How To Clip Dog’s Nails at Home

How To Clip Dog’s Nails at Home

August 9, 2022

There are several important steps to clip your dog’s nails. They include preparing your dog for the clipping process, using scissor-style clippers, and dealing with the dog quickly. If you’re a beginner, read this article before trying it on your own dog. It will help you decide what tools are right for your dog’s nails and how to keep them clean.

If you want a visual tutorial, then watch the below video about how to clip small dogs’ nails or read the blog till the end.



How often do I need to trim my dog’s nails?

As a responsible pet owner, you should trim your dog’s nails on a regular basis. You can cut your dog’s nails once a month, depending on their breed and level of activity. A senior dog or one that does not exercise often will need its nails trimmed more frequently. If you’re in a hurry to get your pet to the groomer, you should schedule an appointment a few days before.

Can I cut my dog’s nails myself?

Trimming a dog’s nail is an easy task if you own a nail cutter or trimmer. However, it’s not always a pleasant task for both of you. A dog’s nails contain blood vessels and cutting them accidentally can cause pain and discomfort for both of you. If you’re not comfortable doing this yourself, consider bringing your pet to a local professional groomer or veterinarian for assistance.

Cutting your dog’s nails has many health benefits

One reason to cut your dog’s nails is to prevent quicking. A quick is a blood vessel that runs through the nail. A quick is usually visible to the naked eye, but dark nails can hide it. You need to be careful to avoid cutting this vein, as it can lead to bleeding. In case you’re unsure, start clipping slowly and try to look inside the nail to identify the quick. If you can see a white bulb at the tip of the nail, you’re on the right track. Stop trimming the nail when the blood vessels retract.

Besides the health benefits of trimming a dog’s nails, it also helps the animal walk more comfortably. It also prevents infection and painful nail beds. The best time to clip a dog’s nails is every four to six weeks. You should also train your dog to obey basic commands, keep dangerous toxins out of reach, and monitor your dog’s activities. So, can you cut your dog’s nails?


  • Nail clippers designed for dogs
  • Safe space
  • Distractions (their favourite toy or favourite person)
  • Treats
  • Tissues


1) Identifying the quick

Identifying the quick is a critical first step in the nail-cutting process. Dog nails are soft and light-coloured, and you can easily identify the quick by looking inside the nail. The centre of the nail is called the quick. A small black spot will appear in the centre of the nail. Then, press gently on the nail to cut down to the quick. When you see this, you must stop cutting the nail.

Identifying the quick will also help you determine the length of your dog’s nail. You can easily cut a small dog’s nails by using a pair of nail clippers in your arms. If your dog is large, however, you must be more cautious and clip their nails gradually. If you are unsure of how long to clip your dog’s nails, then continue reading this tutorial.

Aside from painful, short nails can also lead to deformities in the nails, which can require surgery or physical rehabilitation. In the worst-case scenario, your dog could end up with ongoing pain or even disfigurement. If you’re thinking about cutting your dog’s nails, remember that the nail is a blood vessel and contains nerves. There’s no point in trying to cut a dog’s nails short if they’re in pain – it’s better to address it slowly.

How To Clip your Dog's Nails at Home

2) Preparing your dog for nail clipping

Performing nail clipping on your dog can be a frightening experience for the two of you. Therefore, making sure that you and your dog are mentally prepared can greatly benefit the process.

Before clipping the nails, make sure you have all the tools needed for the job. Make sure you have a noiseless clipper and use it when clipping your dog’s nails. A Dremel tool or sandpaper can be used to trim down the nail. Be sure to supervise your dog during the procedure and reward him with a treat for his cooperation. Remember, dogs are sensitive, and their feet are very delicate.

how to clip dog nails

3) Prepare your tools

Scissor-style clippers are the most common and widely available. This type of clipper uses special notch blades to cut the tip of the dog’s nail. These clippers are ideal for small dogs, but larger dogs should use a different type. Using scissor-style clippers on your dog’s nails is a good idea only if you’re confident in your ability to handle the task.

Scissor-style clippers have blades ranging from 3 to 5 mm. Thick blades are better for clipping smaller dogs because they don’t have thick nails. However, if you’re using a scissor-style clipper on a large dog, you risk breaking the blade! As with any surgical procedure, make sure to keep plenty of treats nearby, so that your dog doesn’t get scared by the tools.

4) Start clipping 

Once you have your dog in a comfortable position, tools, and treats in arms reach, you can start the clipping process. Have your dog facing you, lift the leg and flip it so their paw is facing the roof. For the back legs, you can put your hand underneath to raise the hind paw. This gives you more control of the dog whilst you are clipping

As you are clipping, make sure to only cut off 2-3mm at a time. This gives you the opportunity to assess each nail so that you don’t accidentally hit the quick.

If your dog has a dew claw, it is important to also maintain them. You can find them at the bottom of the paw hidden underneath the fur.

5) Stop bleeding if you clip the quick

If you accidentally cut the quick, bleeding can occur, and your dog may cry out in pain. Don’t panic as it may escalate your dog’s mood and cause unnecessary injury. Instead, grab some tissue and apply it to the nail for a few minutes. If you have any bleeding powder, apply it to the wound and continue covering it with tissue. If you have not stopped the bleeding after 10 minutes, then you may need to call your vet.

6) Reward your pup

Once it is over, make sure to reward your dog. This allows them to make an association in their mind that it is a pleasurable experience, making it easier each time.

Trimming your dog’s nails can be a stressful experience. But with more and more practice, you and your dogs will be experts in no time. If you want to learn more about dealing with your dog’s maintenance, then just call  your local Jim’s grooming experts. They have the tools and expertise to help advise you on how you can keep your dog happy and healthy at home. Get in touch today at 131 546 or enquire online today!

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