How to Trim Dog Nails
Dog nail trimming is an essential part of your dog’s grooming routine. But for some pet parents, it’s an intimidating task.
Here are some tips that can give you more confidence to cut your dog’s nails.
Prepare Your Dog
The best way to ensure nail trimming time goes smoothly, is to get your dog used to the process early on. Even as a puppy, simple steps will go a long way.
For example, play with their paws to get them used to being handled. Also, you can gently tap their nails with a spoon, which has a similar sensation to a nail trim.
If a dog adapts to these gentle play gestures, nail trimming will be much easier.
Dog Nail Trimming Methods
The best method is to take off small amounts of the nail at a time. This will be more comfortable for your dog, and reduce the chance of the nail bleeding or pain. Your dog’s nail contains a blood vessel (called the ‘quick’) and a nerve. You don’t want to cut either of them!
These small trims can be accomplished using either a manual trimmer, such as the scissor style described below, or an electric dremel-style grinder.
Suggested Dog Nail Trimming Tools
We do not recommend the guillotine style nail trimmer, as it can smash the nail and cause pain for your dog. Preferred tools are the scissor style nail trimmer, or a dremel-style grinder.
Dremel grinder – This tool will work great, as long as it doesn’t scare your dog. You may want to get the dog used to the sound before coming at them with this tool.
The grinder is great for smoothing off rough edges, and gently trimming. You are less likely to trim too short when using a grinder.
Scissor-type nail trimmer – This tool is simple, and easy to use. It may be a preference if your dog is unnerved by the sound of a dremel grinder.
Most scissor-type nail trimmers come with a guard on the back that prevents cutting too much off the nail at once. Make sure to have this guard in place when trimming your dog’s nails.
You may find it helpful to watch the short how-to video on this page before trimming your dog’s nails.
Remember to make it fun! Plenty of praise and treats will help create a positive experience.
How Often to Trim Dog Nails
This will vary depending on your dog’s lifestyle and activity. In most cases, your dog will need a nail trim every 4 weeks.
But, if your dog spends a lot of time walking on rough surfaces, such as concrete, they may rarely need a nail trim.
If you bring your dog to Stonebridge Kennels for a bath or haircut, a nail trim will be included. Ask your groomer any questions you may have about your dog’s nails, or the frequency of trimming.
How We Can Help
If the task it too daunting to do at home, feel free to bring your dog to us for a nail trim. You can make an appointment ahead of time, or walk in without an appointment.
All we need from you is proof of your dog’s rabies vaccination. If you are a regular customer, we may already have this on file.
We have much experience with dog nail trimming and will patiently work even with difficult dogs.