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How To Trim Your Dog's Nails

By Edited Jun 2, 2014 4 5

As part of your normal dog grooming process, your dog's nails should be trimmed. Trimming a dog's nails can be intimidating if you have never done it before. It really is not as difficult as it sounds though. Once you get the hang of it, it is actually very easy. You should start trimming your dog's nails when he or she is still a puppy. By starting the nail trimming when a dog is young, they are more likely to become used to the process and not give you as hard of a time as an older dog. Don't be surprised if your dog constantly pulls his paw out of your hand, many dogs do not like their paws touched and held because they are not used to the feeling. In between nail trimming, hold his or her paw and gently stroke it so the dog has a good association between his or her paw being held and you.

How To Trim Dog Nails

Give your dog a nice long bath before starting a nail trim. The water will make his or her nails softer and easier to cut.

Use only nail trimmers made for dogs. Do not use nail clippers made for people. Nail clippers made for humans will not work well, most dog's nails are too thick to properly fit between the blades and this can lead to an injury. Dog nail trimmers are available at pet stores.

Dog Nail Grooming

Locate the area known as the quick. This area will be a different color than the ends of the nails. The quick is generally a reddish color. The quick contains many blood vessels and will bleed if you cut the nails too short. If your dog has dark colored nails, the quick will not be visible.

Hold your dog's paw with your thumb on the pad of his paw and gently squeeze. Clip a little of the nail off at a time. Be sure to stay away from the quick. If you do nick the quick use a stypic powder or pencil made for dogs to stop the bleeding.

Use a file to smooth away any jagged edges.

Trim Dog Nails


Feb 2, 2010 3:54am
Great article on how to trim your dog's nails.
Feb 2, 2010 7:38am
Thank you for the information on trimming a dog's nails. I will be sure to pass this one along. Thumbs Up!
Feb 2, 2010 10:36am
I have only tried this once. Thanks for the good advice
Feb 12, 2010 7:58am
Thanks for that, we have tried to do our dogs nails but he hates it. Like you said he keeps pulling away, actually he tried to nip my husband the last time. So we just do a couple every now and then
Oct 6, 2010 9:53am
It takes a team to get my dogs nails trimmed, even at the vet's office! Great article
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