How to Trim Overgrown Dog Nails

Trimming your dog’s nails is an important component of their overall maintenance regiment. Discomfort, pain, and in some cases, permanent damage might ensue if you do not follow these instructions.

There are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to keeping your dog’s nails in good condition. The nail is composed of a hard shell and a pink quick that is soft. Throughout the nail’s core, there is a quick that provides blood supply and oxygen.

It is preferable to avoid the quick from getting too long in the first place rather than cutting it because it might cause bleeding and discomfort when it is cut. Nail trimming regularly might assist with this.

If you see that your dog’s nails need a trim, you must learn to do it appropriately. Before you trim your dog’s nails, it’s a good idea to contact your veterinarian or groomer to ensure that you consider any health issues your dog may be experiencing.

Overgrown dog nails are difficult to detect, but certain telltale indicators may be used to identify the problem. Some of these symptoms include frequent licking of their feet and legs, trouble walking or hobbling on their feet, and a dislike to tread on hard surfaces, such as tile floors; if you see any of these indicators in your pet, it may be time for a haircut!

This blog post will discuss how to correctly cut your dog’s nails without inflicting harm on them.

How to Determine If Your Dog’s Nails Are Excessively Long?

Generally, they are considered out of control if they are tapping on the floor, making you uncomfortable, or interfering with your mobility. When the nail overgrows, a variety of issues can arise, including:

  • The nails grow brittle and brittle, and they crack easily.
  • Quicks that have grown out of control can cause discomfort, bleeding, and infection.
  • Your dog may begin to walk unevenly.
  • Your dog may develop a fear of or feel uncomfortable on slick floors or rough surfaces over time.
  • The paw pads or toe joints may become painful.

You shouldn’t try to trim your dog’s nails all at once if his nails are overgrown. Instead, seek assistance from your veterinarian or groomer. To allow the quick to retreat, it is likely that the nails will need to be trimmed a little over some time.

Trimming Overgrown Dog Nails: A Quick Guide:

Here are some steps for clipping your dog’s nails that can come in handy:

Following Steps to Trim Dog Nails
Following Steps to Trim Dog Nails

Step 1: Prepare Your Dog

You will find that the more you acquaint your dog with the sensation of having their nails cut, the less and less likely they will be to oppose the procedure. If you have a pup, experts suggest starting the nail cutting procedure as soon as possible so that they develop accustomed to the practice.

For older dogs, you may begin preparing them a few days or weeks before the procedure by playing with their paws and lightly caressing their nails to get them accustomed to the sensation of being touched.

You may even work your way up to softly brushing their nails with the grinder or clippers and rewarding them with a treat or applause when they obey.

Final word: avoid surprising your dog with a nail trim when they haven’t had one previously. This may make the entire process exceedingly stressful for you and your partner.

Step 2: Choosing the Proper Position for Nail Trimming

The greatest time to cut your dog’s nails is when he is at his most calm. Some dogs are more cooperative when a second person holds them while the nails are being trimmed. While you’re clipping the dog’s nails, you may want to enlist the assistance of another person.

For tiny dogs who are comfortable being handled, holding the puppy on your lap while cutting the nails is possible.

Always make sure that you have sufficient light to work with when you’re doing your task. To begin trimming, lift the dog’s paw and keep it near to the body to avoid the dog from pushing away from you.

Remove the dog’s paw and gently compress it, pulling one toe from beneath the paw and separating it from its companions before trimming.

Step 3: Look for the Quick

You mustn’t begin clipping the dog’s nails until you have located the quick. The quick is more visible on dogs with light-colored nails, which makes it simpler to locate them.

This section of the nail is generally pink in color and appears darker than the rest of the nail on the outside. When working with dogs who have dark-colored nails, it may be more difficult to identify the quick. Trim a very small piece of the nail tip at the beginning of the procedure.

More of the nail will be exposed when sliced away, and a little piece in the center that appears pink or grey will be revealed. On some dogs, the center point may appear as a circular black patch on the chest. Don’t go any farther with the trimming since you could slice into the quick.

Step 4: Divert Attention

If your dog has anxiety now that it’s time for a nail trim, many dog owners stand by the method of feeding their dog almond butter on a spoon while they clip their nails.

This can serve as a distraction and distract your dog while the operation is underway. Giving your dog a relaxing chew before clipping their nails will make them feel more comfortable and at ease.

Step 5: Trim or Grind the Nail Swiftly and Safely

Trimming can begin once you’ve gotten into position and identified a nail and its location on the quick. Trim a very little portion of a nail at a time using your favorite clippers, utilizing your preferred method.

Cut from across the top of the nail at a small angle, following the correct contour of the nail. After each cut, glance at the tip of the nail to see whether there is a small black dot that indicates when you should stop cutting.

Trim your nails in a swift and safe motion, and then attempt to relax a little bit more. If you dither for too long, your dog might pick up on your uneasiness and react accordingly. Injuries, on the other hand, are more likely to occur if you speed through the process.

