Harper Jefcoat
Harper Jefcoat

How to Trim Dog Nails that are Overgrown - Grooming Tricks

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13 min read

How to trim dog nails

On This Page

  • Make Nail Trimming a Positive Experience
  • How Can I Cut my Dog’s Nails at Home?
  • How to Trim Dog Nails with Clipper?
  • How to Trim Dog Nails with Grinder?
  • How to Trim Dog Nails With Dremel?
  • How Do You Trim a Dog’s Nails that are Black?
  • Consequences of Failing to Trim your Dog Nails Regularly
  • How to Pick Dog Nail Clippers?
  • Dog Nail Grooming Essentials

Trimming your dog's nails is an essential part of grooming. It can be difficult to do, so professional groomers will often take care of the job for you. However, it only takes a few minutes if done correctly.Trimmed nails are a definite sign of your dog’s hygiene and good health. If you notice your dog is getting anxious during nail trimming, try to start with them when they are young. It is to ensure they are less afraid of this process.Some pups might even sit on a table or lap while you clip, but others may need some restraints. Read on this detailed guide to learn more about how to trim dog nails properly and safely.

Make Nail Trimming a Positive Experience

Whether it is introducing the dog to a trimming tool or choosing the right environment, make it a positive experience. To get your pup used to have his paws touched, play with them regularly, and give him special treats.

The next thing that you need to teach him is to get comfy with the nail clippers. Anytime your dog approaches the clippers, he should get a reward. It can be a small cube of cheese or pasta.

Lastly, make sure the environment where his nails are trimmed is comfortable. It must have a stable grip for his feet. Try to have a non-slip mat or a dog bed. This is how you can make him feel secure.

When you start trimming the nails for the first time, do it slowly. Trim just one nail a day and get it all, even with a corresponding paw pad. Keep them this way with regular trimming sessions every two weeks. The more you trim the overgrown nails, the more the blood vessels will retreat back into the claw.

How Long Should Your Dog's Nails Be?

Dog owners should trim their dog’s nails when they start touching the ground. Dog toenails also continue to grow like humans until they curl outward or inward. It is quite uncomfortable for your dog to walk when he has long nails. It makes it easier for the pup to slip or fall, or they sometimes are more susceptible to break or tear off completely.

Moreover, they can also grow into the dog’s paw pads that cause infection and pain. If you hear your dog’s nails clicking on the ground, it is high time you should trim your dog nails.

You can do this yourself with patience and the right tools. Dogs do not like to have their paws touched, or they even like it less when the owners trim their nails. At first, he may jerk his paw away or start crying when he sees the clippers. But don’t worry, you can easily handle him for a pedicure session.

How Can I Cut my Dog’s Nails at Home?

The most important thing that you need to do is to get your dog comfortable. This is how they won’t become sensitive when someone touches their feet.

“How to trim dog nails at home?”

The most important thing that you need to do is to get your dog comfortable. This is how they won’t become sensitive when someone touches their feet. Follow the procedure given below.

Day 1- Let your dog sniff the nail clipper and give him a treat or praise.

Day 2 - Touch the nail clipper to each paw and give him a treat

Day 3 -Touch the nail clipper to each paw and squeeze it, so the puppy hears a sound. But do not actually trim a nail and give him a treat or praise again.

Day 4 - Try to trim off just the very tiniest tip from one front paw nail. Only do one nail at a time and offer a lot of praise and treats. Even if he lets you trim, just do one. Repeat this every day.

Day 5 -Trim the tip of just two nails

Day 6 -Continue doing this way and trim the nails each day until you are done with all. Practice when you don’t need to clip a nail. Just pretend you are clipping and go through the process, so he gets used to it


How to Trim Dog Nails with Clipper?

There are different types of nail trimmers for your dog. It includes scissors, a grinder, and guillotine types. You can use whatever your dog is comfortable with. Also, use styptic powder or clotting powder to stop bleeding if the nail is cut too short.

Here are the steps for you to trim your dog’s nails.

