How To Cut Your Dog's Nails Cutting your dog's nails can be anxiety-inducing but here's what to do!

How To Cut Your Dog's Nails

Do you get scared every time you have to cut your dog's nails? With these tips you can make this daunting process much easier!

Trimming your dog’s nails can be a challenging task for both of you. Dogs generally don’t like getting their nails cut, and if you don’t know how to do it correctly, it could cause anxiety for both of you. Hence, it’s essential to understand how to cut your dog’s nails properly and safely. 

After all, a groomed dog's nails are a sign of good health and hygiene too. This is why we’ve compiled a thorough guide on how to cut your dog’s nails properly. 

When To Cut Your Dog’s Nails?

A simple way to know that it's time to cut your pet’s nails is when they’ve started to touch the ground. Long nails can cause your dog to fall quickly and not walk properly. They can grow outwards and curl up. Or worse, grow inwards, which can be painful. So, make sure you cut your dog’s nails before they reach the paw pad and cause an infection! 

It’s essential to start cutting your dog’s nails from a young age. This helps them get accustomed to the process so that it's not scary for them to move forward. When cutting their nails, you can either put your dog on your lap or make them sit on the floor in front of you.  

Another tip is to put some peanut butter on a silicone mat to distract them while you cut their nails.

What Tools To Use?

The tools you use to cut your dog’s nails are entirely dependent on your dog’s breed and size. There are tools for every kind of breed available in the market. Choosing the right clippers for your dog will really help you during the cutting process and help make sure it’s a decent experience for both of you. 

For tiny dogs and small puppies, a scissor-style clipper might work better. For medium to large dogs, you might need larger nail clippers.

There are also many different types of grinder tools available that make the process easier and less painful. It’s also essential to have some sort of styptic powder or clotting powder to keep around in case bleeding occurs if you cut the nail a little too short.

What Part To Trim?

It’s extremely important to know what part of a dog’s nails to trim. If you have a dog, you probably already know that there’s a vein inside the nail called the ‘quick.’ You almost always have to look out for this vein to prevent your dog from bleeding.

If your dog has a set of white nails, you can easily spot the vein. It's slightly pink in color and can be seen through white nails. The problem is most dogs have black or dark nails, which makes it impossible to spot the quick from the outside. The best thing to do in this scenario is to cut slowly and little by little to make sure you don’t hit that vein.

Making Sure Your Dog Is Comfortable

If your dog has had a painful experience with getting their nails cut in the past, this can be a very anxious experience for them. You can train your dog a few days before cutting their nails. 

Here are a few tips to make sure you can make sure that your dog is comfortable:

·       You want your dogs to lose any fear they may have of the clippers. So, let your dog be around the clipper. Let them sniff it and be familiar with it. Make sure you praise them a lot and give them a treat every time they are around the clipper.

·       If you’re using a grinder, let your dog feel the slight vibration with their paws and praise them and give them a treat. 

·       When you see your dog is slowly becoming comfortable around the clippers and/or the grinder, start working your way up to cutting their nails. 

·       Before cutting your dog’s nails, make sure you practice with the clipper, even if it just pretends so that your dog doesn’t get anxious every time you have to clip their nails.

·       Always make sure to use a lot of praise and treats!

How To Trim The Nails

1.     Once your dog is comfortable, place them on your lap or on the floor and pick up their paw. 

2.     Place your thumb on the paw pad slowly but firmly. 

3.     Make sure there is no fur in the way and separate the little nails, extending them forward. 

4.     Slowly work your way up, just cutting the tips slightly and avoid cutting through the quick. 

5.     Use a Dremel or a grinder for your finishing touches. 

Grinding helps dogs with short nails or dogs with long quicks. It also helps to shorten the quicks down over time. It is important to note here that if your dog has long hair that you hold them back to avoid them getting caught in the Dremel or grinder. 

In Case Of A Bleeding 

If you accidentally cut through the quick a little bit, don’t panic! Just use a little styptic powder. Take the bleeding nail and dip it in the powder. 

Styptic powder causes the blood to clot and so helps to stop the bleeding altogether. It also stops bacteria from entering the opening. If you cut the quick, chances are your dog is hurt. So, make sure you’re observing their behavior, and if it hurts too much, you can always stop cutting for a bit and try later. 

If the bleeding doesn’t stop because the quick was cut too much, make sure you contact your nearest vet clinic as soon as possible.


It is important to keep your nerves in check while cutting your dog's nails. If your dog is resisting too much, be patient. It is all about building trust with dogs. 

Always remember that proper training and care can go a long way. It’s a learning process for both of you. 

Being able to cut your dog's nails is a big achievement for both of you. So, make sure you celebrate with a lot of treats and kisses! Happy cutting!



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