How to Cut Dog Nails (Step by Step)

One of the things most people don’t think about when they get a dog is having to cut their nails. In truth, though, a dog’s nails will need to be cut regularly to avoid painful complications. Dogs that are allowed to just let their nails grow can have painful breakage or a tougher time walking.

Step by Step Process of how to cut dog nails

Cutting your dog’s nail is a pretty simple process and one that can easily be done at home with some training. Keep in mind that it can be dangerous to cut any pets nails, and you should always have some quick clot on hand in case of emergencies. Quick clot is a cheap solution that can be found in most grooming isles and will quickly stop any bleeding.

Buy a Pair of Dog Clippers

People clippers are not for dogs and will likely not be wide enough to cut a dog’s nails. Even if you have a small dog, you need to buy an appropriate pair of clippers for a clean and safe cut.

Every pair of clippers I have bought have been around ten dollars at most and last me for years.

Set up a Clean Environment

Next, set up a spot, especially since there is always a chance you may need to treat an injury. It’s best to set out some clean towels that you wouldn’t mind messing up. If possible, bring your dog over and get them to sit down on the towels.

Make Sure Your Dog is Comfortable

How to Cut Dog NailsNext, make sure your dog is comfortable if they are older then lay the towels on a soft surface like a dog bed.

If your dog is already uncomfortable before you start, the trim will likely go bad. If your dog is having trouble sitting still consider getting out some of there energy before proceeding.

Hold There Paw Steady

Lift each paw up off the ground to where you can clearly see the nails. Make sure to hold your dogs tightly and make sure that they can’t jerk away during the clip. If you don’t feel confidant in your grip, then readjust until you are completely sure you have a good hold on your dog.

Push Down on Each Tow

Now that your dog’s paw is tightly grasped, push down on the toe to expose the nail. You will need to keep the nail exposed as you cut it. This is usually the part where a nervous dog will show the most aggression. If your dog is snapping or jerky around widely, then do not proceed.

Safety Position The Clippers and Cut

If your dog is calm, then place the clippers carefully above the quip of the nails and press down. The quick is a pink fleshy looking blood vessel that you should be cautious around.

Repeat this process with each nail until you are finished. The back nails are generally a bit harder, so expect them to take longer to cut than the front paws.

When To Seek Help

If your dog is extremely scared, trying to flee, or becomes aggressive, seek help. A stressed dog is at a high risk for injury and should be taken to a groomer or vet who has the proper tools to keep them still and safe.


How to know how far to cut dog nails

The quick is the point that you should stop cutting your dogs nail at, always leave a bit of nail between the cutting point and the quick.

How often to safely cut dog nails that are too long

There is no exact silence to how much or little you cut your dog’s nails. Every dog’s nails will grow at a different speed, and some foods may even expedite growth.

How to cut black dog nails using a flashlight

Using a flashlight is a great way to identify the quick in the dog’s nails. The hard part is finding a spot to set the light as you need both hands while clipping your dog. If possible, set the flashlights on a box or get another family member to hold it. Make sure to shine the light from above or the side if possible, and avoid shining the light in your pet’s eyes.

How to get your dog to stay calm when you cut their nails

This can be a bit tricky. The best advice I have is to begin clipping their claws when young and give treats after each session. If you have a nervous dog, then try using calming treats to help soothe their nerves.

How short to cut a dog’s nails

Cut the nails as short as possible while still leaving room between the clippers and the quick. This will keep you from having to clip your pet’s nails so often and will ensure that that they can walk with ease.