Dog Nail Trimming: Its Easier Than You Think

 In Pet Grooming

Dog nail trimming can seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. With a little knowledge and preparation, the process can be stress-free for both you and your dog. 

Start Early

As with most anything you do with your dog, the younger you introduce them to the process the easier it will be in the future. Before your puppy is in need of nail trimming, introduce them to the tools you will be using and the positions you will be holding their feet in.  Keep a reassuring voice and reward them with treats like you would with any other training. This will help to convince them that dog nail trimming is a positive experience, not one they should be afraid of. Only after your pup has become accustomed to the tools can you begin to actually cut their nails.

Dog Nail Trimming

To start the trimming process, find a comfortable place for both you and your dog, preferably one you have already introduced them to. Take the first paw in your hand with a firm grip. Gently compress one of your dog’s paw pads between your thumb and finger to extend the nail. Clip straight across, removing only the tip of the nail. Do not go past the area where the nail begins to curve. Clipping your dog’s nail too low will cause him or her pain and may cause the nail to bleed. Both of these events may convince your dog that nail clipping is something to be afraid of making it more difficult the next time around.


If you are uncomfortable or afraid of the process of dog nail trimming than your dog will be too. Before you start, make sure you are comfortable with the tools and the process. There is nothing to be afraid of, it is no different from trimming your own fingernails. If you are anxious, take a deep breath and calm yourself to ensure that your dog will be calm too. If you cannot get past your own anxiety, it may be best to have a professional dog groomer do the job for you.

For more information about dog nail trimming or to get answers to any other questions about caring for your dog, contact Andes-Straley Veterinary Hospital at (423) 378-4443.