Nail the look with the right nail trimming techniques


Well-trimmed nails are an indicator of a dog’s good health. Nail clipping is an important, albeit tricky, part of grooming a dog, considering that dogs do not like their paws handled. – by Nitya Ramachandran

While professional groomers can make your life easy, trimming your pet’s nails at home is easy and affordable if you follow the correct procedure. If you are also thinking of embarking on the journey of trimming your pet’s nails at home instead of visiting the do spa every time, this is what you need to know.

Perks of pedicure: why you should trim your pet’s nails?
Unruly long nails can not only cause pain to your pet but also lead to deformity of his paws. Long nails reduce the traction of the feet. Over time, they can also cause injury to the tendons. When long nails hit the ground, a lot of pressure is put on your pet’s feet and legs, thereby compromising his joint health as well. Thus, routine maintenance of his nails is essential for aesthetic and hygiene purposes, and to ensure his good health.

The burning question – when to trim nails?
Timing your pet’s nail trimming sessions would depend on how fast or slow his nails grow. A nail trimming session every two weeks would usually suffice. Dogs’ nails tend to get worn down on their own during play sessions and walks, so you should consider that as well. If you can hear the sound of your pet’s nails making contact with the floor as he walks, it is a sign that his nails are overgrown and it is time to trim them.

Don’t be a fool, use the right tools
A safe and hassle-free nail trimming session requires the right tools. Thankfully, dog nail trimming is not a complex process requiring high-maintenance tools. Here are the products you would need:

  • Nail Clippers
    The market is overflowing with dog-friendly nail clippers and trimmers. Plier-style or scissor-style nail clippers are the ones that are usually recommended by vets, as they are suitable for dogs of all sizes. Moreover, they are also highly effective on thick and tough nails. Good nail clippers should have sharp edges that will help you cut your pet’s nails with precision and minimize any chances of him getting hurt. Never use blunt clippers. Promptly replace old nail clippers as soon as they become dull.


  •  Styptic Powder
    Have some styptic powder handy to stop bleeding if you accidentally cut your pet’s nails a little too short. Styptic powder helps the blood to clot. Apply the powder to the cut and apply pressure for a few seconds to allow the powder to stick. You could also use flour or cornstarch in place of styptic powder.


  •  Nail Filer
    An integral part of a mani-pediroutine, nail filer is a tool to smoothen any sharp edges left behind after the nails get cut. If you don’t file your pet’s nails, he can harm his skin while attempting to scratch.


  •  Treats
    This isn’t an essential tool, but will make the entire process easier. To make nail trimming sessions less stressful and more fun for your pet, keep his favorite treats nearby. Use these to positively reinforce him before, during, and after the process so that he learns to associate nail trimming sessions with rewards.

Nail trimming guide – easy step-by-step process
Train your dog to be okay with you and others touching his feet while he is still young so that he does not become sensitive to nail trimming process as an adult.

Over several days, get him used to the look, clicking sound, and vibrating sensation of the nail clippers and filers to increase familiarity. Let him sniff the tools. If you do not have any prior experience in clipping a dog’s nails, it will serve you well to learn the correct technique from your vet.

Here’s how to cut dog nails safely:

  • Drain out your dog’s excessive energy by taking him for a walk or quick run before the nail clipping session. It will ensure that he doesn’t become panicky or fidgety when his nails get clipped.
  •  Find a noise-free and distraction-free area where your pet feels at ease.
  •  Small dogs can sit on your lap or on a steady surface like a table. In the case of large breed dogs, it would help to have another person hold the pet while you trim his nails. Boisterous and naughty ones might need to be muzzled or restrained.
  •  Trim any hair on your pet’s paws that blocks your view of the entire nail.
  •  Firmly hold one of his paws between your thumb and forefinger. Gently push down on the paw pad to extend the nail forward.
  •  Clip the tip of the nail a little bit at a time. Be careful that you don’t accidentally clip the ‘quick’ as it can cause your pet’s nail to bleed. Stop when you see a pinkish area. If your pet has pigmented nails, look out for a whitish area. Do not cut beyond that.
  •  Hold your pet’s paw, spread his toes apart, and using a nail filer, gently round off any sharp edges on his nails for a smooth finish.

With some practice and patience, you can not only save valuable time and money but also prevent your pet from getting stressed while traveling to the groomer.