How to cut a Dog’s nails at home Guide!

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Our dear puppies also grow nails, in the same way that they grow us. And to prevent the nail itself from injuring them or accidentally breaking causing them a lot of pain, we must learn how to cut a dog’s nails to be able to do ours when necessary.

There are two clearly identifiable types of nails, white nails and black nails. White nails are much easier because we can see how far we can cut, but black nails are much more complex since they do not offer any clues. However we are going to review how we should cut our dog’s nails whatever their nail color is.

Index of contents

  • 1 Preparing our dog’s nails for cutting
  • 2 Starting to cut my nails
  • 3 When should a dog’s nails be cut?
  • 4 What happens if I cut my dog’s nails badly?

Preparing our dog’s nails for cutting

The first thing we must learn before cutting anything is where or how far we can cut. Dogs’ nails have nerves and blood vessels in most of their interior Therefore, we cannot simply cut or we could cause bleeding and pain to our dog.

If our dog has white nails, it will be very easy to see how far the nerve of the nail (pinkest part) goes and what area we can cut without damaging it. However if our dog has black nails, we will not be able to see any of the nerve previously.

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We must put the paw of our dog on the ground and see which part is the one that touches the ground, that part is the one that we must cut carefully so as not to reach the nerve. We must imagine a horizontal line on the tip of your nail, as you can see in the photo, to know how and where to cut.

where to cut a dog's nail

Starting to cut my nails

Some dogs do not allow themselves to cut their nails because they are nervous, we must reassure them and even ask for help so that someone can entertain the dog with a little food or games while we bustle on their paws.

If the nails with white we can do the horizontal cut as we have explained, with special scissors to cut dog nails. These scissors are available in different sizes, for small, medium or large dogs.

If our dog’s nails are black, then we must cut very little by little, being very careful not to harm him. We will make a first cut of two millimeters and observe the cut area, if there are no remains of nerves or blood vessels, we can cut again and repeat until the nails are of an appropriate size. If we appreciate nerves or blood vessels, we will stop immediately as it can no longer be cut.

dog with clipped nails

When should a dog’s nails be cut?

Dogs have long nails naturally, lmost of them don’t need their nails cut since they wear them out naturally. But some dogs do not wear them out and their nails can grow excessively, even curving over themselves, this type of nails should be cut when necessary.

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The best way to know if our dog needs a nail cut or not, is by standing it and observing if its nails touch the ground. When a dog has good nails, they should not touch the ground. If your nails touch the ground, trim them until they are just flush (slightly above the ground).

before and after cutting nails

What happens if I cut my dog’s nails badly?

With proper scissors and following the directions, there should be no problem. But sometimes we cut a little more than necessary, affecting the nerve and / or blood vessels inside the nail.

If this happens, our dog will complain because it causes pain and also begin to bleed from the cut part of the nail. We must apply a little disinfectant to try to stop the bleeding (hydrogen peroxide, betadine (iodine), etc… ..).

If we are very nervous about this, it is not clear to us, our dog is too nervous and does not leave or any other circumstance that could pose a danger to our dog … it is best to go to a vet who will trim his nails there.