How to Cut Your Dog’s Nails

Five things to keep in mind:

1. It must be done

Your dog’s nails can grow into his pad which can deform a puppy’s growth and make walking painful for an adult dog. Even if your dog walks on concrete sidewalks each day, it won’t be enough to completely keep his nails trimmed. Learn to do it yourself or pay $10 or so to have a groomer or vet tech
do it.

2. How often depends on your dog

The easy way to tell if your dog needs his nails trimmed is to have him standing and then look at him in a side view. Do his nails at most merely touch the floor? You don’t want a click, click, click sound as he walks on a hard floor.

I prefer to keep my dog’s nails right above the floor. Most dogs need trimming every two to four weeks depending on how short you want the nails.

3. There is no easy or quick way to trim his nails (except to pay someone else to do it)

If your dog has white nails, put them under a direct light or flash light and see if you can see the pinkish shadow under the nail which is where the quick starts.

If your dog has black nails, use a direct light but look underneath his nail, not on top. In all cases, have Kwik-Stop Styptic Powder on hand in case of bleeding.

If you clip your dog’s quick once, he will forgive you. Do it a second time and he’ll learn to fear the clippers. Try to clip him a third time and you may have a fight to the death.

4. Don’t forget the dew claws (if he still has them)

Many dog breeds have these nails or digits on the inside of the front legs and occasionally on the hind legs. They don’t touch the ground so they’ll never be ground down naturally. You must trim these or they will grow inward toward your little dog’s legs.

5. Watch the video below before you start

See the different types of tools used at Tools to Cut Dog’s Nails.

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