Trimming Your Dog’s Nails at Home

trim your dog's nails at homeYour dog’s nails need clipping on a regular basis, and you can trim your dog’s nails at home. When your pet’s nails are allowed to grow excessively, they can become a hazard both for the safety of you and your dog. Extremely long nails make it hard for a dog to walk, and often break which causes bleeding and pain for your pet. Long nails also easily scratch you, your furniture and floors, leaving scratches, marks on your skin and rips in your clothing and bedding.

A dog that spends a lot of time walking on driveways, sidewalks, and roads may not need to have their nails trimmed as often as a dog that spends most of their time inside or on grassy areas. The roadways and sidewalks act as a nail file for your pup. You will probably still need to trim your dog’s nails on a regular basis, but the nail file effect will necessitate the process less often.

Supplies You Need To Trim Your Dog Nails by PivisoBefore you get down to the actual trimming, prepare by having the following items ready at hand:

  • Nail trimmers or scissors
  • Clotting Powder or Gel
  • Treats
  • Helping hands (if necessary)
  • Towel or rag in case of bleeding

Tips Before You Start Trimming Your Dog’s Nails by Ann FryeUntil you and your dog become experienced in this process, it will be helpful to have an assistant or a pair of helping hands. While you are clipping your pet’s nails, your helper can comfort and distract your pup while also aiding to keep him still.

Before you actually trim the nails, you need to take some time to get your pup used to you handling his feet. While it is best to start this with a puppy, just taking the time to handle his feet by touching the pads and the nails often will help him feel more at ease when you do start trimming.

When You Are Ready To Trim Your Dog’s Nails at Home

For the first at home trimming session, once your dog is comfortable with you handling his paws, you may want to clip the nails on one paw at a time. Most importantly,  make sure that you do not cut the quick of the nail once you begin cutting. The quick looks pink and has blood vessels in it. If you do accidentally cut the quick, it will bleed and may seem excessive. Just use a cloth to put pressure on the area and then apply some of the clotting powder or gel, holding the foot until the bleeding stops.  It will probably be necessary to soothe your dog and give him a treat or two if this happens. You may want to finish trimming the rest of the nails another day if your pup becomes too upset. As you become more comfortable trimming your dog’s nails at home, the process will become second nature to both of you.

Additional Reading – Get Rid Of That Pet Smell


  1. […] of the worst jobs pet parents have is trimming dog nails. It is fraught with peril since you can easily injure your pet and draw blood if you cut too close […]


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