How to trim your dog’s nails? It’s the moment of truth. Know now!

My greatest fear is “quicking” my dog. My dog doesn’t like to go to the groomer. My dog is afraid of nail trimming. Don’t worry; we know all about how to trim your dog’s nails.

Dogs anxiety towards the nail trimming process is real. We know how dogs can be very anxious towards trimmers, and clippers, to be honest, they should be. Those tools can be so harmful once are used the wrong way.

how to trim your dog's nails
Be Gentle.

However, we can help you; by giving you some tips and tricks on how to trim your dog’s nail easy and fast. And to do that, we need to cover the answers to these questions:

When should you trim your dog’s nail?
How to trim your dog’s nail?
What are the best tools for trimming your dog’s nails?

When should you trim your dog’s nail?

Your dog’s toenail shouldn’t touch the ground when they are standing still, or when they are moving around. So, if you heard your dog’s nails touching the ground, when they are moving, it’s nail trimming time.

How to trim your dog’s nail?

Keep your dog calm.

Most dogs detest having their nails trimmed, it’s normal, you are asking your dog to do all the things that he hates doing it; to keep calm, to let you touch his/her paw, and you are using some noisy tools on him/her.

Therefore, you should let your dog get used to the trimming process, before starting trimming his/her nails. Some dog owners train their dog to play dead while trimming their nails, which is smart; they are playing, and trimming their nails!

how to trim your dog's nails
Make your dog feel safe.

However, if you don’t want to do that, you are free to choose any other way, I mean, it’s your dog; you are the only person on earth that can figure out how to make him/her feel comfortable.

Hold your dog’s paw.

You need to be careful while holding your dog’s paw; hold it gently, and be patient, because he/she will try to move a lot. If your dog is not already comfortable with you holding his/her paw, it won’t be easy to start the trimming process. Therefore, get him/her used to you holding his/her paw, at first, then start worrying about the trimming process.

Introduce the tools.

Your dog doesn’t know what is trimming, and why he/she needs it. Therefore, the whole process is weird for him/her; you need to introduce the tools you are going to use on him/her first, before starting the trimming process.

How is that?

First of all, you need to let your dog sniff around the tool; He/she needs to know what is that, what does it smell, and how it will make them feel. Your dog’s need to be familiar with the trimming tools, so he/she let you use it on him/her.

Then, touch the nail with the trimming tool you are using, don’t start using it now, just tap your dog’s nail with the trimming tool; slow and gentle tapping, we don’t want to scare him/her.

how to trim your dog's nails
Don’t scare your dog.

If your dog is comfortable with all those processes till now, you can start trimming the tip of your dog’s nails. However, don’t rush, just baby steps till your dog is comfortable with the sound, and the feeling of the trimming.

Start trimming.

Okay. Now, I suppose that your dog is comfortable with the process so far and ready for the actual trimming experience.

So, now you need to know that your dog is fully alerted to any sudden move, or unexpected pain, so you need to be careful. Now, don’t squeeze the toe while holding the paw, that hurts. Just separate the toes with your fingers, gently.

how to trim your dog's nails
Your dog is ready.

Whether you are using a clipper or a grinder- we will know the difference between both in the next paragraph- you need to know that all you need is placing a tiny bit of the nail, NOT THE WHOLE NAIL. You don’t want to hurt your dog’s quick.

What is the quick?

It is a very sensitive, usually pink, part in your dog’s nail, and cutting it causes severe pain to your dog. If you need to know more about the quick, you can check my other article.

What are the best tools for trimming your dog’s nails?

Well, to be perfectly honest; it depends on what you and your dog prefer. But, we can help you know what are the differences between both: the clipper, and the grinder, so you can choose what you think is better.

The Clipper:

As the name suggests, the clipper is just like traditional scissors. So, it is used to clip the dog’s nail and shorten it. Clippers usually need some force while using it, because dog’s nails are a hard part of their bodies.

Some dog owners prefer the clipper over the grinder; because it has no sound, it doesn’t need electricity, and it is not expensive as well. 

However, other dog owners see that; nail clippers are not the best choice, because it quickly cuts into quick, it can easily cause nail damage, and sometimes you can’t control the clipper, because of the force it needs, while clipping the nail.

The Grinder:

On the other hand, some dog owners love the grinder, and for those who don’t know, a grinder is a tool that spins around the dog’s nail surface, and gradually grind down the nail.

Why some dog’s owners love the grinder? Well, it works perfectly on thick nails, and dark nails – those who have dogs with dark nails knows the struggle, you can find more about dark nails dogs here-, it also leaves your dog’s nails without any sharp edges.

However, some dog owners don’t prefer using it, because of its noise, the smelly dust that it leaves behind, and sometimes grinders are more expensive than the clippers.

Whether you decided to use the grinder or the clipper, all you need to do is keeping your dog safe, and comfortable. We know how the trimming process can be hard, but we also know how much you love your dog, and how you will do whatever you can to keep him/her happy. 

Now, why don’t you tell us more about your first time trimming your dog’s nail experience?