How to Cut Dogs’ Nails

Dog ownership may be hard work, but it ain’t rocket science. Taking your dog on a walk, feeding them twice a day and putting a roof over their head isn’t complicated. However, pet owners get nervous when it comes to dog nail trimming. Luckily we’re on the case. Here’s how to cut dogs’ nails!

And if you’re asking yourself, “Where can I find professional, dog nail trimming near me?” just go to your local Adopt & Shop! We offer dog nail trimming at both our Culver City and Lakewood locations.

Dog Nail Anatomy

Before you jump into cutting dogs’ nails, here’s a quick anatomy lesson. You need to know about the dead part of a dog’s nail versus the nail quick. The nail quick is filled with blood and shouldn’t be trimmed or else it will bleed. No one wants that! So when you’re cutting dogs’ nails, you want to avoid the nail quick and only cut into the dead part of the nail.

Tools for Cutting Long Toenails

There are a few things you’ll need when cutting dogs’ nails.

  • Dog nail clippers (which you can buy at Adopt & Shop!) or nail dremel
  • Dog treats (also available at Adopt & Shop!)
  • Styptic powder, other clotting powder, baking soda, baking flour or cornstarch

Steps for Dog Nail Trimming

Here’s how to trim dog nails!

  1. If you don’t have experience cutting dogs nails’, you might want to have a veterinarian or dog groomer show you how.
  2. Test your clippers or nail dremel to make sure they clip or grind smoothly and that the blades work.
  3. Squeeze your clippers or turn on the dremel a few times. After each squeeze, give your dog a treat. This way, your dog will happily associate the clippers or nail dremel with a reward.
  4. With your clippers in one hand, use your other hand to spread your dog’s toes.
  5. Identify the nail quick. This area appears pink on dogs with clear nails, while the dead part of the nail appears white. On dogs with dark-black nails, the nail quick appears to be a darker shade of black. You can also find the nail quick by applying pressure to your dog’s nail with the clippers, without actually cutting the nail. If your dog has a reaction to the squeeze, chances are that you squeezed around the nail quick and not the dead part of the nail.
  6. Once you find the nail quick, trim the dead part of the nail.
  7. If you accidentally cut the nail quick and it starts to bleed, don’t panic! Clot the cut with styptic powder or one of the other clotting substances listed above.
  8. If the bleeding doesn’t stop after 10 minutes, call your veterinarian!

Finding the prospect of dog nail trimming to be a bit daunting? Maybe your dog is super fidgety or they have dark nails. Luckily we have an easy solution: Book a grooming appointment with Adopt & Shop in Culver City or Lakewood today! We offer anal gland expression, ear cleaning, teeth brushing and nail trimming in Lakewood, as well as a full range of dog grooming services in Culver City, including bathing and haircuts.