How To Cut Your Dog’s Nails (Without Being Afraid)

It’s that time again … time to cut my dog’s nails that is. I must say, my two canine kids are surprisingly calm whenever I whip out the clippers, so it’s really not a big deal in my house. Since I’ve been clipping their nails at home since they were young puppies, they’re pretty used to it. But some dogs will kick and scream when they have to get their nails trimmed. This can make a dog mom extremely nervous, worried she will hurt her fur baby.

If your dog is constantly walking and playing on rough surfaces—like concrete—then you may not have to cut his/her nails since the hard surface will wear them down naturally. Most dogs, though, need a trim every two-four weeks.
Why Nail Trims Are Important

If you hear your dog’s nails tapping on the floor when he/she walks then it’s definitely time to grab the clippers and trim those nails. When a dog’s nails tap on hard surfaces, it pushes their nails back up into their nail beds, which can be extremely painful. Not only can it put pressure on the toe joints, it could also force the toe to twist to the side, resulting in soreness or even arthritis.
What’s Inside Your Dog’s Nails?

Before we talk about how to clip your dog’s nails, you must know what’s inside of them. Underneath is something called a quick, which provides blood supply to the nail. Do not cut the quick. If you do, blood will gush out of the nail and your dog will experience a lot of pain. I cannot stress enough how sensitive this part is.

The following photo is a close-up of my Chihuahua’s nails (as I mentioned above, they really need to be cut)! The pink part in the middle of each nail is the quick. If your dog has white nails, like mine, then it’s pretty easy to spot the quick from the nail’s side (as you can see in the photo). If your dog has black nails, though, you will not be able to see the quick. This makes the nail a bit harder to trim. Below, I have included two different sections for clipping white nails and clipping black nails.

how to cut your dog’s nails clippers

Via PetSmart

To trim your dog’s nails you will need:
◾Good quality dog nail clippers ◾Scissors-style clippers or Guillotine-style clippers
◾OR a Dremel (find out how to use this grinder tool in the video under the “Cutting Black Nails” section)

◾Styptic powder/ Cornstarch  ◾This will help clot the quick and stop the bleeding if you accidentally cut too far.

◾Nail file
Cutting White Nails
1.Hold your dog’s paw firmly, but gently.
2.Place clippers around the tip of your dog’s nail.
3.Double check that the clippers aren’t on top of the quick.
4.If you’re in the clear, snip off the tip of the nail.
5.If your dog’s nail starts bleeding, immediately press some styptic powder on the tip. The styptic powder will help the quick clot.
6.Don’t forget to cut the dewclaws (if your dog has them).
7.Lightly file your pup’s nails. This will help eliminate any sharp edges.
8.Reward your pooch with treats and affection!