cat, another overfed pet, I mused. The lady wanted to know why the cat was so fat despite cutting her food rations, and on first look, I discovered it was pregnant.

When I told the owner, she thought for a second then said: “Is it at all possible that the dog made it pregnant since I have no other cat?

That will be a problem to my conservative Christian husband.

In this post, though, I am going to write about something different I learnt just the other day – nail art and nail painting for dogs. Being a vet may seem dull because a patient cannot chat you up, but it brings new surprises every day, from the clueless pet owners and from experiences and practices around the world.

If you are one of those people who think that toe and finger nail art is a trend that is getting out of hand, you will be surprised to see just what more artistic souls are doing on their dog’s nails.

I am not just referring to occasional dipping of a puppy’s nails in nail polish because it kept lingering – I am talking about a culture that has grown so much in popularity especially in japan to the point where there are companies that specialize in making nail polish specifically for pups. Is this a worthy fun activity or just a craze among a few?

The complicated patterns and special nail paint concocted for your pup’s nails is admittedly taking it to a whole new level, but whether it is art for the owner or art for the dog, it is sure is fun creating patterns and painting designs on an already cute pet.

There of course is the fact that the dog does not know and does not care that there are yellow flowers and blue berries painted on its nails, and even it id did, the selection of patterns and colors is entirely up to its human, if the art is horrible, is it fair to subject the dog to an ‘art’ that might make it look like it is suffering nail disease?

The more I learnt about the dog nail painting art, which has its roots in France (which I learnt from my French friend Sarah who owns a blog about “Formation Prothésiste Ongulaire, which is French for Nail Art Schools) but has become a ‘thing’ in Japan and South Korea, the more I was fascinated by how simple it is and how amazing the results are.
Before I made up my mind to paint my son’s 2 year old Labrador’s nails, I read more about the art and especially how ridiculous it would look trying to tie the dog down to get some manicure.

I learnt that the trick to getting the best results is to work fast because all dogs don’t have the patience to be still for long and their claws are actually much narrower than a human’s.

The results can be amazing, I assure you, especially if you use nail color specially formulated for dog nails. These colors are concocted with more pigments to make them show better on the darker claws and they are safe if the dog chews them off.

I also learnt that nail painting for dogs isn’t just about appearance, if you love your dog and want to spend quality time bonding, it will automatically associate nail painting with care and love and it wouldn’t be surprising if it started demanding it after a while. You would be wrong if thought only humans bond over an intimate nail art experience, but I cannot say the same for cats.