4 Tips for Clipping Your Dogs Nails Sucessfully

by Cory Brannon September 29, 2014

4 Tips for Clipping Your Dogs Nails Sucessfully

Does it sound like your dog is tap dancing when it walks on your hardwood floors? Want to keep your dog happy and pain free? Long nails can make it painful for your dog to walk and get the exercise they need. By keeping up with your dog’s toenails, you can expect them to be comfortable when they walk. It’s not the hardest thing to do provided you know what you’re doing, so read along and find out how you can become a master at the puppy pedicure!

1. Assess Your Dog’s Nails

Have they grown TOO long? If so, the “quick” (the fleshy, meaty part of your dog’s nail that is very sensitive) might have grown WITH the nail as well. Cutting into these will make your dog bleed and make the entire experience scary and painful for your pet. Hop online and Google your specific breed to figure out what their nail “quick” looks like, and go from there. In some cases you may be only able to lightly trim your dog’s nails because of an overgrown quick.

2. It’s all About the Tools

A person is only as good as their tools, right? Don’t skimp here; you will need a doggie nail cutter! You find them almost anywhere; large scale stores like Walmart or Petsmart both carry nail cutters for all types of dogs. Just make sure you get one that is an adequate size for your dog; obviously, the smaller clippers will be easier to manage on a Dachshund then say, a Mastiff. If you’ve had doggie toe nail clippers for a long time, make sure that the blades are still sharp enough to do the deed. The cut should be quick and clean to avoid shredding the nail.

3. Make it a Positive Experience

Nail trimming is scary, not just for you, but for your dog as well! This procedure causes many dogs a lot of stress and anxiety, and the only way to help with that is to try and make it as a relaxing experience as possible. The trick is to reprogram what nail clipping time is. If after a few nail clippings you feed your dog a treat or after the whole thing is done, you play a game with him, your dog will start to associate nail clipping as a positive experience. Less anxiety will make the whole experience run more smoothly, so it’s important to be patient. Just take baby steps with your pet; no need to chop up the nails like it’s a strongman competition because slow and steady will win this race.

4. Make the Cut

Depending on the clipper you purchased, it will either have a ‘guillotine’ like cut or a ‘scissor’ style slice. Each have their perks, but so long as the blades are sharp, either is fine. You’ll want to make the cut quick and clean with either, and remember, if you’re using the guillotine clipper, make sure to cut the nail vertically so you can see exactly where you’re cutting. Believe it or now, cutting the nail is the easiest part. It really all comes down to easing your pet’s fears.

Pay attention to your pet; if they seem upset, take a break and reward them for a job well done. Talk to your pup in a calm reassuring manner, and do it in a quiet relaxing tone. The more you can make nail clipping a positive experience, the more your worries of trimming them will be a worry of the past!


Cory Brannon
Cory Brannon