There are plenty of reasons you might want to copy your dog’s paw prints. Sometimes it’s great for art projects, holiday cards, or mold casts to show members of your family. You can also use paw prints or molds to create a memorial for a beloved pooch. Some of us like to get tattoos to immortalize our pets, and paw prints are great for that, too.
Whatever your reason, the first step to accomplish this goal is to actually get the paw print. Depending on your dog, this might be the longest leg of your battle–pun intended. But what’s the best way to do that?
Don’t Make Your Pet Uncomfortable
As always, we must first warn you, before you proceed, to make sure this is something your dog is okay with. Don’t force your pet to do anything they clearly don’t want to do. Not only can it make for a very stressful evening, but you probably won’t get the results you want if you’re fighting your dog over it.
Try to relax your dog with treats. Petting and massaging their paws is a great way to get them more relaxed, as well. If you’ve ever had to ease your dog into getting their nails clipped before, try to perform a similar ritual for this event. Remember to also be as calm as possible, yourself. This will help to assure your pet that nothing is wrong.
How To Take Your Dog’s Paw Prints
Some manufacturers sell dog paw print kits that can help you get a cast of your dog’s paws. If your dog has recently passed away, some cremation and memorial services will take a paw print for you as a memorial. However, taking your dog’s paw prints, yourself, can be a fun DIY project and bonding experience, and there are several ways to do it.
First things first: make sure your dog’s paws are clean. A quick wipe down with a moist towel should be all that is necessary. Don’t do anything if your dog’s feet are injured or cut. This could exacerbate the issue.
If you’re going to be using paints, make sure the paints are child safe. Anything that is easy to clean will also be helpful down the road. Washable body paints or finger paints will likely work best and won’t cost too much. Tempera or water-based paints are also good as they tend to be non-toxic. From there, just dip your dog’s paw in the paint, then gently press it onto a sturdy paper for a couple of seconds. Lift the paw straight up and wash it. You may wish to take more than one print to make sure you get a good one.
Dough is actually a safe way to get a good imprint of your dog’s paw. Mix a cup of flour with a cup of salt and add water until you have enough to kneed and make into a ball. With some wax paper, cover the mold and press your dog’s foot into it. You can then bake the pressing at about 200 Fahrenheit for two to three hours. Just be sure to check it regularly, otherwise the pressing might crack.
Ink is another option, though it’s likely to be messier. Remember to always opt for non-toxic! Consider perhaps archival ink, as it is less likely to fade. If you’re uncertain about using an ink, returning to the aforementioned paints is likely the best solution.
Have you taken imprints of your pet’s paws before? Do you have a tried and true method to share? Let us know in the comments below!
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