Dog Nail Trimming: The Most Common Mistakes of New Dog Owners

The health of our dog depends on keeping their nails trimmed. They require our assistance, just as we do, in order to keep up their physical well-being. But can you easily cut your dog’s nails as a dog parent? The key points to keep in mind are included below our article. What are the necessary skills and qualifications for dog nail trimming?

Table of Contents:

  1. Know the anatomy of a dog paw.
  2. Get yourself ready.
  3. Determine what type of dog you’re trimming.
  4. Choose the perfect tool for the job.
  5. Lubricate the dog nails.
  6. Start with the dog nails you can see.
  7. Trim the dog nails you can reach easily.
  8. Trim the dog nails that are difficult to reach.
  9. File the dog nails you just trimmed.
  10. Consider the dog nails you didn’t get to.
  11. Bonus: Other useful dog nail trimming tips.
dog nail trimming how to do it properly
Photo by Gustavo Fring

Know the anatomy of a dog paw

Dog paws come in a wide range of sizes, shapes, and colours. There are four basic types of dog paws: webbed, dew clawed, cat footed, and solid footed.

Dogs are more likely than humans to have webbed paws (65% of dogs have them).

Dew clawed paws are more common on larger dog breeds like the German Shepherd and Great Dane.

Cat-footed paws are more common in larger dog breeds.

The majority of canine breeds with solid-footed paws are small canines like Chihuahuas and Pomeranians.

Knowing the anatomy of a dog paw begins with understanding the paw pads.

Dog Paw Types

The dog’s paws come in two different types. They are the delicate, soft paw pads on the bottom of your dog’s foot. The second group of dog paw pads are called “Buck Pads.” These are the dog paw pads that extend across the top of the paw and protect the foot bones from harm. The second crucial component of dog paw structure is an understanding of dog nail anatomy. There are several parts that make up a dog nail. They are known as the “quick,” “nail groove,” and “nail cap.” As the quick is the live part of the nail, dog nails must be carefully trimmed with dog nail clippers.

Get yourself ready

Trimming dog nails can be confusing especially to first time dog owners. Before deciding to clip their dog’s nails, novice owners should conduct as much research as they can. There are three areas you should prioritise:
1. Safety
2. Know about cuts
3. Think about the shapes


Your top priority should be the safety of your pet. It’s essential to know which tools are safe to use and which ones are not. Since human clippers and scissors are not strong enough, they should not be used. The use of dog clippers and dog scissors is strongly advised.

Know about cuts

It’s important to know what kind of cuts to give your dog. You can find videos on websites like Youtube and others that will give you more tips on how to trim in the best way possible. The best example is when owners cover the paws with first aid bandages before trimming. This will maintain the stability and peace of your dog’s paw.

Think about the shapes

Trimming your dog’s paws involves more than just shaving off the excess hair. Additionally, try to create the most adorable and rounded paws you can.

The first step in trimming the dog’s nails is to gather everything you’ll need, including your dog, scissors, dog nail clippers, styptic powder, and the training supplies you’ve been using. You should always assess your dog’s nails before attempting to trim them. Make sure there is no blood or that the nail is not black. When trimming your dog’s nails, always go with the way that they grow naturally. Always cut them gently curved, never in a straight line.

Recognize the location of the quick on a dog’s paw

Never try to pull a nail out by slicing the quick. This is the internal vein of the dog’s nail. Your pup will bleed profusely and endure great suffering if you accidentally cut it. If you are not familiar with chopping your furry friend’s nails, better find professional mobile dog groomers and ask for help. Their service will help you understand how to do it by yourself next time. If your dog has persistent pink quick, do not trim their nails without first consulting your veterinarian. Dark nails are the same way.

Determine what type of dog you’re trimming.

There are many different breeds of dogs, and each one has a distinctive personality that will influence how you trim your dog’s nails. It is crucial to remember that every dog is unique and has different needs. Your best course of action for trimming your dog’s nails will depend on your understanding of your dog’s characteristics.

To allow their dog to have complete control over their paws and be able to defend themselves in a fight, dog handlers typically try to avoid trimming their dog’s front paws. If you do decide to cut your dog’s nails, as a general rule, it is best to trim both front paws at the same time. It is also crucial to trim the nails uniformly. Check the shape of the tops of the paws to see if they are rounded or oval-shaped. If they are oval-shaped, you should trim the nails slowly and delicately to avoid damaging them. On the other hand, if the shape of the paw is round, you can trim them in a little more quickly.

Choose the perfect tool for the job.

The right tools are always recommended so that you can finish the dog nail trimming job without any problems. If you have a Shiba Inu, for instance, and have yet to discover a tool that can efficiently and smoothly trim his nails, Traditionally, dog owners have used small guillotine-style, large guillotine-style, and small scissor-style dog nail clippers. All of them have been annoying. The scissor-type is prefered by the majority of them out of these three, but they still produce jagged edges. It will take more time to smooth out sharp edges if your dog’s paw is thick. Some dog owners decided to try the Dremel device, which appeared to be strong enough to complete the task.

