How to Trim Your Dog’s Nails

Nail TrimmingMany dog owners try to avoid trimming their dog’s nails. It can be difficult, time-consuming, and frustrating both for the dog and his owner.

Dogs don’t particularly like having their nails messed with, often making it impossible to keep their nails properly trimmed.

Fortunately, active dogs that run and play throughout the day don’t need much nail trimming since they do it naturally. However, indoor breeds do need regular trimming – about once a month according to dog grooming experts in Edmond.

When a dog’s nails get too long:

  • First, long nails can be painful for your dog. As long nails strike the ground, they can cause impact stress on the nail beds and tweak the toepads themselves, causing joint pain. This makes trimming all the more difficult.
  • Nerves in a dog’s feet help him coordinate movements with astounding agility. When his feet hurt because of long nails or the nails caused his toepads not to meet the ground properly, his sense of movement will be affected.
  • Over thousands of years, dogs have adapted to many terrains. On hilly or rocky terrain where their nails grow longer, they adapt to a different sort of posture to keep balance. This “goat on the rock” posture puts extra stress on shoulders and hips that can lead to chronic pain later in life.

Now that it is clear how important nail hygiene is for your dog, let’s discuss how to do it.

  • Use a sharp, scissor-type clipper especially for dog nails. Dog nails are much thicker than human nails, so using a standard nail clipper can cause cracking of the nail and injury. Nail grinders avoid this problem altogether, but the electric noise may startle the dog.
  • Under good lighting, start clipping with the clippers facing the end of the nail. You’re looking to essentially shave off excess length a bit at a time. Don’t try to trim off too much at once. It may take longer, but you’ll get far better results.
  • If the nail is pigmented, you should be able to see a chalky ring along the insensitive part of the nail. This will give you an idea of how far is too far to trim.
  • Use a nail file or emery board to smooth out the edges of each clipped nail.
  • If you clip into the quick of the nail and bleeding occurs, dip the dog’s paw into a bowl of cornstarch to help clot the wound.
    Hopefully, these tips will help you keep your dog happy and healthy without the discomfort.

How To Trim Your Dog’s Nails

To some people trimming the nails of their dog might not look to be so important. They might think that the dogs might have made their nails aligned by scratching against any rough objects like the soil or trunk of any tree. But it is not actually like that. Trimming will not only make the pet look nice but also helps from security point of view. The chances of any scratches due to the nails are minimized when the nails are well trimmed. Also, the chances of breaking are minimized. The breakage of nails of the dogs can be a painful one and can lead to infection.

dog nails

Apart from all these, nail hygiene also affects the way your dog walks. A proper walking posture for the dogs ensures a healthy future as it reduces the chances of bone and joint issues. Therefore, it is suggested to have the nails of your pets trimmed regularly. What needs to be taken in consideration is that the person must have the right information and knowledge regarding the trimming. With that, a proper trimming procedure is completed in no time.

Tools Needed to Trim Your Dog’s Nails

  • Nail clippers

    nail clipperNail clippers are available in various styles in the market that includes the guillotine-style nail clippers which are easier to use and plier-type nail clippers that are used for trimming nails of the larger breeds. Another type of the clippers in the category is the scissor–type clippers. Electric buffer-type trimmers can help avoid trimming too much or causing pain.


  • Treats

    After every cut or trim is made, give your dog the treats kept in hand. Experts are of the opinion that treating the dog after every trimming would help to make the experience more positive for the dogs as well as the one who is doing the nail trimming.

  • Styptic Powder

    This is kept for the emergency purpose as in the case when the cut is made too large and there is bleeding. Vets use styptic powder to help wounds clot.

  • Using the Clippers

    For those who are using the trimmers for the first time, it must be sometimes a shaking experience. But, think about your sweet little velvet paws. Injuring them is never going to be your aim. Hence, before proceeding with the clippers, make sure that the blade of the clippers are sharp and in a good working position. Every trim has to be made as fast and accurate by keeping the pet relaxed. Also, to separate the dog’s toe, the fingers should be used by keeping a firm grip on the clippers.

    According to an expert who has years of experience in dog grooming in Oklahoma City, it would be a better option to get the dog acquainted with the all sorts of equipment before actually proceeding with the work. Try one nail per session to start out.

  • Clipping Dogs Nails Safely

    Make sure you know how much of the nail needs to be cut. In case of any doubts, get the correct information for the nail anatomy of your dog’s breed and size.


    • Keep the trimmer firmly gripped in the hand with the movable part gripped with your fingers. During this stage you must be able to see that a small cutting blade is sliding when the handle is squeezed.
    • The nails need to be cut from the underneath not from the top downwards. Concentrate on the whitish part of the nail because it is the part that is to be cut.
    • Make a smooth squeeze of the handle or the grip to make the trimming effective. Remember, the cut should be smooth and the trimmer should be held firmly without any shake.
    • The cut portion of the nail is to be removed. If needed, filing of the edges of the nails is to be done to avoid scratches, or even places for the nail to start cracking.
    • Keep trimmers clear of the pinkish tissue inside the hard nail. The nail itself is keratin, like our hair and nails, but the living tissue underneath is very sensitive.