  1. 1. Pick up a paw and gently place your thumb on the pad of the toe and your forefinger on the top of the toe on the skin above the nail
  2. 2. Push your thumb slightly up and backward on the pad. On the other hand, push your forefinger forward. It extends the nails.
  3. 3. Clip only the tip of the nail and include the dewclaws located on the inner side of the paw.
  4. 4. Avoid cutting past the curve of the nail, or you risk hitting the pink area of the nail containing blood vessels.
  5. 5. The dog’s nails are usually rough around the edges after you have finished trimming them. Ensure to smooth them with a dog nail file.

Now you must have known how to trim dog nails at home. Once you are done, reward the dog with treats and praise. With this, he will associate the nail trimming sessions with happiness instead of stress and discomfort. Never try to force the dog when trimming his nails.

How to Trim Dog Nails with Grinder?

Below are a few tips on how to trim your dog’s nails with a grinder. Following these tips will help you learn more about how to trim dog nails without clippers.

  • Grind the dog’s nails using a safe tool.
  • Support the dog’s toe gently and firmly and only grind a small part of the nail at a time.
  • Grind across the bottom of the nail.
  • Carefully in from the tip of the nail and smooth the rough edges
  • Hold the grinder higher up towards the top.
  • Keep the dog comfortable and consider any sensitivities.
  • If the dog has long hair, ensure to keep it back from the grinding tool, so it does not get caught.

How to Trim Dog Nails With Dremel?

Keep in mind the following cautions while trimming your dog nails with Dremel

How to Trim Dog Nails With Dremel?

  • Just like the nail clippers, you can still cut into the quick with a Dremel.
  • Move the Dremel very slowly.
  • Be very careful the first time you and your dog are doing this together. With time, you will get used to the speed of the tool.
  • Offer the dog a lot of treats to keep him motivated to stay still.
  • Be patient and move methodically with a Dremel. It is to ensure that you don’t accidentally grind into your dog’s skin or nails too quickly.
  • Small dogs might be more comfortable on a table. But sit with a large dog on the floor next to them or a step raised above them. Lift their paw to your lap that might give you the best leverage.

Advantages of Using Dremel

One major benefit of dremeling your dog’s nails is that if you introduce the process slowly, your dog won’t mind this alternative of nail clipping. Here are some other advantages of using Dremel.

  • It is not painful for the dog.
  • It can rarely cause your dog’s nails to bleed.
  • It is an easier way to train the dog to relax than other nail trimming methods.
  • It results in smooth nails that won’t crack while scratching people, furniture, and the floor.

How Do You Trim a Dog’s Nails that are Black?

Most people are confused about how to trim black dog nails. It is because the nails are naturally pigmented, and it is difficult to see where the quick begins. Once you begin cutting the nail, you may notice a chalk-like white ring surrounding the beginning of the quick.

So, it is better to follow the below guidelines while trimming your dog’s black nails

  • Go slowly
  • Hold your dog’s paw firmly
  • Position the clippers to ce nail from top to bottom
  • Trim a very small length of the nail
  • If the area appears whitish, you are still in the dead area and it is safe to trim a bit more of a nail.

If you feel uncomfortable clipping your dog’s black nails, you should schedule an appointment with your vet. You can also ask him to demonstrate how to cut black-colored nails properly

Consequences of Failing to Trim your Dog Nails Regularly

If you want your dog to be healthy and happy, take care of its nails. The nail consists of the living pink “quick” that supplies blood to the nail and runs through the core. Nerves in this quick cause bleeding when trimmed too short or cut incorrectly by a professional groomer

It can also inflict pain as well as irreversible damage if left unchecked for long periods without treatment. Thus, make sure not to trim off more than just an inch from each paw. Regularly taking care of your dogs' nails will help prevent splayed paws caused by overgrown claws.

How to Cut an Uncooperative Dogs Nails?

While cutting nails, it is most likely that you’ll meet a very uncooperative dog. It is your job to turn the regular nail trimming session into a positive experience for them. Make sure to do that with patience, care, and reward.

Here are the steps to follow while cutting uncooperative dog nails.

    1. 1. Prepare the Dog

Before starting, make your dog physically familiar with the whole process. Here, you should begin by holding and lifting the dog’s nails. If he is calm, praise and reward him. Repeat this daily to make him feel comfortable with this.

However, if the dog shows any signs of aggressiveness, take a firm stance. Restrain him by placing your arms around his neck and say ‘No’ in an authoritative tone.

