How To Trim Dog Nails

Every wonder how hard it can be to trim dog nails?

It’s not difficult, but can be scary if you’ve never done it before.

We’re going to talk about the different tools you can use, how to trim dog nails, and what to do if you get them too short. Let’s build up that confidence to trim your own dog’s nails instead of paying for someone else to do them!

How To Trim Your Dog's Nails From Home and what to do if you hit the quick
How To Trim Dog Nails #dognails #trimdognailsathome #trimdognails

I’m finally back to work after a 7 month long maternity leave! That’s what it felt like at least. I was able to take the summer off to raise my baby while our new clinic was being built. Now I’m back at it and missing my baby like crazy!

In the spirit of me getting back in the groove we’re going to touch on trimming your pet’s nails. Something everyone shouldn’t be afraid to do.

Let’s figure out what tool you would be most comfortable to use.


  • Dremel  – some pets don’t like the noise it makes or to sit there while we take the time to file down every nail. It can take a while to file the nails down if they are really long.
  • PetiCare Guillotine – Cuts from under the nail, supports the nail while being cut.
  • Millers Forge – Must be used quickly. If not used right and kept sharp may crush the nail. Also squeezes the nail if used slowly.

How To Cut The Nail

Start with finding the quick. The quick is the blood supply in the nail, that can be very painful and bleed like crazy if cut too short while trimming dog nails.

White or light colored nails are easy to find the quick, where as black nails are difficult.

  1. Handle your dog’s paws often and introduce the clippers frequently without cutting the nail. Use lots of praise and delicious treats.
  2. How your dog’s paw firmly, but gently. Cut the nail below the quick and a 45 degree angle, taking off small amounts at a time. If you bought clippers with a guide stop on them, it will come in use here. You can safely cut the nail to the guide without hitting the quick if your pet’s nails haven’t been cut in a long time.
  3. Trim only until you see the white inside the nail with a small dot of black in the center. If you don’t see the white, you can cut a little closer. Be careful not to depend on the guide so you don’t get into the quick.
  4. Check or cut your dog’s nails every three weeks, depending on how active he is.

What to do if you do cut the quick:

Quick-Stop powder would be the quickest way to stop the bleeding, but sometimes we don’t have that on hand. A household product most have on hand is corn starch. If you apply a small amount to the end of a bleeding nail and hold it for a few minutes it will stop the bleeding.

Remedy and Recovery Professional Groomer’s Styptic Powder for Pets, 1.5-Ounce

You can do this! No worries. Even if you just take a little bit off and come back a week later that’s  still progress. There’s no shame in taking your pet somewhere to get their nails trimmed and asking the person to show you how it’s done.

How To Trim Dog Nails #dognails #trimdognailsathome #trimdognails
How To Trim Dog Nails #dognails #trimdognailsathome #trimdognails
How To Trim Dog Nails #dognails #trimdognailsathome #trimdognails

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