How to nail clip a dog

Tips and tricks to get it done easily

Trimming your dog’s nails is an important part of grooming and keeping them healthy. Overgrown nails can break or split, which is painful for your dog. Long nails can also cause issues with your dog’s feet and legs by forcing them to walk unnaturally. While the task may seem daunting, nail clipping is easy to do at home with some patience and positive reinforcement. Here are some tips for successfully nail clipping your dog:

Get the Right Tools

You’ll need a pair of sharp nail clippers designed specifically for dogs. Look for clippers that are the right size for your dog to ensure a proper fit. Also have styptic powder on hand to stop bleeding in case you clip too close.

Acclimate Your Dog

If your dog is not used to having their nails clipped, start by letting them inspect and lick the clippers. Give them treats as they sniff and lick to create a positive association. Over a few days or weeks, touch their feet and toes, rewarding them for staying calm. This will get them used to having their feet handled.

Have Someone Assist You

Enlist a family member or friend to help hold and reassure your dog during the process. Have them give treats and praise to keep your dog distracted. For larger dogs, have the person cradle your dog in their lap while you clip.

Secure Your Dog

Small dogs can be placed on a table or surface so you can access their nails. Make sure they don’t wiggle away. Larger dogs should be leashed and held firmly but gently. Throughout, give calming verbal affirmations.

Know Where to Cut

Look at the nail and locate the quick, which is the pink area where blood vessels are. Only cut the clear or white part of the nail below the quick. Cutting the quick will cause bleeding and pain. If you aren’t sure where it is, just trim a small amount. It’s better to cut too little than risk hitting the quick.

Cut Just the Tip

Hold your dog’s paw steady and have the clippers at a 45-degree angle to the nail. Position them so only the sharp tip of the nail will be clipped. Cut with confidence and avoid wiggling, which could cause splintering. If your dog moves, stop and reset. Just take off the very end of the nail.

Go Slowly

Work in short sessions of just a few nails at a time. Reward your dog with praise and treats for cooperating. If they become agitated, give them a break before continuing. Introduce nail trims slowly rather than trying to do all of them at once. Patience will pay off.

Finish with a Reward

When the task is complete, let your dog know what a good job they did! Give them a treat or engage in a fun activity they enjoy as positive reinforcement. Remember to stay calm, go slowly and make the experience as pleasant as possible for your furry friend. With time and repetition, your dog will get used to having their nails clipped.

Nail clipping is something that can benefit all dogs when done regularly. Following these tips will lead to successful experiences. Be patient, take it slowly and reward your dog for being cooperative. Both you and your dog will be happy with the results for their health and wellbeing.