Trimming Your Dog’s Nails

Some dogs don’t mind having their nails trimmed. Others may pull away, try to nibble your hand, or hide. If you want to get your dog used to nail trimming, try to desensitize her to the clippers. Start by getting them used to having their feet touched. Offer a reward. Rub your hand up and down on the leg and press on each toe while praising her. This should help your dog get used to having her toes touched. It may take a few days to weeks. Be patient. Next step is the trimming.

How to Trim Your Dog’s Nails

  1. Spread the toes – your dog may fidget and wonder what you’re doing. Offer a treat, praise, and inspect the feet for dirt and debris.
  2. Hold your dog’s toe – hold it firmly but gently. Allow your dog to pull away and gently and calmly grab the toe again. Hold the trimmer in your other hand so that you’re cutting the nail from the bottom at a slight angle and cut off the tip of the nail. Try to not cut a blunt flat line but maintain the natural curve of the nail.
  3. Be careful of the quick – cut a little bit of each nail being careful to not go too far into the quick. On white nails you may see a circle of darker pink or nail color. On black nails this is harder but you may notice a difference between the texture of the nails as they get closer to the toes.
  4. Praise your dog after each nail is trimmed.
  5. If you cut the quick, use corn starch to stop the bleeding.

If your dog really does not like having her nails cut, you may need another person to help keep her calm and hold her. Take it slow and don’t be discouraged.

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