Tips to Cut Dog Nails Safely

Posted by Edward Cruz on


Cutting your dog nails is simple, but it must be done safely. Vet clinics and pet salons offer nail trimming but you can also do it at home. If you decide to do it at home, you may follow these tips:

Get the right equipment
Prepare all the tools you need, especially the dog nail clippers, styptic powder and paper towels.

Put your dog at ease
Do the nail trimming in a cozy place and comfortable position for you and your dog. You may have your dog lay down on his side or hold him on your lap if he’s a small one. May also ask for someone to hold the dog to make it easier.

The actual clipping

  • Gently grasp your dog’s paw in one hand and keep it steady.
  • Position the nail clipper under the nail by slipping the opening of the clipper over the tip of the toe nail. Be sure to stay on the white part, the pinkish part is the quick - where the blood vessels are.
  • Hold the clipper steady and squeeze firmly to make a 45 degree angle cut. The cut has to be made from the underneath of your pup’s claw upwards. Don’t twist your wrist. Take note: It would be difficult to see the quick if your dog has dark or black nails. Snip the nail bit by bit until you see a black dot surrounded by white in the center of the nail. The black dot is the quick, so you should stop in that spot.

Bleeding may occur if the dog’s nail is cut too short. Use the paper towel and keep it pressed agains the nail for a few minutes then apply the styptic powder to help stop the bleeding.

Some pups may find clipping a stressful experience and the grooming may cause them to behave differently. You may need to persuade them into grooming by giving a treat. If you have a large dog and the task is difficult to handle, it is best to leave the nail grooming to professionals.


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