How to Safely Trim Your Dog’s Nails without Too Much Fuss

Your dog is probably the only thing on earth that loves you more than you love yourself. Although dogs are genuinely happy if you just love them back, feed them and walk them, your dog deserves special care and attention. You should take care of your dog by bathing him, brushing his hair, trimming his nails and even dressing him during the cold months. Happy and healthy dog means good company.

Dog paws with a spot in the form of heart and human hand close up, top view. Conceptual image of friendship, trust, love, the help between the person and a dog

Nails that are too long can lead to uneven weight distribution, splayed feet, and mobility issues. In extreme cases, a nail might even grow into the paw pad. That being said, keeping your dog nails trimmed is essential not only for cosmetic, but also health purposes. The truth is unless your dog is very active outdoors, his nails are unlikely to become worn on their own, and if they grow too long, they could break or splinter.

Now, there’s no need to stress out your dog by bringing him to the vet whenever he needs nails trimming- you can do it safely at home too. However, trimming your dog’s nails at home using dog nail clippers requires some careful approach and training, and the following features can ease you up at the process.

Why Cut Your Dog’s Nails

Vets are constantly asked if cutting dog’s nails necessary. Some owners even believe that the longer the dog’s nails, the healthier the dog. In reality, the case is the exact opposite. Dog anatomy teaches us that dogs walk on their toes, not on their pads or their nails. This means that long nails can cause issues regarding your dog’s comfortable and safe walking. Also, the longer the nails, the bigger the risk of a broken nail, which can be a painful and traumatic experience for your dog.

Moreover, overgrown claws can throw off your dog’s gait. This sets off a painful chain reaction as the long nail pushes into the nail bed. In such case, the dog may refuse to walk, even if it’s just for doing his business, which can set into motion other concerning health issues. Cutting your dog’s nails once in two months with the right-size dog nail clippers is essential for his health. Even though the process can be a bit tricky, with time, both you and your dog will get used to it.

How Long Should Dog Nails Be?

If your dog lives outside, you’ll never need to learn how to trim his nails. All that running and chasing over rough ground probably keeps them naturally well-trimmed. But if you keep your dog indoors, try to go as close to the quick (the vessel supplying blood to the nail for growth purposes) as you can without actually cutting it.

If your dog has white nails, the quick can be easily seen – it’s the pink part of the nail.It’s safe to trim just beyond the pink of the nail.

If your dog has black nails, it’s impossible to see where the quick is from the top of the nail. In this case, it would be smarter to trim small bits at a time, looking at the cut end after each snip. If you can see a black dot in the middle of the cut end, you should stop trimming.

Have in mind that the colourless, clear nail tip is “dead” and your dog won’t feel anything if you clip it off. It will just grow back again.

How to Trim Your Dog’s Nails

It is essential to select the best dog nail trimmer to safely cut your dog’s nails. There’re many different types of nail trimmers. Since you want only the best for your buddy, opt for good quality and sharp trimmers. Depending on your dog’s size you can easily find small, medium or jumbo nail clippers for dogs. Have in mind that a good nail trimmer should be concave at the cutting edge as to avoid crushing the nails. Avoid blunt or poor quality trimmers – they can split and damage the nails.

You can choose from two types of dog nail trimmers: scissor style and guillotine style. The scissor-style trimmer functions like regular scissors, with a blade at one end and handles at the other. They usually have a spring near the blade for added strength. A scissor-style trimmer can be used on dogs of all size and is an ideal choice if you are new to the nail cutting game. The guillotine clippers have a tiny opening for the dog’s nail. The blade then cuts through when the handles are squeezed.

Be patient and start slowly. Firstly, let the dog sniff the clipper and then reward him with a small treat. Gently continue moving the clipper towards his foot and give him a treat. Continue this process with gently touching the front and end pows, giving him a treat every time. The trick is to convince your dog that the nail clipper is something interesting and fun.

Do not try to cut all your dog nails in one day. Be patient and repeat several sessions on getting your dog use to sit in a steady position and gently touching his up to holding your dog’s paw in a way that resembles how you’ll grasp it when you cut it—with the nail isolated and extended. Reward your dog every time. Once you managed to trim, make small cuts until you see the begging of the nail-coloured circle. Never go past this circle (the quick), it starts to bleed if it’s clipped. If your dod is steady, continue to the next nail.

Slowly, your dog will get used to the process and cutting their nails once a month wouldn’t be too much of a fuss.

Ouch! Don’t Panic – Accidents Happen

Sometimes cutting the quick is unavoidable, because your dog might move at the worst possible moment. Don’t panic and remember that even the most experienced dog groomers and veterinarians sometimes cut the quick in error. When this happens, your dog’s toenail might start bleeding. The bleeding usually stops in four minutes, but if you want to be prepared, provide some styptic powder. Just dab the powder onto the quick to induce clotting.

Note: If you notice that your dog’s toe is still bleeding after 10 minutes of using powder, take him to the vet right away.