Is Dremel really a good tool for dog nail trimming?

You can purchase the Dremel nail grinder set, which includes a 4.8V Dremel nail grinder, 1/8″, 3/16″, 1/4″, and 1/8″ grinding stones, a built-in light, an extra grinding stone, a cleaning brush, two extra grinder/sanding tips for use with the Dremel, an extra mini-fuse, and a Dremel 18V battery. The pre-drilled holes in the sanding tips are not very well done, which is the first thing we noticed. After a few uses on a thick paw, the tips should be changed, and occasionally all of the 1/8″ grinding stones have poor quality holes. 

Using Dremel the right way

While working on your pet, hold the dremel at a 90-degree angle in your hand. Start filing your pet’s nails at the dremel’s filing hole. Separately, file each nail one at a time. When trimming your dog’s nails, be sure not to apply any pressure. Just let the dremel handle everything. Do not cut the nail all the way down else, you can harm your dog’s paw. If your dog is not calm and relaxed, do not trim its nails, as it will be too risky for both of you to get hurt, and he may develop a phobia when he sees your dremel turned on next time. Before trimming your dog’s nails, you still need to calm him down.

How about a dog grooming kit? Will it help with dog nail trimming?

Of course our answer is yes, this is the best that we can suggest at it has more tools to choose from for specific job. If you have a Labrador as a pet for instance, you should give him more frequent nail trimmings. This will guarantee that he can walk normally and won’t get hurt from the overgrown claws. You will require a standard dog grooming kit, which includes a clipper and a few blades, to complete this task. A file is also required to smooth the sharp edges. Dog clippers come in many varieties, and the best one should be able to quickly and easily trim thick nails of your dog. Make wise decisions because using the right tools can make the process more enjoyable and simpler. If you use the incorrect tools, this could be dangerous as well.

Lubricate the dog nails

Like our fingernails, dog nails also require some lubrication, so having dry nails will be uncomfortable. Taking good care of your pet is very important. It won’t harm your pets if you give them a gentle massage and oil their nails.

Even small dogs will not enjoy running around if their nails are not trimmed. The nail can become dry from dry air. About 20% of the food that dogs eat needs to be digested. Your dog might feel uncomfortable because of the extra hair as well. Additionally, prone to cracking are dry nails. If you notice your pet is in pain, it is time to lubricate the nails and it is highly recommended. The best way to shield your pet from what you already know is with pet nail polish. The use of olive oil is the ideal solution too. While Olive oil is nourishing and supports nail growth.

Your dog’s nails won’t fully shine with just food.

Even though you feed your dog well every day, it is unfortunate that its nails are always dry. To maintain healthy dog nails, water and oil should be used. The dog’s delicate feet are hurt when walking on hard, dry surfaces, and their nails get worn down. Additionally, because dogs are unable to communicate their emotions, you won’t notice a problem with your dog’s nails until he starts acting strange. Therefore, it is advised to regularly lubricate your dog’s nails.

Start trimming with the dog nails you can see

It should be clear that trimming what you can see will be simple. Additionally, trimming what you can’t see will be more difficult. I strongly advise reading a few books on the subject if you have never clipped a dog’s nails. This will not only aid in nail trimming but also in your understanding of the normal anatomy and function of dog nails. It is more difficult to gauge your progress and it is possible to inadvertently cut too deeply on a nail that is not visible when trimming dog nails that are not visible.

When you first begin trimming your dog’s nails, you should only trim the ones that are visible so that you can gauge how far down the quick you have gone and how much longer you still have to go. Usually, the nails at the top of the paw, in front of the dewclaw, are the first ones you should trim.

Trim the dog nails you can reach easily

There are two different kinds of dog nail clippers: ones for thick nails and ones for thin nails. Use dog nail clippers for thin nails if you have them. Dog nail clippers for thin nails come in two varieties: guillotine clippers and scissor clippers. You must use the tool as closely to the dog paw as possible when using a guillotine or scissors to cut the dog nail.

Your dog will be hurt if you cut into the quick. To see if the quick is apparent, you must inspect the dog nail. You can cut the dog nail with dog nail clippers if the quick is visible. If the quick is not visible, you can use dog nail file. You should file the dog nail until you reach the quick. You must be very careful when you are using files because they can be very sharp and can cause you to cut your fingers.

For the sake of your pet’s health, you must maintain the proper length of nails on it. Dogs should have their nails cut regularly to avoid the growth of bacteria and discomfort between the nail and the dog’s toes.

