A good number of dogs hate having their feet handled, as a result, clipping, and trimming may possibly never be the favourite activity you share with your dog. However, getting your doggie used to the ritual from an early stage will help you both withstand the process. You could try offering your dog a yummy treat immediately after your dog’s trimming session, in addition to this, give your dog a big hug, and a lively “Good dog!” as well as a scratch behind its ears.

If you are not comfortable clipping your dog’s nails, you could seek the help of a dog grooming professional who will more than happy to take care of this for you on a regular basis.


Why Your Dog’s Nail Need Regular Trimming

When your dog has long sharp nails it can leave lasting scratches on your favourite furniture or cause a rip on your cushion. When the nails are left to grow, they may become ingrown or infected. Your dog’s nails can become too long until they bend back into your dog’s skin. When your dog has long nails, it could end up experiencing immense pain from this. In addition, your dog could even get malformations that may be permanent.


Tools You Need for Trimming Your Dog’s Nails


  • Nail Clippers
    There are quite a few styles of nail clippers for dog’s available on the market.
    These include:
    – The Guillotine-Style Nail Clippers
    – The Pliers-Style Nail Clippers
    – The Scissors-Type Of Nail Clipper
  • Treats
    It is recommended to have some treats close at hand for rewarding your dog after every nail clipping session. This is an excellent idea that helps makes this experience more encouraging for your doggie as well as for you.
  • Styptic Powder And Other Clotting Powders
    This is important to have on hand just in case of cutting your dog’s nails too short which causes some bleeding. Baking flour, baking soda, and cornstarch can also work when you are in a bind.

Types of Dog Nail Trimmers

Make sure you buy some good quality nail trimmers that are designed for your dog depending on the size and ensure that they are sharp. The trimmers need to be concave at its cutting edge, to help avoid crushing your dog’s nail.

  1. Scissors Type Clippers
    – Have the notches on the scissors blades that will firmly hold on the nails of your dog.
    – Give the handles of the clippers a squeeze to cut your dog’s nail.
    – The scissors are inexpensive to buy.
    – They are suitable for the small dogs since the scissors are rather light in weight.
    – The scissors-style clippers will not clip nails of the bigger dog breeds.
  2. Pliers Type Clippers
    – This type of clippers works the same as a pair of shears for pruning.
    – You will need to squeeze the Pliers’ handles together to be able to trim your dog’s nails.
    – Always check the sharpness of the blades because when they become dull, the blades tend to crush instead of cutting the nail.
    – This type of clippers is appropriate for the large breed of dogs that have thicker nails
  3. Guillotine Style Clippers
    – These clippers type cuts the nail since its cutting blades move up to cut off your dog’s nail
    – It is recommended to have a fixed ring through which you can put the nails of your dog
    – The good thing about this type of clippers is that you could replace the blades once they become dull.

Using poor quality or even blunt nail trimmers will cause splits on your dog’s nails. When your dog’s nails are not that long but they appear sharp, you could simply use a pumice stone or even file them to help take off the tips.

How To Get Your Dog Used To The Nail Clippers

When you have never used nail clippers for dogs before, they may appear a bit frightening, thus just picture how your dog will feel!

Thus, it is recommended to always test the nail clippers first to make sure their blades are in good working condition. In spite of the clipper style you choose for your dog, be sure to use a steady grip on the nail clippers. Also always make sure you use your fingers in separating your dog’s toes as this helps make the entire process a lot easier for your dog and you.

One huge tip for you to help to make the clipping session for your dog a lot easier is by getting him used to its nail clippers before you can actually clip any of its nails:

  • You can do this by having the nail clippers held near your dog’s feet and its nails.
  • Always make sure to praise your dog and give him treats.
  • You can keep doing this for about 10-15 times prior to stopping.
  • On the following day, you will need to do a similar process only that this time you get to squeeze the nail clippers so that they produce a sound.
  • While you do this, continue to praise and giving treats for about 15 times prior to bringing the session to an end.

At this moment, when the time comes to clip your dog’s nails, it will be a lot easier since they will have got used to the nail clipper as well as the sound it produces.

How To Trim Your Dog’s Nails

It is recommended to start with a single nail, then reward your dog then come back later when you or your dog gets nervous. One method that will greatly help is for you to hold the handles of the nail trimmers aligned with your dog’s toe pads and then trim straight across its nail. This will ensure that the nail sits right on top of the ground. This procedure will make it very unlikely that you will end up cutting the dog’s nails too short.

For you to be able to achieve a much shorter cut compared to the earlier mentioned technique, you could aim at cutting the nails at an angle of 45°, soon after you have a visual of the quick. When it comes to trimming your dog’s nails, the quick is a pink part located within a dogs nail and it is where the blood vessels and nerves are. This is similar to the part found underneath human nails.

You need to be careful every time you are cutting your dog’s nail and please do make sure you are familiar with where the quick is located on your dog. It is important for you to realize that this part is very sensitive and that you would not like to cut into it. This is because it can cause lots of pain and bleeding to your dog. This may lead to your pet not wanting to continue with the grooming session.

When your doggie has white see-through nails, it is then quite easy for you to spot the pinkish part (the quick). However, a number of dogs have some darker nails.

Trimming Black Nails On Your Dog

When your dog’s nails are black, take the time to look at the nail underside. From here you will be able to notice that going out towards the edge, there is a part where the nail separates out to a triangular shape, which has two surfaces ‘walls’. From the point, where there is no pinkish part and it’s safe for you to cut off the nail tips.

Otherwise, you could use the method of just cutting straight across away from the pad, instead of trying to cut up your dog’s nails at an angle of 45°.

An additional trick for you when it comes to cutting your dog’s nails is to put gentle pressure on the nail trimmers without you actually having to cut the spot where you think you have to cut. When your dog responds to the pressure, then there is a likelihood that you may be too close to its quick. To avoid hurting your dog, you will have to move the nail clippers a little further off, down its nails.

Immediately Stop Any Bleeding

When you by mistake cut your dog’s nails too short, you may need to make use of the styptic powder. You could also simply make use of a clean bar of soap then running it under your dog’s injured nail. At this point, the soap will help plug the vessels and thus help stop the bleeding.

Deformed Nails or Old Dogs

It is important for you to recognize that older dogs are inclined to have rather long nails, elongated quicks, and frequently very hard nails. It can also happen that the nails may grow back a little deformed when the dog has had some kind of trauma to its nail bed, like when some dew claw has got caught up in something and it got torn.

Also, do not forget to check for the dewclaws in case your dog has some. These tend to grow rather long since they don’t usually touch the earth and when you fail to spot and cut them, they can, in the long run, grow back into the dog’s foot. This can be quite painful for your dog.

You may consider clipping your dog’s nails immediately after bathing since this will aid with the nail hardness issue. This is because your dog’s nails are a lot softer after a bath. By ensuring that you only take the ends off the nails or even cutting off them so that they sit just a bit off the floor when your doggie is standing, will help in making sure that you do not cut the deformed nails way too short.

How Regularly Should I Trim My Dog’s Nails?

It is recommended that you cut your dog’s nails every time you are able to hear your dog’s nails snapping on the floor. This is because normally your dog is not supposed to be clicking whenever he walks.

For most dogs that won’t help the clicking on the floor since their quicks are possibly too long to get cut short enough as yet. Your dog’s nail cutting has to be done more regularly to assist the quick to recede. Once every 1to 2 weeks seems to be the best possible recommendation time period for dogs that require getting their quicks receded.

  • When your dog spends the majority of its time indoors plus it doesn’t go out for a lot of long walks, in that case, it’s very easy for the dog’s toenails to grow too long. For that reason, regular nail trims are very necessary.
  • When your dog uses up a lot of its time outdoors and always goes for long walks more often, then it is likely that there will be much longer time taken in between your doggie’s nail trims.

What If Your Dog Hates Nail Trimming?

Every now and then, in spite of your best efforts, a few dogs do not like having their nails clipped. The best bet is only to trim lots of nails at a time as your dog can patiently agree to. When your dog starts to get restless or even distracted, it’s could be time for you to cancel your dog’s grooming session. You could then pick up from where you had left off in a week.


By taking little time as well as lots of patience you may be able to cut your dog’s nails having little to zero fuss. In addition, seek to get the best nail clipper as well as the best technique to persuade your dog that nail trimming can be fun.

This is especially since it receives treats each time you have a nail done. Not considering your choices, keep in mind that your dog’s claws need to be cut frequently. There are, however, unwanted side effects when this is not done, which turn out to be hurtful for your dog, and not for you. If you are still unsure of trimming your best friend’s nails, engage a groomer at Likeable Pets or your vet to demonstrate to you.