How do i cut my dogs nails?

A dog's nails are just like ours they need to be trimmed regularly. Fortunately for dogs if they spend a lot of time outside walking or running on a hard surface then this can naturally keep their nails trim so they don't need to be cut often.

It is extremely likely getting their nails cut isn't going to be one of your dog's favourite things, so begin by getting your dog used to having their paws touched and make sure you have some treats available while you are cutting their nails. It is also a good idea to get your dog into the habit of having their nails trimmed from an early age.

Are my dog's nails too long?

If your dog's nails are touching the ground as they walk (you will be able to hear the clicking noise on a hard floor) then this will push the nail back into the nail bed and puts pressure on the paw which is very painful. It is important to then trim the nails.

What do I use to cut my dog's nails?

There are a range of products available to trim your dog's nails click here:

Clippers: The most commonly used tool for dog nail trimming, these are powerful scissor-style nail clippers. They come in a wide range of styles, so you can find the one that works best for you and your dog.

Files: There are various files and dog nail grinders available, usually with a small rotating wheel that grinds or files down your dog's nail tips.

We do not recommend using a guillotine style clipper to cut your dog's nails, even one specifically for dog's, as these put pressure on the nail by crushing it and this is painful.

How do I trim my dog's nails?

Firstly, make sure your dog is relaxed and then follow this guide:

  • Hold the paw firmly but gently, and identify where you want to make the cut.
  • Don't squeeze the dog's toes as this will hurt.
  • Remember if your dog is moving their paw around it will be more difficult for you to cut and could cause an accident.
  • Use your fingers to separate the toes slightly to ensure you only cut one nail at a time.
  • There is often a little notch under the dogs nail below the tip of the quick and it is usually safe to cut at the notch.
  • Cut the nail from the top not the bottom.
  • Cut the nail at an angles to the surface of the nail.
  • It is always better to cut off too little if you are unsure as you can always cut a little bit more off.
  • Each time you cut your dog's nails give them reassurance with a cuddle and a treat.


What if I accidentally cut the quick?

Within each nail a dog has nerves and blood vessels and these are in the quick. Dog's with dark nails won't have a visible quick but dogs with white nails will have faint pink line in the nail.

You should avoid cutting the quick as this will be sore but it isn't the end of the world and you should give your dog a treat to help reassure them.

Professional Nail Cutting

Another option is to use a professional groomer to cut your dog's nails, they can also give you tips. If you are looking for a local professional groomer then visit our friends at who have regularly appeared on TV giving grooming advice.