How to Cut Your Dog’s Nails

Dogs are amazing creatures and they deserve to have the best life possible. Unfortunately, it can be a real challenge to get their nails trimmed. When it comes to cutting dog nails, owners have to know that it is one of the grooming parts.

It helps keep their nails from growing too long and it also maintains strong, healthy claws. In this article, owners will learn a step-by-step guide on how to cut a dog’s nails quickly and painlessly.

The Importance Of Trimming Dog Nails 

Neglected claws can lead to serious health problems. Nails help the dog to grip and walk, it is also essential to ensure that the nails are trimmed properly. If the owner doesn’t take care of the dog’s claws, it may cause the following problems:

  • Infection – Not trimming claws regularly can cause infection. Not only is this painful and swelling but it also makes them more susceptible to bacterial illnesses such as staphylococcus infections. They can also get a bacterial disease from chewing their nails and having the germs transfer from their mouth to their claw bed. 

You can help prevent it by making sure to clean the nail bed daily with warm water and antibacterial shampoos for dogs such as antiparasitic & antiseborrheic medicated dog shampoo, DERMagic organic shampoo bar, or Curaseb medicated shampoo. First clean and wet your dog in a bathtub and then apply the medicated shampoo. Start rubbing and massaging from infected places, and rinse your dog after 10 minutes.

  • Deformed nails – Overgrown nails can deform over time. This causes the nail plate to bend and curl inward. This deformation can yield discomfort and suffering for your dog. In addition, it can provoke problems with walking and jumping since the toe pads won’t be able to grip the ground correctly. Deformed nails can also make it difficult for the dog to grip things, which can lead to problems getting around. 
  • Paronychia – A dog with long, untrimmed nails is at risk of developing a painful condition known as paronychia. This is an infection that forms in the skin between the toe and the nail. The infection is caused by bacteria that collect underneath the nails. This can cause the skin to become irritated and red. The area may also be sore and aching. 

There are several things that you can do to prevent your dog from getting paronychia: 

  1. Trim your dog’s nails regularly.
  2. Keep your pet’s claws clean.
  3. Make sure that your dog is not licking his nails.
  4. Don’t let your dog play in muddy areas.
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Dog nails Anatomy

Dogs’ nails are made up of keratin, similar to human fingernails. They are made up of two main parts. One is the tough outer layer, called the nail plate and the other is the softer, more sensitive interior layer called the nail bed (quick). The fur on the outer layer of the nail is called the nail plate and it is very tough, it can also withstand the rigors of daily life. It is usually a dark color but is sometimes lighter in color. 

The nail bed is the soft inner layer of the nail. It contains blood vessels and nerve endings. It is the part, which is closest to the skin and is most vulnerable to injuries and infections.

How to find quick on black dog’s nails?

Black nails are found in some dogs such as the English Bulldog, Doberman Pinschers, Golden Retriever, German Shepherd, Chihuahua, Mastiff, Newfoundland, and Pekingese. To find the quick-on-black nails you can use a flashlight. If you shine a light into your dog’s dark nails, you will be able to see the quick, which is similar to red blood. That’s how to know how far you need to cut them. 

Another way is to cut off the nail a little bit at a time and take a look at the nail after every cut until a small white (sometimes gray) pulp appears at the center of your dog’s nail. Stop there because you don’t want to cut into the blood vessel, which will start bleeding. 

How to Trim Dogs Nails?

  • Start Young:

Dogs that grow up without being trimmed regularly may develop fear issues later in life. It’s best to acclimate dogs to having their nails cut from a very young age around six weeks old.

Start by playing with your puppy’s paws and squeezing their toes gently. Praise them if they stay calm. Then gradually expose them to grooming tools, including nail clippers or nail grinders. Continue to reward them for staying relaxed while you work on their nails.

The goal here is to teach your puppy that there’s nothing to be afraid of. Don’t worry about hurting them; just focus on showing that it’s safe. Make sure to give them plenty of attention and affection during these sessions. That way, they’ll associate your hands with positive experiences rather than negative ones.

