Dog Nail Clipping the Safe Way

Dog nail care is an important part of your pet's hygiene and health, and safe and correct dog nail clipping will prevent pain and serious damage. When your dog is young, get him accustomed to having someone touch his paws by sitting with him and gently stroking and applying light pressure to the claws. This will make dog nail clipping easier for both the dog and owner. Cut yours dog's nails frequently; if you don't, the quick will grow, limiting how short you can trim the nail without cutting it.

  1. Start by using the correct tools. Guillotine and scissor trimmers are most common.
  2. Sit with your dog on your lap if he's comfortable, or lay him on a table and restrain him; ask for help if needed.
  3. Hold the trimmer at a right angle to the dog's toenail.
  4. Cut the nail within 2 millimeters of the quick, a spot where blood vessels and nerves are located. Cutting the quick will cause bleeding and pain. You can see the quick through some light-colored nails, but for others it's best to carefully cut off a little at a time.
  5. As you cut, look for a grey to pink oval at the top of the cut area of the nail. Once this can be seen you have cut far enough and any further trim will hit the quick.
  6. If bleeding does occur, use a styptic pencil or powder with silver nitrate to stop the blood flow.
  7. Don't forget to trim the dew nails on the inner side of the leg.