Trim as efficiently as possible, but take pauses as needed. Also, make sure to give your dog plenty of praise and goodies after each nail clip to ensure that he continues to have a positive connection with nail trimming.

Step 6: Be Patient While Trimming

When their nails are being cut, some dogs may choose to remain calm. Others, on the other hand, may attempt to distance themselves. If this sounds like your dog, please be patient with them. You may have to trim one nail at a time.

Then repeat the process the next day. When your dog wiggles and attempts to escape while you’re clipping his nails, it’s generally better to quit after only one nail is cut. Reward your dog after praising him.

It will be a bit less difficult the following time. When your dog becomes accustomed to clipping his nails, it will become a regular part of your routine.

The Reasons Why You Should Trim Your Dog’s Overgrown Nails:

How to Trim Dog Nails that are Overgrown
How to Trim Dog Nails that are Overgrown

Since most dogs have Eighteen overall toes, many dog owners avoid trimming their dog’s claws since they would not want to “quick” the dog by clipping the nails too short or “quicking” the dog. This is understood, but your dog’s nails must be kept at a healthy length at all times.

For example, when a dog’s nails are big enough to make contact with the ground, the nail is constantly being pulled back up into a nailbed with each stride.

Pressure repeatedly applied to the nailbed can cause discomfort, suffering, and even arthritis in your dog’s feet over some time. Extra pressure will be applied to the joints, and the toes may even be pushed to twist as a result.

The relationship between nails striking the floor and being on a slope is still implanted into your dog’s brain, even though he is domesticated.

If he hunches forward and leans forward over his forelimbs, it may appear as if he is ascending an imagined mountain. However, he will correct his hind leg position to maintain stability because he is not truly on a slope.

When muscles and joints are overused, it becomes difficult for your dog to get back up after lying down and might make it difficult for your dog to walk upstairs.

If My Dog Is Afraid of the Nail Trimmers, What Should I Do?

Dog Hates Nail Clipping
Dog Hates Nail Clipping

Some dog owners may find that their dog is terrified of the clippers, and they should seek professional assistance. You should look for several things to rule out any strange injuries, growths, or lumps on your dog’s paw pads that could be causing him pain.

Allergic reactions are another typical reason dogs chew on their feet, making them wary and protective when their feet are handled or rubbed.

You may have explored experienced dog groomers and rewarding approaches, like teaching your dog to see cutters as a “balanced” item through contact and reward. If none of these methods has worked for you, you may wish to experiment with a nail file or a Dremel.

Dogs sometimes become scared when they hear the Dremel (grinder) operating, but using a grinder is often less terrifying than using the feared clippers, which can drive them to flee.

What Should You Do If Quick Gets Cut?

Accidents do occur. Particularly if the dog’s nails are very long, the quick might be sliced accidentally. If you accidentally cut into the quick, styptic powder should prevent the dog’s toenail from bleeding. Take some deep breaths, congratulate your dog for keeping calm, and reward him with goodies.

It’s a good idea to take a break for the rest of the day. It allows you and your dog to take some time to unwind and rest.

How Long Does It Take for the Quick to Recede?

Dog Nails Quick Reduce
Dog Nails Quick Reduce

Whether or not the nail will retreat is a matter of personal preference and relies on the severity of the injury. Dogs’ nails have a wide range of lengths, much like people. Some dogs’ nails grow more quickly, thicker, and longer than others, depending on the breed.

It also relies on your dog’s activity level, age, location, and breed. For example, the more energetic the dog is, the more likely its nails will be shorter.

Additionally, whether your dog stays indoors and runs on the floor or outside in quiet, grassy places for the majority of the day, the likelihood of his developing long, brittle nails and long quicks is increased significantly.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is the best way to work with fearful dogs?

Fear of the clippers makes nail trimming difficult. Check for injuries, lumps, or growths on or around the paw pads if your dog seems scared. Allergies lead dogs to lick their paws. Due to allergies, your dog may be wary of having its paws handled.

Your dog’s nails are excessively long; what should you do?

Relaxation helps cut your dog’s nails when they are too long. Don’t forget the dog’s declaws. On the first day, do one or two nails to calm your dog. Rep until all nails are clipped, and your dog can walk normally. After cutting the nails, smooth them using an electric trimmer.

Do dogs’ growing nails cause them any harm?

Accidents are caused by overgrown nails — When dogs are walking or sprinting, they rely on their nails for grip and balance. A dog’s excessively long nails might lead him to slide and fall more readily than necessary. This is especially true for older, arthritic dogs, who are more sensitive to these changes.


It is possible to cut your dog’s nails at home using a decent pair of dog nail clippers. In the case of overgrown tips, it is advisable to trim the tips or only clip off part of the tips if they are overgrown enough that you could inadvertently strike your dog’s quick, which is unpleasant for dogs and necessitates professional veterinarian attention.

Please don’t mistake cutting into their quick since this can give them pain and blood. If you have never clipped your fingernails before, get advice from someone who has before attempted it on your dog! We hope that this information will assist you in keeping your dog safe from damage while also maintaining healthy feet for them!

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