  • Find a Comfortable Place:

It’s important to find a comfortable position when trimming nails.  You can sit your dog in your lap or place them on the table. Also, make sure to position yourself opposite the nail you want to trim. In addition, you might consider having someone else hold your dog while you work on his nails. This will allow you to relax and focus on your dog’s nails.

  • Keep Your Dog Calm:
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Dogs are sensitive and they respond best to gentle touches and affectionate gestures. When dogs feel comfortable and calm, they tend to be less stressed out.

To achieve this effect, try petting your pup carefully and lovingly. Stroking their fur, rubbing their belly, and giving them a treat can all help to put your dog at ease. It’s also helpful to give your dog plenty of attention during grooming sessions.

Try to avoid harsh or rough handling, as this could lead to aggression. Instead, focus on being patient and kind. The goal here is to create a positive experience for both you and your dog.

  • Get The Right Tools:

There are different styles of tools available to use when trimming your dog’s nails. Some people prefer using the grinder, while others opt for clippers.

  1. Scissor-style clippers are simply a pair of scissors with a small handle at the base of the blade that allows you to operate the scissors with one hand. You can simply press the nail against the flat side of the nail clippers and then clip it.  
  1. Guillotine-style clippers work by squeezing and releasing the handle. These dog nail clippers are designed to cut close to the pet’s nail bed. You should only use this tool on short nails, as it may cause damage to the quick if used on long nails.
  1. Grinders: A dog nail grinder is a battery-operated, handheld device that helps to keep dogs’ nails short and prevents them from scratching. Grinders are suitable for all kinds of breeds (small, medium, and large). The batteries are usually rechargeable. It has led lights to help you see the nail better. 
  • Take Breaks and reward them with Treats:

Taking breaks from nail cutting is essential to prevent possible traumas. When you give your dog a break, they’ll feel more relaxed and confident and also enjoy the rewards you give them.

Start small by giving your pup a few quick clips every day. As he gets used to the routine, gradually increase the number of times per day until you reach the full amount of time you’d like to spend working together.

How To Avoid Over Trimming

Gather all the supplies that you need to trim your dog’s nails. This includes:

  1. A dog nail grinder or clippers.
  2. Some tasty treats (snacks or peanuts etc).
  3. Styptic powder or cornstarch (to clot the blood).
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To avoid hurting your dog when using a trimmer, make sure to support his toes firmly. Also, try to grind only a small portion of his nail at a time. This way, you won’t accidentally cut off too much of his nail.

Start by holding the trimmer at a 45-degree angle. Then slowly move it down until it’s directly under your dog’s paw. Next, place the tip of the grinder against the base of the nail and start grinding across the entire length of the nail. Don’t forget to support the toe of your dog’s foot while you’re doing this.

Afterward, work your way up toward the tip of the nail. When you reach the tip, stop grinding and instead focus on filing off the rough edges. Repeat this process on all the remaining paws until all the nails are removed.

The above steps are especially important if your dog has light-colored nails where the quick is visible, making it easy to avoid cutting through the quick.  If your pet has dark-colored nails, it’ll be hard to cut because you don’t know where the quick is. Follow these tips to avoid making your pet uncomfortable during trimming black nails.

Trim a very small length of the nail, about 1/16th of an inch. After you’ve made one trim, look at your dog’s nail head-on. If it has a whitish color, that means you’re still in the “dead zone.” It’s okay to trim a bit more into the nail. As you get close to the quick, the center of the nail will be black. Stop as soon as the surface turns pink, which is usually just before the blood vessel appears.

Be very gentle when cutting your black dog’s nails. If you are not, your dog may become anxious or fearful and may not enjoy the experience.


As a dog owner, you would know how much toil it takes to trim your dog’s nails. Dogs usually find the process of cutting their nails an unpleasant one. Since they are not born with a knowledge of how to cut their nails, it is important to consider their behavior and the strategies that are used to help them relax during the nail cutting.

Therefore, it is vital to know how to do it in the right way. Remember to keep your dog calm and happy throughout the process. You want to encourage them to cooperate with you, not scare them away.