How To Trim Dog Nails: The Ultimate Step-by-Step Nail Trimming

When you own a dog, you are responsible for taking care of their needs too. From regular grooming to taking them for occasional checkups, you must ensure that you give them proper attention and the best care.

Regular nail trimming is one of the most important things you must keep in mind while taking care of your dog.

So, before learning how to trim dog nails, you’ll need a pair of nail trimmers or grinders. Then, cut their nails slowly in small amounts to avoid touching the quick and causing bleeding. However, ensure to trim your dog’s nails once in 2 weeks for their good grooming.

So, if you want to learn how to trim dog nails at home, find out the entire process here in this article.

It will give you a detailed overview of each step, which you need to follow correctly to make your dog feel comfortable for nail trimming and take proper care of them to maintain their well-being.

How to Cut Dog Nails?

We understand that when you are clipping your dog’s nails, you can be as anxious as your dog, and your hands might shiver a lot.

In addition, some dogs can be very sensitive, and cutting their long nails without hurting them can leave you feeling overwhelmed.

Hence, we present you with some tips to ensure that you can calmly cut their nails, try to relax, and develop a gentle approach.

1.     Offer Your Dog Some Treats

To learn how to cut dog nails at home all by yourself, first, try offering some treats before clipping their nails so that you can distract them from your activity.

2.     Use Trimmers Specific for Dogs

Keep in mind that some dogs tend to get aggressive when you are trimming their nails. This is why using clippers explicitly made for dogs like the Dremel kit is recommended.

3.     Hold Their Paw Gently

It is always helpful to ask someone to hold your puppy for you while trimming their nails. But if you do not have any companion to assist you, keep them distracted and hold their paw gently.

4.     Trim Slowly and in Small Bits

Once you have got them in position and kept them distracted, you can trim their nails. Don’t jump right in by trimming huge portions of nails. Instead, keep it steady by cutting short bits.

5.     Avoid Touching the Quick

If you touch their quick instead of the nail, it can be extremely painful for your pet and even result in bleeding.

It might also lead to a mess and make the entire process more challenging and hassling. To avoid the same, be very careful and steady and keep a safe distance between the nails and the quick.

How Short To Cut Dog Nails?

When you are cutting your dog’s nails, the first thing you should know is the difference between the nails and the quick. To cut dog nails safely, separate the two so that you don’t hurt your dog.

Cut the nails at an estimated distance of 3 millimeters so that the clipper does not come into contact with the quick. Blood may start oozing out from the paws if you accidentally cut the quick. Hence, make sure you trim with care.

How to Cut Black Dog Nails?

Learning how to cut dog nails that are black is not very challenging if you can differentiate between the nails and the quick.

A dog’s nail has two parts: the nail itself and the inner cuticle, also known as quick, which contains nerves and blood vessels.

The quick is of pink color, so you may be able to see it quickly in dogs who have light-colored nails.

However, if their nails are black, you should trim them with proper care and attention. When you cut the quick accidentally, it can cause pain to your dog.

So, to get your dog’s nails trimmed, use a scissor-style trimmer or a guillotine trimmer and read through the guidelines mentioned below.

Step 1

Trim the nails with a steady hand slowly. If you do not have a steady hand, going to a center where you can get their nails trimmed by a professional is recommended.

Step 2

Hold the paws gently and firmly.

Step 3

Cut them from top to bottom instead of trimming the nails side to side.

Step 4

Trim the nails in tiny increments to avoid touching the quick and hurting your pet.

Nevertheless, always keep some styptic powder handy by your side if you are cutting your dog’s black nails at home by yourself to stop the nails from bleeding and receive your dog’s pain in case the clipper comes into contact with the quick.

Overgrown How to Cut Dog Nails: A Part of Dog Grooming

If you are cutting dog nails that have overgrown, you must be very careful. To learn how to trim dog nails that are overgrown, you might want to follow the tips mentioned below:

Tip 1: Make Your Dog Comfortable

Just as children hesitate to trim their nails, dogs can also be hesitant to trim their nails. You have to put extra effort into helping them overcome their fear and hesitancy towards trimming their nails.

Allow them to play with the trimmer for some days so that they can recognize it as a harmless tool.

Tip 2: Get Them in the Right Position

Once your dog gets comfortable, make them sit in the proper dog nail trimming position. For this, using a holder or getting some help from a second person who can hold the dog while you are trimming the dog’s nails can be helpful.

You must also ensure that they are sitting in a position where their nails are celery visible to you.

Tip 3: Identify their Quick

Before clipping the paws, make sure you identify the quick. Dogs with light-colored nails make it easier for you to identify, but dogs with black or dark nails may make it harder. So the best method is to cut small bits of nails during dog grooming. 

How to Cut Dog Nails Guillotine?

If you have a small dog with thin nails, guillotine clippers are recommended because they have a single blade making them easy to handle. You can follow the steps mentioned below to clip your dog’s nails using a guillotine clipper.

