How to Trim Dog Nails

All you need to know on How to Trim Dog Nails at Home

If you have a doggo at home, then nail trimming is something you will have to do for at least a month. Most dog owners don’t know this, but if you don’t do this the right way, it can affect your doggo a lot. Long nails can cause so many problems for not just your doggo but also for you. If your doggo has long nails then they can damage everything they touch. When your doggo climbs up to you or climb up to a sofa, nails will scratch everything. So, unless you want your house to look like there’s a monster is living there, it’s better to know how to trim dog nails and do it right.

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Nail trimming should be a Positive Experience for your Doggo

If the first nail trimming experience is bad for your doggo, then they will remember it, and it would be chaos to trim your doggo’s nails afterward. Therefore, it’s important that this experience would be a positive one for your doggo.

I remember that when I was a kid, my dad accidentally trimmed a bit too much of our doggo. After that, it was almost impossible to trim his nails because they would get aggressive the moment they realized that we are going to trim their nails. So, it’s crucial that the first experience should be positive for your doggo.

This is how a doggo would react when they don’t like nail trimming.

But don’t worry. Even if you mess up the first time, there’s a way you can correct it. And trimming your dog’s nails is not a complicated task. It’s a very simple and easy process. So, here is a simple guide about “How to trim dog nails.”

How to trim Dog Nails using a Clipper?

  • Collect your Stuff first

First of all, you need your stuff. You will need scissor-style clippers or guillotine-style scissors for this. Also, have nail files so you can smooth the edges and have a treat to give when your doggo behaves like a good boy. Keep in mind to have styptic powder so you can use it if you accidentally trim deep (this will stop the bleeding).

  • Focus on the “Quick”

“Quick” is the pink section running through the center of the nail. Don’t cut the quick. Cut above from it. Now, this can be tricky if your doggo has dark nails because then the quick can be almost impossible to notice. If that’s the case, then it’s better to use nail clippers with a safety guard so you can avoid cutting into the quick. If you are a beginner, then it’s better to mark the edge of the quick with a marker before you cut it.

  • Firmly Hold your Doggo’s Paw

A firm and comfortable grip is a must when you trim your doggo’s nails. To get more control, face the same direction your doggo face. The pad of your doggo’s paw should rest on your non-dominant hand’s palm. Then put your thumb on top of the paw (just like how you hold a TV remote).

But keep in mind that not all dogs are the same. Some dogs prefer if you let the foot just remain where it is. If that’s the case with your doggo, then stabilize only the nail you are trimming instead of holding the entire paw.

How to Trim Dog Nails
  • Do the Cut

While petting your doggo, hold the clippers in a way that it will cut the nail from top to bottom and not side to side because that will crush the nail instead of cutting it cleanly. Trim parallel to the bottom of the nail. Afterward, give your doggo a treat to let him know that what a good boy he is.

  • Smooth Out the Edge

The edges of nails will be rough after you trim them. That can be a bit irritating for your doggo and even for you. So, smooth them with a normal nail file.

What should you do if you cut the Quick?

Don’t worry. If you cut the quick, just be calm and just pet your doggo to reassure them. Then press stypic powder firmly onto the end of the nail until the bleeding stops. This can take a few minutes.

If you want to know more about what to do when a nail is broken, you can use this link.

After you are done for the day (one nail or all of them), make sure that you praise your doggo and give him treats so he knows that treats are connected with nail cutting. This will give your doggo a sense that nail trimming is not such a bad thing after all. And remember to not force your doggo to let you trim their nails.


  • How do you know when to trim your Dog’s nail?

If your doggo is leaving scratch marks everywhere or if you hear clicking sounds when your pet walks, then that’s an indication that your doggo is in need of a nail trim.

How to Trim Dog Nails