How to Trim a Dog’s Nails

You will need

Dog nail clippers.
Do not use human nail clippers!
Styptic powder or corn starch
Doggie treats
An assistant, if available

Step 1: Calm the Dog

With a leash attached, have the dog sit, and talk to him softly to keep him calm. It’s possible he might get fussy.

If the pooch won’t sit quietly on his own, have an assistant squat behind the dog, and hold the dog and his paw in position. A wiggly dog around sharp clippers is a BAD thing.

Step 2: Inspect the Nails

Take a look at your dog’s nails. If your dog has white, clear, or light colored nails your job will be easier as you should be able to see something called the “quick” which is the dog’s nail vein in the nail center.

With black or dark nails, you have to be very careful because you won’t be able to see the quick. If you cannot determine where the quick is, it is best to consult a professional before cutting.


Step 3: Cutting

Gently squeeze the bottom center of the dogs paw to extend the nail.
Place the nail clipper over the tip of the nail and clip firmly.

To avoid serious bleeding and pain, clip the nail before the quick.
If the nail does bleed—and yes it happens even with professionals– pack the tip with styptic powder or corn starch until the bleeding stops