Grooming Series #2: Cutting your Dog’s nails

Do I need to cut my dog’s nails if I walk them outside on the pavement and why is nail care so important?

A common misconception I hear as a groomer is that by walking your dog on the pavement your dog’s nails will file themselves. While there may be some truth to that, the only way to properly care for your dog’s nails is by regularly trimming them. Walks outside with your dog are beneficial but do not substitute regular nail care. Hard surfaces such as the sidewalk can also be tougher on bones, muscles and paws. 

Nails, if neglected too long, will begin to grow into the pads on your pets feet which can result in discomfort and potentially an infection. This is especially common in larger dogs who weigh more and put more pressure on their feet. 

Any grooming professional will have a difficult time cutting dogs nails when they haven’t been trimmed for awhile. The toes are prone to spread out when they walk if their nails aren’t cut and due to prolonged pressure can lead to fractures and arthritis

Can I cut my dog’s nails at home?

Yes, when cutting your dog’s nails at home you will need to make sure you have the right equipment this could include:

  • Guillotine Nail Trimmer (better for smaller dogs with thinner nails)

  • Scissor Nail Trimmer (better for overgrown nails)
  • Nail File (best for senior dogs or dogs with brittle nails)

What are the steps to cutting my dogs’ nails at home?

  1. Make sure your dogs paw is spread out and check for any debris in the pads
  2. Get a firm grip on your dog’s nail and begin cutting from top to bottom on a slight angle
  3. Start slow and when you reach the nail coloured cuticle you know you are getting close to the vein in the nail
  4. If the cuticle accidentally gets cut use cornstarch to help prevent further bleeding
  5. File down any sharp corners or rough edges 

Need a little help? 

If your dog is apprehensive to allow you to cut their nails, or you aren’t feeling confident, come see us at Urban Pets!
When you subscribe online and auto-pay for monthly nail trims, you get 3 free trims a year!


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