    1. 2. Go for Swimming Breaks

Swimming is rewarding for the dog and is also beneficial for mental health. If the dog is small enough, use a tab or sink as a mini-pool. It is a very good practice before trimming the nails to relax the dog.

    1. 3. Soften the Dog’s NailsA

After a swimming session, get your dog nail clippers and open and close them to make your dog familiar with the sound. At this step, you are only making your dog comfortable with the idea of clipping by placing it near the nails. Continue offering him treats while doing this.

  1. 4. Cut the Dog’s Nails

    When the dog becomes tolerant, begin cutting the nails. Start by cutting one by one and notice your dog’s reaction. If they become agitated, call it off for a day and leave the rest of the nails for tomorrow.

How to Pick Dog Nail Clippers?

It is confusing to pick dog nail clippers as they are available in several different varieties. Here are some important styles of clippers that work best for each dog.

Scissor Clippers

It is also called miller’s forge trimmers. They work like scissors, and dog owners prefer them for large dogs with bigger and thicker nails.

Scissor Clippers

Guillotine Clippers

These guillotine clippers work like a guillotine. It sticks the end of the dog’s nail in the hole and squeezes while the blade is lowered, gently slicing off the end of the nail. Furthermore, these clippers are used for small and medium-sized dogs.

Guillotine Clippers

Grinder Tools

Pedi paw is a well-known version of dog nail grinders. It works by grinding down the nail instead of clipping and is mainly helpful for large dogs with thick nails.

Training is necessary to get your dog used to the vibrating sensation of the device. Similarly, the grinding process takes more time than the clipping process, so patience is required.

Moreover, consult your dog’s veterinarian when choosing the right nail clippers for your dog, and choose the clipper according to the size of your dog.

Grinder Tools

Dog Nail Grooming Essentials

Below, we have mentioned the two most commonly used grooming essentials for your dog's nails.

  • ConairPRO Dog and Cat™ Professional Corded Nail Grinder

    The ConairPRO Dog and Cat™ Professional Corded Nail Grinder are coded with a quiet motor. It will not easily intimidate a pet. Moreover, the design of this grinder is ergonomic and lightweight and comes with a protective and adjustable safety guard cover. It has replacement grinding bands and finishing stones.

  • ConairPRO Dog and Cat™ Small/Large Nail Clipper

    It includes a built-in safety guard, and an ergonomic soft-grip handle to make the trimmer comfortable and safer.

    After using the right tool, make sure to offer treats and praise during the process to make it fun for the dog pet. This detailed guide has provided guidelines for you on how often to trim the dog nails that are curled. Just be sure to make this nail trimming a quality time with your dog. Offering lots of kisses treats along with a positive attitude go a long way.

    Cut your dog’s one nail a day if he loses patience quickly. As long as you keep the order of toes consistent, it will be a good maintenance schedule. Just give every toe a trim every 16 days.

    Lastly, you can always consult your vet for better guidance regarding choosing a nail clipper for your emotional support animal or dog.

    In case you want an ESA letter for your pet, we can help!

    Get in touch with us today to learn more about how we can provide you with an Emotional Support Animal Letter. So that you and your pet can enjoy the benefits of having an ESA.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How do you know where the quick is on black dog nails?

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To view the quickness of the nail, gently lift your dog’s paw and look at the center of the unclipped nail head-on. If the nail has a small dark circle at the center, it indicates the beginning of the quickness of the nail. Never clip any nail that has a circle in the center as you might be clipping into the quick.

What angle do you cut dogs’ nails?

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It is better to cut the nail at a 45-degree angle away from the paw. Also, avoid the quick, which is the core of the nail that contains blood vessels and nerves.

Should I cut my dog’s nails wet or dry?

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Trimming the dog’s nails when they are wet increases the risk of nail damage and injury. It might seem that the wet nails would be easier to cut, but the softness makes them vulnerable to tear.

Therefore, cut the nails when they are dry for a cleaner and clearer cut.

Harper Jefcoat

WRITTEN BY

Harper Jefcoat

Harper Jefcoat is a dedicated pet enthusiast and expert author at the RealESALetter.com. With a deep-seated passion for animals, Harper brings a wealth of knowledge and personal experience to his writings. Specializing in canine behavior and wellness, he aims to help pet owners understand and care for their furry friends better.

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