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  • Writer's pictureDr. Anirudh Mittal

Dog Nail Cutting: How to Trim Your Dog's Nails

Updated: Apr 13, 2021

Your dog doesn't require a nail trim at regular intervals if he is an active outdoor pet. This interval is variable from breed to breed and also varies in individuals among the same breed on the basis of regular activities and exercise. For instance, your house is having a hard floor (marble) and your dog is an indoor beast who avoids going outside, he will need nail cutting more frequently.

Types of nail trimmers

  • Guillotine style

  • Scissors style

  • Small/medium pliers style

  • Large plier style

Plier style nail trimmers are more frequently used in India. If your dog just has sharp edges, it is better to file them with an ordinary nail filer, as it is a better and safer option.

Nail Cutting/Trimming Process

1. First of all, keep the treats handy, to make this a positive experience for your dog 2. Locate the quick (pink area in the nail that contains all the nerve and blood supply). 3. Cut at the angle of 45 degrees for a shorter cut when you are near the quick. 4. Otherwise go perpendicular to the nail for larger cuts.

For the dogs having black nails

1. It is difficult to locate the quick, so be very careful. 2. If you can see the separation between the layers of the nail then you can cut that area. 3. Then simply apply the pressure of nail trimmer on the nail to check for any reflexes of paw withdrawal. It is due to the pain that your dog feels because you are very close to the quick.


In case of bleeding, you need Potassium permanganate crystals handy. Take some crystals on cotton and put it on the nail with pressure. You may feel that the cotton gets heated. This is due to the exothermic reaction of the Potassium permanganate crystals. Use soap to plug the quick. Your dog will get nervous next time. So you will have to keep plenty of treats.

Points to remember

1. Just after bathing the nails get comparatively softer and it is better to trim hard nails at that time. 2. Ordinary scissors cause cracking and splitting of nails. Avoid them!! 3. You just need to check the nail of the thumbs in an active outdoor dog.

Why nail trimming is important?

Overgrown nails may lead to eye injury which is common in breeds with bulging eyes like Pugs. Long nails put pressure on the joints above them which can cause problems like arthritis. The dog will be reluctant to walk due to the pain in the joints.

Some nails grow in a circular fashion penetrating the footpad causing pus development in that area.

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