How to cut a dog’s nail?

If you’ve ever wanted to learn how to cut a dog’s nail, this article is for you. This quick and easy tutorial will teach you how to safely trim your dog’s nails with little risk of hurting your pet. It should be noted that the author does not advocate severing a long nail as it may cause bleeding, infection, or fracture.

This tutorial is aimed at owners who are comfortable using clippers around their pets and want an easy way avoid hurting your pups’ fragile nails during their grooming routine.

Step-by-step guide on how to cut a dog’s nail

  • First and foremost, it is recommended to have a nail trimmer around that you know will not hurt your dog.
  • You should place the clippers a safe distance away such as 1.5 inches (3 cm) and position your dog at an angle.
  • From the front, position the nail trimmers over top of the dog’s paw.
  • Make sure that you are lining up your clippers near to but not directly on the quick of the nail, this will help ease into cutting off all of those nerves so that there is less chance of pain or unnecessary bleeding.
Cut dog's nail
  • Once you’ve made that first clip, you may see a little blood.

This is normal and your pet will be fine if you do not go any deeper than about 1/4 of the nail length. It is recommended that you make 5 cuts on each side of the nails. That will give you a square shape on the end of their nails with a small area called the “quick” still attached to it. If they are particularly frisky and their nail is hard to manage, try cutting just a little bit at a time. Most dogs will not feel pain in the quick (the pink part near their finger) but there are some dogs who can feel pain even there. In any case, taking them to your vet will be the best thing if they do start to bleed.

Additionally,
  •  For poodles, you might have to cut their nails a bit more at once than other dogs because they tend to grow their nails longer than most other breeds of dogs.
  •  After the initial clip, take their paw and gently pet it, give them a treat for behaving so well. It is recommended that you only let your dog get used to this once or twice a week if you are still having trouble trimming your dog’s nails without hurting him or her. It may take a few sessions for them to get used to it and become still.
  •  If you do see that there is any bleeding or the dog seems very uncomfortable in the procedure, stop immediately. Please make sure to speak with your vet before attempting this again, if you continue and they get hurt, they will associate that pain with you rather than the situation. In some instances, everyday activities such as walking may be difficult if your dog is associating something with agony.
  •  If your dog has stopped associating activity by being painful, then slowly start doing more activity as long as it seems comfortable for him or her and their nails are getting cut properly each time.
Important:

If you are not confident that you can do this yourself, it might be better to take your dog to the vet or bring them to a groomer. They will also be able to trim back any excess hair that might be growing beyond the length of their nails. Many people will not see their vet for this kind of procedure, but it is important that it is done properly and their nails are not getting too long. If they grow too long and you cut them at home, the quick will recede into the nail and the next time you clip them, you will have to take more off.