Step 1

Allow your dog to sit in a comfortable position.

Step 2

To keep your dog distracted, give him a treat.

Step 3

Start by trimming the nails in tiny bits slowly.

Step 4

Once you have trimmed all the nails, use a nail file or grinder to file the nails properly.

How to Clip Dog Nails?

Here are some easy nail trimming steps you can follow while cutting your dog’s nails.

Step 1

Take their paw steadily. Place your thumb on their toe and hold it gently. Try to avoid any fur from getting in the way.

Step 2

Try to get a good look at their nails so that you can trim them without much hassle.

Step 3

Start trimming their nails straight across slowly.

Step 4

Make sure you trim bit by bit and once you get to the nail’s curve, stop trimming to avoid getting to the quick.

How to Stop Dog Nail Bleeding?

When trimming dog nails, you may accidentally touch the quick, resulting in bleeding. The best way to stop this bleeding is to press a clean cloth on their paw for at least two minutes to compress the blood.

Following this, use a styptic pencil or powder. These are readily available at pet pharmacies. When applying the same, it may sting a bit, and your dog may move a lot, so make sure you hold them firmly.

Dogs Nail Trimming | Why It’s Important & Tips for Anxiety

Trimming your dog’s nails, whether you own a puppy or a retriever, is imperative because they accumulate dirt and dust when the nails get long. And it can cause damage to the nails of your pet.

If you have a mature breed, nails that have not received grooming can decrease traction. It can lead to pain, impacting their mobility.

Also, not regularly attending to your dog’s well-being and ensuring that their nails are trimmed can negatively affect their health.

Using a sharp trimmer while cutting dog nails is essential, and you should ensure that you trim dog nails once in two weeks.

When you trim often, you can do them once in four weeks as the growth rate of the nails decreases. To get rid of anxiety during nail trimming, consider the following tips.

  1. Try to make your dog more familiar with the clipper you will use to trim their nails. Allow them to play with the trimmer for at least a week to get acquainted with it.
  2. Make sure that you use dog nail clippers that are sharp. Also, ensure that the blades of the trimmer are not dusty.
  3. To reduce your stress, you can ask for help from someone to hold your puppy so that they can focus on holding the puppy, and you can focus on trimming their nails safely.
  4. To avoid hurting your pet, start trimming slowly. Never cut the nails in huge bits. Instead, go slow and clip their nails into small bits.

Easy Tips on Clipping and Cutting Dog Nails Safely

Getting your dog to be comfortable and relaxed while trimming its nails is extremely important. You can easily cut their nails at home if you are patient enough and have a teaching tool kit to assist you during the process.

Things that you need to keep in handy while trimming their nails are a high-quality trimmer, a Dremel nail grinder, and a styptic pencil or powder to stop the bleeding in case you accidentally touch the quick. After this, you can perform the following steps.

1.     Make Them Sit in a Comfortable Position

Allow your dog to sit on the floor or anywhere else comfortably. Ask someone to hold it for more stability. Sit in the opposite direction of the nail you are trimming.

2.     Keep Your Dog Calm

Allowing your dog to be calm in the entire process is imperative. You can massage it gently to keep your pet relaxed. Also, you can give it treats so that it can stay calm.

3.     Assess Their Nails

Firmly hold their paws and extend their nails by gently pushing the pads. The quick may be visible with light-colored nails, but you have to be careful to avoid hurting the quick with dark nails. Hence, cut the nails in small increments to prevent pain or bleeding.

4.     Clip The Nails

Start clipping the nails gently and steadily. Use a sharp, high-quality clipper and trim the nail at a 45-degree angle.

Don’t cut nails in large portions; instead, cut them in small nips. Once you see the pick side of the nail, stop trimming the nails. You can use a tool kit series to get some help when trimming the nails.

How Short Can You Cut a Dog’s Nails Without Hurting Them?

The shortness of your dog’s nail you should maintain when trimming depends on the dog’s breed you have.

However, you should always keep a safe distance of at least 3 millimeters between the quick, which is of pink color, and the nail.

If the nail clipper touches the quick, it can lead to bleeding causing extreme pain to your dog. As a result, they may get highly fugitive, making the entire nail trimming procedure even more time-consuming and stressful.

Try to trim the nails slowly and cut them until the quick or the pink shade becomes visible. Once you see it, stop trimming the nails.

Trimming your dog’s nails may overwhelm and stress you, but you can feel relaxed and help your dog become calm if you follow the tips mentioned above. Hence, ensure to consider them and trim your lovely pet’s nails safely and perfectly.

Aapt Dubey
Aapt Dubey

Aapt Dubey, a devoted canine enthusiast and experienced dog Owner, brings boundless passion to our team. With a heart full of love for our four-legged friends, Aapt is dedicated to sharing insights on dog care, behavior, and training to make every pup's life happier and healthier at ItsAboutDog.com.

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