A Step-by-Step Guide to Trimming Your Dog’s Toenails

Truth be told, it’s not easy to trim your pooch’s toenails. Why? Not all dogs will respond well. A lot will create a fuss which leads to you feeling frustrated then abandoning the effort altogether.

However, cutting your dog’s nails isn’t just necessary; it’s for their own good. One of the consequences of long toenails is painful feet. As toenails get in contact with hard ground, the surface pushes the nail back into the nail bed. That puts pressure on toe joints leading toes to become sore.

As you can see, it’s important to cut your dog’s nails to keep them comfortable. For the task of trimming your furry pal’s toenails, you will need a nail clipper. Here’s a guide on using the tool:

  1. Get your dog used to the nail clipping process. Start off by handling their paws regularly. After that, introduce the clippers but don’t start cutting yet. As you do this, praise your dog for allowing you to handle their paws and for not reacting badly to the introduction of clippers. Give them treats as well. For the clippers, it’s best to use clippers with a safety guard to provide more control.
  2. Be firm and gentle when handling your dog’s paw. This is the part where you start trimming the nails. Don’t be rough with your dog; try to be as gentle as possible. Start cutting at a 45-degree angle just below the quick.
  3. Cut until the white inside the nail is exposed. Specifically, the white with the dot in the center. You can continue trimming of you don’t see it yet but cut only a small amount to avoid hitting the quick.
  4. Use a nail file to smooth out the trim. File the area located on top and on the side of the quick.

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In case you cut the quick…

This might be unavoidable, especially if it’s your first try. It will definitely cause pain on the part of your dog but the good thing is it can be remedied. It’s advisable to have cornstarch beside you when you start trimming your pet’s nails. Cornstarch will help stop the bleeding.

Some nail clipper tips

  • Use clippers that are small in size. Shih Tzus are a small breed hence they don’t need a large tool to get the trimming done.
  • Keep clippers sharp. Just like any tool, there is a certain lifespan to nail clippers for dogs. When you notice that your tool didn’t quite have the edge like it used to, it’s best to replace it. Using a blunt tool will only increase the chances of you hurting your dog.

Grooming your dog involves a lot of things and one of them is trimming their toenails. Just like trimming your pooch’s fur, this grooming activity requires your attention so you don’t end up hurting your dog. Toenail clipping should be a regular affair but the clear indication for it is when you clearly hear their nails when they walk across the floor.


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