Depending on your dog’s activity levels and environment, he may need to have his nails clipped as often as every week, but many people are reluctant or nervous about doing it themselves because they don’t want to cut too short and hurt their dog. 

If you can hear your dog’s nails clicking on hard floors or concrete, then they’re too long and need a trim. 

Read our guide on how to trim your dog’s nails quickly and easily with no stress to you or your dog.  

The Right Equipment 

If you’re planning on cutting your dog’s nails at home on a regular basis, don’t cut corners by buying cheap nail clippers. 

Invest in a good, sharp scissor-type pair, the right size for your dog’s nails. The cutting edge should be concave to avoid crushing the nail when you apply pressure. 

You’ll also need some treats to reinforce your dog’s good behaviour and ensure he associates having his nails trimmed with cuddles and tasty snacks. 

Handling your Dog’s Feet 

Many dogs don’t like to have their feet touched so don’t suddenly come at him with the clippers if you’ve never touched his feet before. Ease into it slowly by getting him used to you touching and handling his feet. 

Make it Quick 

If your dog has white nails, it’s usually easy to see where the blood flow to the nail ends; it’s the darker strip inside the nail.  

This is called the quick and you want to avoid cutting it at all costs. It’s very painful, bleeds a lot, and your dog will never want you to touch his feet again. 

Better to trim less and more often than to cut the quick. 

If your dog has black nails, you might not be able to see the quick even under strong light. If you examine the dog’s nails, you’ll feel a small notch before the nail divides with a channel in the middle. There is a quick after the notch, so don’t go any shorter. 

Holding the foot firmly but gently, and separating the toes with your fingers, trim the nail in stages, taking off a little bit at a time. If you’re nervous it’ll affect your dog so stay calm and confident. 

You can always trim the other paws later if your dog decides he’s had enough. 

Professional Dog Groomers 

If trimming your dog’s nails at home just isn’t working for either of you, it’s perfectly ok to have your vet or a professional dog groomer do it for you. 

One good idea is to have it done professionally so you can see the correct technique, and then try it yourself at home. 

Sydney Animal Hospital and Specialist Vet 

Sydney Vet Specialists is dedicated to providing quality 24 hour veterinary care for your pets, as well as specialist services for a wide range of conditions. 

To speak to one of caring, professional team members, call us on 02 9197 5800, or contact us online 

Book an appointment for your pet between Monday and Friday 8:30am-6pm or call us for emergency veterinarian services and after hours care.