How to Trim Dog's Nails

When Do You Need to Cut Dog’s Nails?

Scratching on the floor is a great indication that the dog nails need to be trimmed. When running in places like the kitchen it will sound like the dog is tap dancing. Although is great to know they are on their way to you they are in need of a grooming session.

Visibly long nails or broken nails will start to become a constant theme. One way to keep the nails down that we will not talk too much about on this article is exercising the dog and it will keep the nails low naturally.

Nail Clippers

Clippers that are made for dog’s nails are important because humans and dogs have two different nails. Getting the proper equipment will ensure that the dog will always have clippers that suitable for a canine.

Ensure clippers are not dull once they start getting older. Brand new dog nail clippers are not an issue. Cutting the nails will require more force and can lead to mistakes and mistrust. Keep a sharp pair of clippers on hand.

Emery Boards

After cutting the edges can be sharp and emery boards helps with filing down those parts of the dog’s nails. Nails should be longer up top than on the bottom and you can shape nails that were not cut correct.

Styptic Powder

Stops bleeding if you make a mistake and cut too deep. Nice to have around because you will be in shock at how much blood can come out of the dog nail. Just kidding, but seriously it can bleed more than you expect.

Styptic Powder, or something similar, should be on hand for emergency situations. You want to have an immediate solution to many problems that may arise.


Best way to introduce and continue to revisit nail trimming is to exhaust the dog before grooming sessions. Skipping this step will make the introduction and continuing relationship most likely suffer.

Exercise makes the dog calmer and when they relax the session will become a breeze. You simply cut the nails, move on to the next foot, and you’re done.

Single easiest way to improve the behavior during a nail trimming session for those who have issues with bad behavior. Exhaust the dog for an hour or more and begin the session right after.

Check for Sensitivity

Sometimes dogs may be experiencing some pain and you should always be aware of potential injuries. Always keep an eye out for this and take them to the vet for x-rays and get the proper treatment.

Check paw pads, nails, and entire area before beginning to cut a dog’s nails. Cutting the dog’s nails while they have health issues will create a mistrust for the grooming process.

It is easy to lose to dog’s trust and hard to earn it back.


Using a leash is something professionals use, and you can use it at home. Keeps the dog in one place and reduces the distractions you are likely to encounter.

Whenever the leash is short this is even better. For this short session the shorter the leash the better. We want the dog to have their heads up high not paying attention to a painless nail trimming.

Dog Trimming Partner

You may want to include a kid or another adult to assist with holding the dog during the trimming process. They can hold the leash or wrap an arm around a nice and friendly dog.

Items you need like an emery board or some powder for bleeding can be passed over from a friend without wasting much time.

Cutting the Dog’s Nail

Make sure the clippers are facing up and not down. This will make sure that the nail is cut at a 45-degree angle avoiding cutting into the incorrect area of the dog’s nail causing bleeding and discomfort.

Gray part of the dog’s nail will look different from black or white nails and that is the nerve. You want to avoid cutting too deep and when you see the gray appear you can stop cutting that nail.How to trim your dogs nails

How to End Trimming Dog’s Nails

You want end calm if you are dealing with a dog that is full of excitement already. Remember if this is where you are at in the training program staying quiet is better and pet the dog instead of using your voice.

When dealing with a calm dog you can reward with praise, treats, or toys. Whichever your dog likes the best try to get them their favorite for outstanding behavior while you trimmed the dog’s nails.

There are no right or wrong ways to end the session if they dog is trained. When still in training always make sure the dog is calm.

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