How to Cut Dog Nails Safely Without Hurting Him

March 22, 2022

Trimming dog nails is always a challenging task for a dog owner. But a healthy, short, and trimmed nail is an evident sign of your dog’s good health and hygiene. Regular maintenance of its nails is more than looking good externally. Unhealthy nails can cause pain. Professionals can perform the task in a blink of an eye, but it can be a simple procedure for you too, only if you do it correctly. Your pup nail has a living pink quick that supplies blood and nerves in the quick bleed when cut.

The process may cause anxiety for many dogs, so you should start it when they are young, so they become accustomed to the process. Some dogs are easy to handle and will sit in your lap happily, while others may take some time to adapt. Short quicks are the preferred length as long nails hit the ground. The pressure puts force on the foot and leg structure that can cause deformed feet and injure the tendons over an extended period. Some dogs wear their nails down and do not need clipping.

Helpful Tips To Trim The Nails of Your Furry Friend:

Tip – 1
Make your Dog Comfortable

Make your Dog Comfortable

Dogs often feel uncomfortable when touched by their ears, mouth, tail, and paws. The experience during vet exams, bathing, and grooming will acclimate them to these sensations. Some dogs do not mind nail trimming one bit. But, if your pup is taking a little longer to get used to it, do not despair. Be patient and consistent. Keep a gentle and positive attitude by praising and offering treats. You can help your dog become more comfortable with having its paws handled and nails trimmed. Always use safe, hygienic, and dog-friendly tools.

7 Days Tips to make your dog comfortable while trimming his nails:

Your pup will not become sensitive if you regularly touch its paws gently and cheerfully right from the first day.

  • Day 1: Let it sniff the tool.
  • Day 2: Touch the tool on each paw.
  • Day 3: Touch and squeeze the clipper or turn the grinder on and let it feel the vibration and hear the sound. Do not trim a nail.
  • Day 4: Touch the clipper to its feet again.
  • Day 5: Try trimming off just the very tiniest tip from one front paw nail. Start with only one. Repeat until your pet seems comfortable.
  • Day 6: Now, increase the number of tips gradually.
  • Day 7: Continue this way and keep adding one more nail each day until you have got them all.

Keep practicing because pretending it and going through the motions help your pup get used to the whole process.

Infographic on How to Cut Dog Nails Safely
Dog Nails Trimming Guide

Read Also: 11 Basic Dog Training Commands | Train Dog To Sit And More

Tip – 2
Choose The Right Tool For Dog Nail Trimming

Choose The Right Tool For Dog Nail Trimming

There is a wide variety of dog nail trimmers like scissors, grinders, and guillotine types. You can use an appropriate tool according to the comfort of your dog. Make a good investment. The right tool is according to your preference, quality of the product, and the reliability of the brand. Keep some styptic powder or other clotting powder with you if you cut a nail too short and it starts bleeding. Beginners must take a lesson from their vet to learn the technique. It is essential to ensure safe and easy trimming. Use large plier-style clippers because they are strong enough to cut through large, thick nails.

After Choosing The Right Tool Procedure to follow:

  1. Pick up a paw, firmly but gently.
    Place your thumb on the pad and your forefinger on the top of the toe.
    Remove the fur before you start.
  2. Extend the mail by pushing it slightly upward and backward with your thumb and forward with your forefinger.
  3. Clip only the tip of the nail,
    including the dewclaws located on the inner side of the paw.
  4. Avoid clipping the quick as it is painful and will bleed.
    Be cautious with the chalky white ring for dark nails.

Tip – 3
Grinding Your Dog’s Nails

Grinding Your Dog's Nails

If your dog has long hair, make sure to keep it back from the grinding tool. Many dog parents and professionals use a Dremel tool to grind the nails. It is quick, safe, and relatively easy. Dogs also prefer this method because it is comfortable for them too. However, some pups are frightened by the loud noise and strange sensations. If you want to work with a Dremel, start slowly and desensitize your dog to the new stimulus.

5 Steps to Grind Your Dog’s Nails

  • Use a safe tool to grind.
  • Support its toe with firm and gentle hands.
  • Grind only small parts of the tip and the bottom carefully to smooth the rough edges.
  • Hold the grinder higher up for better control.
  • Keep your dog comfortable and pay extra attention to any sensitivities.

Read Also: 10 Common Dog Behavior Problems And Solutions

Tip – 4
Trim nails after a bath

Trim nails after a bath

The warm water softens the toenails, making them easier to clip and less likely to splinter or crack. Bathing will relax your pup which may aid during nail trims.

Tip – 5
Resort to the old style

Resort to the old style

You can always use the old method of bribing your pet with its favorite treat when it is about its health and safety. Some dogs are motivated by food. Therefore, you can offer it a juicy chicken breast. Ask other family members to distract your dog with a treat or by letting it lick peanut butter for successful nail trims.

Tip – 6
Execute in the proper light

Execute in the proper light

It is a careful step to execute the process safely. To provide better lighting, you can use the flashlight on your phone. It is a simple way to increase your visibility. The beam illuminates toenails and distinguishes the translucent part from the pink quick. It will be helpful to trim safely like a pro.

Tip – 7
Examine the nail from the underside

Examine the nail from the underside

Trimming a dog’s black nails can be difficult. Therefore, a thorough examination will always help you safely avoid the quick. Lift the paw to examine the nails. The solid tubular shape begins to taper into a hollow triangular point toward the tip, where you can see two thin outer walls. This area is always safe to trim and can be filed down further with a nail file to ragged edges.

Read Also: How To Find A Lost Dog In India: Ultimate Guide

Tip – 8
Cut the nails of hairy-pawed pup

Cut the nails of hairy-pawed pup

This strange but genius life hack allows parents of hairy-pawed pups to perform nail trims quickly and with less fuss. You can use a mesh bag for pulling back the hair on the paws. That will save your time and energy searching through all fluff for each toe as the toenail will be exposed, making the whole job easy.

Tip – 9
Trim out of their line of sight

How to cut dog nails tips - Trim out of their line of sight

It is similar to children turning their heads or closing their eyes during shots. Dogs cannot predict such situations, so it is our responsibility to them. Some pups tend to extend their limbs forward, directly into their line of vision for trimming. However, dogs those dislike keep the work out of their sight. Lift its leg and bend the paw back. The paw pads will face up, giving a clear view of the toenails, but not to your dog.


All in all, Clipping the nails of a dog is an easy task. But, if the dog is nervous and scared, it can be overly dramatic and very painful for your dog. Despite all this, we need to perform it for the benefit of our dogs. If your pup’s nails are clicking on the floor and becoming way too long for their comfort, you probably want to know how to trim a scared dog’s nails.

Here is a glance at a few things you can do:

  • Train your dog to feel comfortable in the presence of nail clippers
  • Do not cut too much, too soon, to avoid injuring the quick
  • Consider calming meds and natural calming remedies to soothe your dog’s anxiety

Read Also: How To Deal With Pet Obesity: Problems And Treatment

-Petofy India
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Pet Care Emily pets

Great list of pet blogs very well written.

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