Is Acrylic Paint Toxic To Dogs?

correct answerThe Short Answer is:

If your dog ingests acrylic paint in small amounts it shouldn’t cause any harm. Since acrylic paint is made of water it shouldn’t harm him. Dogs who consume a lot of acrylic paint by eating tubes of the stuff are likely to suffer from upset stomachs and diarrhea for a few days.

The purpose of this research is to explain “Is Acrylic Paint Toxic To Dogs?“.

In a year as turbulent as 2020 have you decided that for your own mental health you will start painting?

Do you also have the Worlds Most Nosy Dog who will pick up and chew or lick anything in plain sight?

You are considering acrylic paints as a starting point? 

In fact a quick glance at an Amazon bestseller chart shows acrylic paint is the most popular paint compared to watercolors or oil paints. 

What is the safety of acrylic paints for dogs? I explore this in this article…

What is acrylic paint? 

The consistency of acrylic paint is similar to that of oil paint but it dries much faster. 

People such as Henry Levinson created the paints that are available today in the 1950s. 

In addition to its flexibility acrylic paint can also be changed in appearance and consistency by adding water.

Additionally it can be used on many different surfaces not just paper or canvas. 

It is also very popular to use acrylic paint.

Is acrylic paint toxic to dogs? 

If your dog ingests acrylic paint in small amounts it should not cause any harm. Since acrylic paint is made of water it should not harm him.

Dogs who consume a lot of acrylic paint by eating tubes of the stuff are likely to suffer from upset stomachs and diarrhea for a few days.

Alternatively your dog might find the paint so repulsive that it makes them vomit.

Can my dog become poisoned by acrylic paint?

As I mentioned above acrylic paint presents no real danger to your dog unless it is eaten or ingested in large quantities.

The paint will pass through your dogs digestive system without causing lasting damage.

A dogs stomach might turn upside down when exposed to acrylic paint in the short term causing temporary but nasty bouts of diarrhea but such episodes should resolve on their own.

In the event that your dog has eaten a large amount of acrylic paint then the biggest danger will be if they have eaten the plastic tubes that the acrylic is packaged in.

Dogs can not digest plastic so the best that you can hope for is that the paint tube passes through your dog without getting stuck in their throats or intestines. 

You will be able to tell if the tube gets stuck in your dogs throat because he will be coughing and retching- or just struggling for air. 

Obviously they must be taken to a vet immediately. 

As the plastic tube passes through the dogs system it has sharp edges that could cut or graze the dog if your dog chewed on it before swallowing it.

You can easily tell if this has happened by looking for blood in their poop. 

A veterinarian must also be consulted if these spots of blood persist for longer than a few days.

Why would a dog eat acrylic paint?

I think this is an excellent question.

Painting with acrylics is not something a dog should be interested in.

Secondly because it is water-based it is almost odorless so we cannot even blame it on a strong odor. 

Its true that some dogs (especially young ones) seem to just want to eat anything!

A common medical condition in dogs is called Pica which is when the dog eats things other than food.

From wet wipes to rocks the range of products is simply astounding.

In general clothing that has the scent of its owner tends to be eaten the most frequently.

What is the cause? This could be a sign of nutritional deficiency separation anxiety or underlying health issues. 

Having studied acrylic paints in some detail now I want to move on to looking at other types of paints

Is oil paint toxic for dogs? 

It is far more dangerous for your dog to have oil paint on him than acrylic paint.

We are all familiar with the thick chemical smell of oil paint because so many oil-based paints use chemical solvents.

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are released into the air as these solvents evaporate.

The fumes can cause dizziness difficulty breathing and eye irritation if a person or a dog is exposed to them for a long period of time.

VOCs may also cause cancer in some cases. 

You should make sure your dog drinks some water as soon as possible if he or she eats licks or swallows oil paint.

Observe your dog for symptoms of oil paint poisoning (such as lethargy vomiting and diarrhea) and take them to the vet or call the pet poison helpline as soon as possible.

Five ways to keep your dog safe with oil paints

  1. Choose a non-toxic and solvent-free product
  2. Donot let them use oil paint in a room where it is being used 
  3. Make sure the room is very well ventilated and
  4. Oil paint tins should never be left unattended.
  5. Switch from oil paint to acrylic. 

Next I’d like to examine watercolors. 

Are watercolors safe to use with dogs?

Watercolors are perhaps the safest paint to use.

Its because they’re water-based just like acrylic paint.

It does not mean that they are nontoxic just because they do not contain solvents. 

Does a dog find a pot of watercolor more or less interesting than a tub of acrylic paint?

Painting with watercolor might be more appealing to a dog who likes water and is thirsty than acrylic paint which can look like food.

Watercolors contain a greater amount of water than acrylic paint so they should be safer for dogs to ingest.

Paint pigments- a word of warning

No matter what kind of paint you use whether acrylic oil or watercolor pigment is used to create the color.

There can also be a certain amount of toxicity in some of these pigments.

Organic and inorganic materials were traditionally used to make pigments.

Minerals containing cadmium and zinc make up the inorganic materials.   

Always read the label

It is best to read the label on the tin if you want to make sure that the paint you are using is safe for you and your dog.

Consider some of the “ingredients” or look for “non-toxic” labels.

The fact that you are using non-toxic paint is great news.

You might want to buy a nontoxic brand next time if it isnot.

Meanwhile be careful how you use your existing paint. 

Paw printing- the most effective way to paint your dog 

Throughout this research I have focused on your dog licking eating swallowing or chewing paint or paint tubes!

As you paint I want to make sure that your dog is safe.

What if your dog wants to paint with you?

Paw printing with dogs

Families with young children love printing with hands feet and objects like potatoes.

Moreover as dogs become more and more important to modern families it makes sense to incorporate their paw prints into the design. 

My opinion is that acrylic-based paint is the best paint to use for a paw print.

When the ink is absorbed through the paws or if the dog licks it off it would not harm them at all. This ink is thick enough to leave a good mark on the paper and safe enough not to harm your dog.

Be sure to keep a bowl of water close at hand (along with a towel) for dipping your dogs paw into as soon as they have made their mark. 


In response to your question about whether acrylic paint is toxic to dogs the simple answer is no it is not.

According to all accounts acrylic paint is fun to work with as well as incredibly versatile.

Our dogs may be interested in a number of nonfood items in our homes including acrylic paints.

Being organized and cleaning up after our dogs is the best way to keep them safe.

If you want to read more about dog health tips read here: Dog Health Tips and Tricks.

Is Acrylic Paint Toxic To Dogs? (Watch Video)

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