The Dos & Don’ts Of Clipping Dog Nails

The Dos & Don’ts Of Clipping Dog Nails

As a responsible pet owner, you will be highly concerned about cutting dog nails as it has a massive impact on your pet’s health. If a dog has clean and trimmed nails, it is a clear sign of their health and hygiene. 

If you are worried that your dog will be hurt or not sure about the right approach to cutting its nails, we have a complete guide to help you learn. If you follow all the tips carefully, it will definitely be a pleasant experience for both you and your dog. 

Before starting, let’s throw light on why it is necessary to maintain a dog’s nails regularly.

Importance of Clipping Dog Nails

Importance of Clipping Dog Nails

Usually, people think that nail maintenance is associated only with cosmetics. But this is not true. It has to do a lot with your dog’s health. Long nails can cause discomfort and even pain during walking or running. This pain can lead to inflammation and infections. Moreover, dogs become more prone to injuries. Also, their overgrown nails can cause scratches and damage to your household items.

Conversely, short and well-groomed nails improve the overall quality of your dog’s life and keep you free from unnecessary discomfort.

But before starting the cutting process, let’s find out the necessary equipment for trimming your furry friend's nails.

Which Tools You Need To Cut Dog’s Nails?

If you gather the following tools and maintain a calm environment, cutting dog nails will be an enjoyable experience for your dog:

Nail Clippers

There are two types of nail clippers most commonly used:

  •  Guillotine-style clippers
  •  Scissor-style clippers.

Both have different cutting styles. You can select one that is best for your dog’s comfort.

Styptic Powder

Always have this powder with you when cutting nails. It can prevent any unexpected bleeding during the trimming process.

Nail Filer

After clipping, if the dog’s nails become rough or edgy, you can make them smooth using a nail filer.


It is essential to use a towel or non-slip mat to increase your dog's stability and comfort during the trimming process.

How To Cut Dog Nails: What to Do

How To Cut Dog Nails What to Do

Though trimming your dog’s nails is not difficult, it just needs a little practice and patience. Let’s discuss some efficient tips to make this process safer:

Set The Mood

To make your pet react gently to trimming, it is mandatory to set their mood first. You need to assure them that they are not in danger. So, before clipping, gently touch their toes and feet for a few seconds and wait for their nerves to calm down. Once you feel they are relaxed, you can start the clipping process.

Select A Comfortable Spot

Picking the right place is also extremely important. You can choose a spot away from action and well-lit, as good lighting makes the process easier.

Inspect The Nails

Take a few moments to inspect the condition of your dog’s nails properly. Start with the nails that are really long and need immediate cutting.

Use The Best Angle For Trimming

While cutting the dog’s nails, hold the clippers at a 45-degree angle. If the clippers are dull, it is better to sharpen or replace them in a timely manner so that you can make precise cuts.

Use Proper Clipping Techniques

It is always best to cut long nails in small sections rather than cutting quickly. Also, make sure to apply steady pressure to avoid any crush.

Reward Your Dog

Keep some treats ready to reward your dog after the clipping process. This is how they will have positive association with the process.

How To Cut Dog Nails: What Not to Do

How To Cut Dog Nails: What Not to Do

To make nail cutting successful, be aware of the following mistakes:

Don’t Rush

If you rush the clipping process, your dog may become anxious, and accidents are more likely. So, always keep the process calm and smooth.

Don’t Trim Too Much At Once

Remaining over-cautious while cutting the dog's nails is much better than cutting them all at once. This is how you can prevent injuries.

Don’t Neglect Dew Claws

Some dogs have an extra nail on their legs called a dew claw. It is longer than other nails, so remember to trim them.

Don’t Panic On Sudden Cut

If any accident happens while clipping nails, don't panic. Remain calm and use styptic powder to lessen the pain of your dog.

Don’t Ignore Signs Of Discomfort

Always pay attention to the body language of your beloved dog while cutting their nails. If you ignore their distress, they won’t cooperate much in the future.


In addition to all the above-mentioned tips, it is always recommended that you maintain a proper routine for cutting dog nails and introduce them to the trimming process from a very young age. We hope you will have a stress-free clipping experience now.

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