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How to cut my dog's nails

April 11, 2022


Keeping a dog's nails in perfect condition goes beyond aesthetics, not doing it can lead to health issues. Dogs need their nails trimmed regularly. Otherwise, if they are too long, they can break or roll inward and break their skin or pads, which is painful for them. Also, having very long nails could cause infection or affect the way they walk.


If we get the right tools, we can carry out the task of cutting them ourselves, avoiding the cost and the dog’s stress of going to a specialist or the vet. The tools you need are three. On the one hand, small scissors to trim the hair around the nail if necessary. On the other hand, a nail clipper for dogs. And finally, a small abrasive file to file the edges, which are usually rough.


Unlike humans, dogs have something called quick in the center portion of their nails which contains blood vessels and nerves. It is important to not cut these since it will cause bleeding and some pain for your dog.


How often should I cut my dog’s nails?


Usually every 3 to 4 weeks, but how often will depend on the breed and lifestyle, and can change with age. Their claws grow at different rates and wear down depending on the physical activity they engage in and the ground they regularly walk on.


To know when it's time to clip their nails, keep in mind that their claws shouldn't protrude above the pad and shouldn't touch the ground when they are standing still. Another good sign is when they begin to touch the ground and make little “clicking” sounds as they walk.


Types of dog nails


Dog nails can be white or black. In the white ones, the pink blood vessel (the quick) can be seen and that delimits us to where we should cut, going shorter will hurt the dog and it will also bleed from the cut.


When the nail is black, the problem is that the quick is not visible and we should be extra careful, since cutting it can cause a little bleeding.


Tips and tricks


  • The sooner the better. As in many other things, start with this procedure when the dog is a puppy, when it gets older it will be used to it and it will be easier.

  • Find the right moment and get some treats. Dogs don't really like having their nails trimmed. For this reason, it is very important that you find a time when your dog is calm and have some treats ready.

  • Find a comfortable position both for the dog and for you.

  • Find a place well illuminated. This will help you see the quick easier.

  • Cut the nail little by little. Start by cutting only the tip of your dog's nail and look inside, if it shows completely white, you can cut a little more, while if it shows a black dot, you should stop because the quick is right after.


If you accidentally cut the nail too short and it starts to bleed, you should apply pressure to the tip to stop the bleeding. It is important that the dog is calm and still because if it starts to walk it could further damage the nail.


For more information, talk to one of our Pet Experts and get customized advice by submitting a request in our Mavyn app or Mavyn Pet page.