How to safely cut your dog’s nails at home

Dogs require their nails to be cut more frequently than people think - to help avoid infection, pain when walking and ingrown toenails.

Here are some handy tips to help you – especially if you’ve never cut them before!

Take your time and be sure to have your dog in a comfortable position, and ensure they are calm. You can help calm and distract them with the use of a toy or snack. Make sure you have the appropriate trimming scissors/clippers to make cutting your dog’s nails easy and pain free.

Learning where to cut

The diagram below displays where to trim and what to avoid. The pink part of the nail is known as the quick. This is a soft tissue that will cause pain and bleed if it is cut and may require veterinary attention. The quick is easier to see on dogs that have clear nails. A good tip to use if your dog has black nails is to position the clippers on your dogs’ nails and apply pressure without cutting. If your dog reacts, you may be close to the nerve so be sure to cut further down the nail.

Ready to cut

Before cutting your dog’s nails be sure to have a firm grip of your dog and their paw. Try to aim at least 2mm away from the quick and cut on a slight angle. Be sure to cut off small amounts of the nail until a pink outline of the quick is visible. Judge how your dog is coping- and if they seem irritated you can also come back to it later. If cutting your dog’s nails at home just isn’t working, contact your vet or a dog groomer for professional assistance.

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