How To Clip Your Dog’s Nails Safely at Home

Clipping your dog’s nails isn’t simply a cosmetic procedure; it’s something that every dog parent should do regularly. Excessive nails may cause a lot of pain and have a detrimental impact on your dog’s life. Taking care of your dog’s paws is an important aspect of their overall health. Nail clipping may be a stressful experience for many dogs. Some dogs will sit in your lap or on a table while their nails are clipped, while others will require restraint. 

When Should You Clip Your Dog’s Nails?

Once your dog’s nails begin to touch the ground, it’s a good idea to clip them. A dog’s nails, like human nails, will continue to grow until they curl outward or, worse, inside. Long nails are uncomfortable for your dog to walk on; they reduce traction, making slips and falls more likely; they’re more prone to breaking or peeling off entirely; and they can grow into your dog’s paw pads, causing discomfort and infection. It may be time for a nail trim if you hear your dog’s nails clacking on the ground.

5 Steps to Clip Your Dog’s Nails

clip your dog's nailsStart with the Paws

Dogs are naturally wary about having their paws touched. To train your dog to allow their nails to be cut, you’ll need to gradually familiarise them with having their paws, pads, and nails handled. Begin with a range of treats around and your dog in a calm, ideally laying down. Spend a few moments softly caressing and squeezing the paws, followed by a treat.


clip your dog's nailsFocus on the Nails

Move on to the more delicate nails when your dog has become comfortable with having his paws touched in general. Begin by gently caressing the nail for a few seconds before praising and rewarding your dog. Work your way up to lightly squeezing your dog’s nail to mimic the pressure used by clippers or a file.


clip your dog's nailsIntroduce the Tools

You’ll need to introduce your cutting apparatus after your dog is comfortable with your hands touching their nails. You can use a file, clippers, or an electric Dremel, depending on the size of your dog. Treat and praise your dog after short trimming his nails with your nail trimmer. Repeat this process until your dog is comfortable with the trimmer being near or touching them.


clip your dog's nailsStart Slow

Start filing or clipping now. Begin by filing or trimming one nail at a time, rather than the entire foot. Praise and reward your dog after the first trim. If Fido becomes anxious, repeat the previous procedures to familiarise your dog to the trimmer touching their nail.


clip your dog's nails Finish with Treats

Gradually increase to two, three, and finally all of the nails. Both for practice and trimming, be sure to work equally on your dog’s front and rear paws. Offer your dog treats to end on a happy note and also to reward him for his patience.

To Review

  • After clipping your dog’s nails, reward them with treats so they connect it with a happy experience.
  • If your dog dislikes having their nails clipped or you have never done them before, handle their paws often and simply massage the clippers over their paws – regularly without really using them.
  • If you’re frightened, they’ll pick up on it and attempt to avoid having their nails clipped.
  • After a wash, it is ideal to trim your dog’s nails since they are more relaxed.
  • Don’t trim all of your nails at once; if needed, wait a few days.

Nail trimming is an important grooming activity that keeps your dog happy and healthy. You should feel more prepared for your dog’s next nail session after reading this blog post.