Spring Grooming – How to Trim Your Dog's Nails

Nail trimming is an important task that keeps your dog’s nails short and healthy, and also keeps your floors and furniture safe from snags and scratches. 

Long nails can break and bleed, or even grow back into the paw and cause pain. So it’s really important as a pet owner to ensure your dog’s nails are maintained. 

Often people seek veterinary help to trim their pet’s nails, however wouldn’t it be nice to save a trip to the vet and do them yourself at home?

Discover Dr Mark’s simple method, along with a few handy tips on trimming your dog’s nails. 

how to trim your dogs nails

So first and foremost, to help make the experience positive, grab some treats and don’t feel like you need to trim all the nails at once. 

Start with one, reward, and come back later. Particularly if you or your pet is nervous. 

Also, try pick a time when your dog is relaxing. If they’re in the mood to play, wait until they’re lounging before approaching them.

Secondly, there are many different types of nail trimmers. It is recommended buying a good quality pair that are sharp and designed for the correct size of dog. 

A product such as the Medium GripSoft Deluxe Dog Nail Clipper is suitable for small and medium dogs, and is also available in a larger size that is suitable for medium and large dogs. 

This tool is great for beginners – it has a soft grip handle and cutting guard that makes nail trimming safe and easy. 

GripSoft Nail Clippers

So a good way to start is by gently touching your dog’s paw, also known as paw handling. If they don’t pull away or resist, start massaging the paw and gently pressing on their nails. 

Depending on your dog’s age and temperament, it may take a few sessions before they’re used to paw handling.

Now, onto how to trim the nails. Starting with the back legs, one technique that helps is to hold the handle of the nail trimmers flat against the toe pad and cut across the nail, so that the nail will sit just above the ground. 

This technique is good if you are worried about cutting the nails too short.

Trimming Dog's Nails

And if you want to get a shorter cut than the previous method, aim to cut at a 45° angle, after visualising the quick.

The quick is the pink area within the nail where the nerves and blood vessels are, similar to the area underneath our nails.


You also don’t want to forget the dewclaws. Not all dogs have them but if they do they will be located on the inside of the leg, just above the ‘wrist’.

canine dew claw

So with a lot of praise, a few treats and the right tool, trimming your dog’s nails can be a quick and simple process for you and your pet. 

We hope this advice has been helpful for you, if you’d like to learn more pet health information visit VetShopAustralia.com.au or let us know on our Facebook Page what you’d like to know more about. 

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