How to make your own pet-safe paint

Updated February 21, 2017

The best way to be sure any paint recipe is pet-safe is to make it kid-safe as well. If you are planning to do an art project that may involve your pet either being painted or using the artistic result (for example, a placemat for the dog's bowl), then you should make sure that ingesting the paint will not harm the animal. You also can use these types of paints to decorate bird and rodent toys.

Mix the water, cornstarch, table salt and sugar in a pot. Stir everything together gently on low heat. Continue to cook and stir for 10 minutes until the mixture thickens.

Separate the mixture into small bowls. Use a different bowl for each colour. If you are making paint for use on bird toys, avoid red food colouring.

Stir in two or three drops of food colouring. Use a tablespoon to mix in the food colouring. Use fewer drops to make the colours lighter, and more drops to make them darker. As you stir, the paint will cool.

Start painting. This paint can be used as fingerpaint, pet paint (if your vet approves painting your dog) or for painting mats or toys for use by pets.


Red food colouring has been linked to liver tumours in birds.

Things You'll Need

  • 1 cup cold water
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 tsp table salt
  • 1 1/2 tbsp white sugar
  • Cooking pot
  • Wooden spoon
  • Small bowls
  • Blue or yellow food colouring
  • Tablespoon for each colour
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