Taking Paw and Nose Print Photos for Personalized Pet Gifts

Taking Paw and Nose Print Photos for Personalized Pet Gifts

Paw and nose print personalized pet gift keepsake in frame

Wow, it's so easy!  You don't need ink and paper, but just a photo for your personalized pet gift. Ok, that sounds great, but it's a lot easier to tell you to take a photo for your personalized pet gift than it is to actually take that photo.  You pet might not be the type that sits and poses for a photo, I know one of my dog's isn't!  So what can you do if you want a personalized pet gift, and need a good photo?  Here are a few ways to make it easier for you to take a photo of your pet’s paw or nose.

cat sleeping on shelf under personalized paw and nose print artwork


Top Tips for Pet Paw & Nose Photos

• Have fun!
• Give treats and belly rubs
• Ask someone to help you with your pet
• Take photo in a well-lit room
• Get your paw or nose in focus
• Take when your pet is calm and relaxed
• Prints can also be captured from a photo of
  a clay imprint
• Paw or Nose facing straight to camera; not at angle

dalmation getting dog treat

Bribe your Pet

This one might work best for dogs, since cats are difficult to bribe.  But, if you aren’t having any luck with taking a photo when your pet is calm, might I suggest bribing them with a treat?!  You’ll want to get something they really want.  I know my dogs like a treat that is close to actual meat, they aren’t nearly as excited by dog biscuits.  Something like this would be a good bribe: 

Using treats to get a photo of your pet works best for nose photos.  Holding the treat by the camera will likely ensure your pet will look in that direction and the key to a good nose photo is for it to be straight on. 

 photos of dog nose

It's best to get the photo straight on to preserve the shape
your pet's nose; the photo on the left is facing too far to the side so you can't see the full nose.


You don’t want her nose to be facing to the side, because then your personalized pet gift nose print will be a little lopsided and you won’t get the best shape of her nose.


dog with person taking photo

Camera and Lighting Tips

You’ll want your personalized pet gift to have as much detail as possible.  To achieve that, you’ll need to take a photo that is in focus and in good lighting.  Your pet’s paw and nose have details and shapes that are unique to them, which is why using their actual paw and nose makes such a great personalized pet gift.

These days the cameras on our phones are the best option for taking a good pet paw or nose photo.  Just make sure your camera is set to a high-quality capture setting, which you may have changed to a lower quality to save space on your phone’s memory.  

holidng phone with paw print photo

And while modern phone cameras so use enhancing technology to brighten dark photos, it’s best to locate you pet in a well-lit area.  A room filled with natural light is your best bet.  And don’t use the flash on the camera because it will wash out the fine details of the paw and nose - and those are the details you really want for your personalized pet gift.

If you don’t know how to focus your camera, you should spend some time playing around and learning the basics.  When I was taking my dog’s paw print photo, I realized that if I was too close the camera couldn’t focus.  On my phone camera, I have to tap the phone where I want the camera to focus.  

Sadly, when I was holding my dog’s paw, I would get her to hold still and tap the phone to focus and by the time it focused, she had moved.  The more current phone cameras have a feature where instead of just tapping when you want to focus the camera you hold it until it locks the focus.  I found this to be much more successful, because then I could just put my dog’s paw back to where I had it before and it was already focused so I just had to snap a photo and didn’t have to wait for it to focus again.  You might need to experiment a little bit.

out of focus photo of dog paws

These paw photos are not in focus and won't work well for
personalized pet gift keepsakes.

After you take your photos, have a look at them to see if they are clear and in focus.  Zoom in a little to see if you can see the details of the paw and nose or if they are blurry.  Taking photos is free so take as many as you want until the paw or nose photo looks crisp.

photo gallery wall with personalized pet gift nose print keepsake and fingerprint keepsake


Enlist a Helper

While I did manage to take a good paw and nose photo of my hyper dog, Penny, all by myself - the truth is it would have been much easier if I had someone to help me.  I was able to get her calm while rubbing her belly, but as soon as I tried to grab her paw for the photo, she was trying to squirm to get away.  Having someone to help hold your pet and calm them will go a long way to help and you won’t need to take quite so many (mostly bad) photos.

 dogs looking at personalized paw print pillow

Clean Paws

Getting a clear photo, especially of your pet's paws, will work best if you pet has a clean paw.  Obviously, some pets have more fur and that includes in between the pads of the paws.  If you can try to trim the fur so it is not blocking the pads too much.  Maybe a trip to the groomers would be a good idea if your pet is especially fluffy.

puppy sitting next to personalized pet gift paw print pillow

Time your Photo

It might seem obvious, but timing is key here.  If you want your pet to be relaxed and ready for his photo, pick a time when your pet is likely to be calm.  For dogs, a good time to take a photo of their nose or paw would be after a long session at the dog park or a long walk. Your dog will be ready to chill and be more wiling to let you hold her paw or look at the the camera.

 cat looking at camera

Trying to capture a photo of your pet's nose or paw for their personalized pet gift might be more difficult if they are feeling energetic and playful. Try getting them at a time that they are feeling more relaxed.

Cats can perhaps be a little trickier.  I know our cat, Pepper, is not very fond of having her paws touched when she is awake and playful (and I have the scratch marks to prove it!).   But, when she’s been on my lap sleeping for a while, I can trim her claws, massage her pads and…that’s right, snap a photo.  Just be sure to have you camera on hand when you know your cat will be nice and sleepy.  Then you’ll be able to get a better photo for your personalized pet gift.

You can also try a pet calming aid to help your pet relax.  It might be just the thing to help you take a good photo.

Have fun!

A big part of paw print and nose print personalized pet gifts is the contribution you give to make the gift so personalized.  You’re the only one who can take the photo of your pet and send it in to have your gift made.  You are a big part of creating this personalized pet gift!  So, I would hate for your experience to not be fun! 

Pets are silly and wiggly and don’t understand they are going to get a super cute personalized gift made from their paw or nose.  Just have patience, give them lots of treats and rub their bellies and it will be a fun experience for you both.

You can get personalized pet gifts for other types of paws and noses, too!

 bunny waving with paw


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