How to Properly Clip Your Dog's Nails

How to Properly Clip Your Dog's Nails

The most obvious reason for learning how to clip your dogs nails is that long nails can make it challenging for your dog to walk and can cause them pain. Secondly, if you don't clip your dog's nails often enough, the quick (the vein in the nail) will grow out too far and cause pain when cut. This blog post will illustrate how to clip your dogs nails without hurting them or making them afraid of the process!

Equipment Needed for Nail Clipping

While there are many types of dog nail clippers on the market, finding a pair with a comfortable grip and a sharp cutting edge is crucial. Because dogs' nails are generally tough, they can be difficult to snip through, especially when using blunt nail clippers. This can make the process painful because more force and effort are required to snip through the nail. Ouch!

Some people prefer guillotine-style clippers, while others find scissors-style clippers easier to use. Whichever type you choose, test them out on your nails first to get a feel for how they work.

How to Clip Your Dogs Nails Properly


You'll need to have your dog in a comfortable position for both of you - this may mean sitting on your lap or standing next to you, depending on your dog's size and temperament. If your dog is small enough, you can also put them in a sink or tub so that any stray nails are caught before they hit the ground.

Cutting the Nails

When first learning how to clip a dogs nails, start by trimming just the very tips of the nails. If you cut too far and hit the quick, it will bleed and be painful for your dog. As you get more comfortable with the process, you can trim a little bit further down each time.

What to Do if You Cut the Quick

If you accidentally cut the quick, don't worry; apply some pressure with a clean cloth or cotton ball to stop the bleeding. You can also use a styptic pencil (available at most pet stores) to help stop the bleeding and soothe the area.

How To Clip Your Dogs Nails If They Hate It

If your dog is resistant (snaps or snarls) to having its nails clipped, your first instinct would be to avoid the process entirely! And no self-respecting pet parent would blame you! However, here are some tips to make the process easier for both of you.

  • Try acclimating them to the nail clippers by letting them sniff and lick them before you actually use them.
  •  You can also give your dog treats while clipping their nails to help them associate the experience with something positive.
  •  It's important to be gentle and calm throughout the process - dogs can sense when we're tense or nervous, which will only make them more anxious. 

The Final Snip

And that's it! With patience and practice, clipping your dog's nails can be a quick and easy process. Just be sure to go slowly at first and reward your dog throughout so that they learn to associate nail clipping with something positive!

Image by Aleksandr Tarlõkov from Pixabay