Is Water-Based Paint Toxic to Dogs?

Certain types of paints are safer for dogs than others.
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When updating your home, it is important to evaluate the safety of products used around your dog. A curious dog can find himself in a lot of trouble, especially if he consumes something he shouldn't. Consider using water-based paints, as they are safer to use around pets.


The predominant solvent in water-based paints is water. Water-based paints contain only five to ten percent volatile organic compounds (VOCs). In comparison, oil-based paints contain between 40 and 60 percent VOCs, states Green America. VOCs evaporate quickly in the environment. They are known to cause health issues such as eye irritation, nausea, organ damage and possibly even cancer in humans, as well as cancer in animals.


According to the ASPCA, water-based paints are considered to be non-toxic to dogs. Depending on the amount consumed, water-based paints can cause gastrointestinal upset. To keep your dog safe while painting, keep him in a different room until the paint is fully dry. Additionally, do not allow your dog to have access to open paint containers.