How to Cut Your Dog’s Nails: A Step-by-Step Guide (Plus Helpful Tips)

October 27, 2022by petpal0

Is it time of the month to trim your dog’s nails? Here’s some good news! 

You can skip going to the dog groomer because you can easily trim your dog’s nails by yourself. Visiting a dog groomer can be expensive and a hassle sometimes, but you can always do the service to your dog with this step-by-step guide on how to cut your dog’s nails! 

Step 1: Check and gather the things you will need. 

The basic step is to put all the things you will need beside or near you for an easier nail-trimming process. You can easily grab anything when you need to switch handy tools. These may include the following: 

  • Dog treats 
  • Styptic powder or cornstarch/flour
  • Nail trimming tool (you can choose whether nail clippers, guillotine clippers, or nail files).
  • A lot of patience!

Tip: Choose an area that is well-lit and spacious in case your dog gets loose! 

Step 2: Create small steps!

Once everything is settled in your preferred area, it is time to lure your dog into the place. Let them sniff the nail-trimming tools, or show them the treats! You can also start to cut one nail and give your dog a treat — this is to give them the idea that when they allow you to cut their nails, they will get rewards after. 

Tip: Choose your dog’s favorite treat as the reward!

Step 3: Pick up the foot and isolate the first nail to cut. 

It is easier to sit beside your dog and reach under and around its arm to hold its paw. With your other hand, you can trim your dog’s nails with the clippers. Another way to do this is by sitting behind your dog and flipping its paw backward to look at the bottom of its foot. Then, isolate the nail that you want to cut first. 

Tip: Be sure to hold your dog’s paw firmly but, at the same time, gently. 

Step 4: Start to cut. 

After so many steps, we finally got into the cutting! Start to trim off the end of your dog’s nail. You should cut from top to bottom with a perpendicular angle. As much as possible, you should cut your dog’s nails short, but don’t make them bleed! 

Here are some tips: 

  • Avoid cutting the pink part for the dog’s white nails. 
  • Generally, the parts where it is safe to cut are skinnier than any other part of your dog’s nails. 
  • It is better to cut slowly but surely for dogs with black nails! When you see that you are getting near the quick, your dog’s inside nails will look white. When you see a black dot in the middle of that white area, you should stop.

Step 5: Cuddles and dog treats are the best endings!

Trimming your dog’s nails can be scary for you and for them. It is best to end this excruciating nail-cutting process with the warmest cuddles. Here, you are also securing your dogs that you mean no harm. 

Of course, don’t forget their favorite treats as their reward for being a good dog.  You should make your dog associate nail trimming as something positive and rewarding, and maybe in your next session, it will be much easier, and your dog may even be excited!


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