Trim the dog nails that are difficult to reach

Once the easy-to-reach nails have been cut, you should begin working on the challenging-to-reach nails. If you have the right tools, you can accomplish this more quickly.

It is always advised to trim dog nails with clippers because they make the process simpler and safer. There are some circumstances, though, in which you cannot trim the dog’s nails with a clipper. For instance, some dogs are too delicate to have their nail beds clipped. You need scissors for pedicures. You must first set up a barrier, such as a stick or margarine container. Do this in order to prevent the dog from inadvertently hurting you while you are trimming them.

Your dog’s nails can be trimmed while you are holding their foot and cutting the nail while they are asleep. You can carefully examine the nail if you are unsure of it. You can hold the dog’s leg while continuing to cut the nail if you believe it needs more trimming. The procedure is the same as for trimming your dog’s nails. To trim the dog’s nails that are difficult to reach, you can also use a dog nail grinder.

File the dog nails you just trimmed

It’s not as terrifying as it seems to file dog nails. Knowing where and how to file is crucial. With a nail file in your hand and knowledge of where and how to file, you can start reaping the rewards of having finished this dog nail trimming task.

Once your pet is comfortable having her nails clipped, you should reward her with a treat. And you shouldn’t freak out if you mess up your dog’s nails. Despite the fact that pet nail clippers are sharp, if you use them properly, you shouldn’t have any injuries.

To avoid hurting your dog, avoid using pet nail clippers to trim her claws. Take your dog to the vet right away if you’ve noticed that her nails are black. Some dogs have naturally black nails, but if you’ve recently noticed your dog’s nails have changed colour, it may be an indication of a more serious health issue.

Consider the dog nails you didn’t get to

As a dog ages, his nails continue to grow, and this growth can be harmful to the dog. Dogs’ toenails and claws develop more quickly than those of humans. Toenails are typically shorter than the claws since they can be regularly trimmed. This will stop the nails from curving inward. Typically, canine nail clippers, which are sold in pet supply stores, are used to trim nails. Scissor, guillotine, and plier nail clippers are the three most common types. Pick the one you feel most at ease using. Dog nail trimming is a difficult but doable task. Your dog needs to be well-mannered and well-trained to properly do this job.

Bonus: Other useful dog nail trimming tips

  1. Put your dog down on the ground or on a table.
  2. Try to clip your dog’s nails every two weeks, and it’s also a good idea to take it to the groomer for a trim every two months.
  3. Although it’s best to avoid trimming your dog’s nails too short because it can hurt him, you can use a file, a dremel, or a pumice stone to remove any jagged edges or overgrown points.
  4. To cut your dog’s nails, you can also buy clipper toenail clippers. To get the perfect fit, you might need to purchase a few different sizes.
  5. Never forget to reward your dog with a treat to make him feel comfortable.

To Wrap things up!

Dog nail trimming doesn’t have to be difficult. With a little preparation and patience, you can be a successful dog nail trimmer.

Dogs can be challenging to comprehend. The same applies to a dog’s paw. Despite the fact that you see and interact with it every day, you may not know much about it. Touching your dog’s paw may help you understand it better, but that is not the whole story. Numerous bones and so-called soft tissue can be found in a dog’s paw.

To properly groom your dog’s nails, it is crucial for dog owners to understand the anatomy of a dog’s paw first. It’s essential that you have the proper tools and equipment on hand when trimming dog nails. It is more crucial that you hire qualified mobile dog groomers if you are unfamiliar with dog nail trimming task. Take your furry friend to the vet so that he can assess your dog’s well being in order to maintain good health.

We hope you found our article on the dog nail trimming to be informative and entertaining. Please share this post with your friends and family. Sharing is Caring! Thank you from the Petchess Team.


The information, including tips, dog nail trimming tools, and suggestions on this post page is provided for general reference purposes only.

More From Our Blogs

Barbet: Dog Breed Personality, Price, Care and More

The Mini Bernedoodle: A Dog for Everyone

8 Best Cane Corso Breeders In The US – You Can Trust

The Best Small Pets For Kids: A Comprehensive Guide

How to get your puppy’s age using a golden retriever growth chart?

Kennel cough vaccine: What you need to know?

Top 5 calming treats for dogs and their benefits

7 First-Time Dog Owner Mistakes You Don’t Want to Ignore

German Shepherd Price: How much do they cost?

150 Unique Doberman Names You’ll Love.

A Quick Guide To Cleaning Dog Poop From Your Carpet

How To Take Your Dog To The Beach And Keep It Safe.

How To Choose The Best Dog Bed For Your Pet: An Infographic

Dog Training Guide: A Beginner’s Guide To Train Your Dog.

Labradors: Know the Benefits and Downsides of Owning This Dog

5 Amazing Fun Facts about Dogs you should know

How To Clean Your Dog’s Ear At Home: A simple guide

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *