How To File Dog Nails [ 7 Easy Steps]

Grooming is required on a regular basis for dogs.

Trimming and filing nails is a part of that grooming to ensure there are no sharp edges or broken ends left on the nails.

You can get your dog's nails professionally trimmed and filed at a dog salon or a veterinarian, but doing it yourself is considerably more cost-effective.

The first few times you trim and file your dog's nails, he may wriggle and try to flee, but after he gets used to it, the process will be much easier.

How To File Dog Nails
How To File Dog Nails

Why File Dog's Nail?

Every three to four weeks, all dogs' nails should be clipped and filed, regardless of breed.

If a dog's nails aren't properly cared for, health issues can occur.

Your dog's nails will frequently develop ingrown, causing pain.

The nails may curl under and rub against the dog's foot pad, causing pain.

If this happens, the dog may be unable to walk correctly, putting stress on the joints.

A dog who spends a lot of time outside on rough terrain may not require as frequent nail trimming and filing.

The terrain will naturally wear down the dog nail.

Why Dog's Nail Length Matters?

The length of a dog's nails can alter the function of the dog's foot, which may surprise you.

Without going into too much detail.

When a dog stands in a neutral stance vs an active one, whether or not the dog's nails touch the ground has an impact on how hard the flexor and extensor muscles and ligaments of the paw have to work.

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The surfaces that a wild dog moves through will automatically keep the nails at the length required for survival.

The length of the nails on domestic dogs, which includes both the ordinary home dog and the working dog or agility dog, must be checked and the best length determined by a human.

How to File Dog Nails in 7 Easy Steps

1. Obtain a hard copy of the file

Obtain a hard dog nail file, such as one made of hard metal, ceramic, or glass instead of nail clippers.

Nail files or nail grinder made of metal are far more durable than those made of emery board.

2. Take your dog's paws in your hands

Allow your dog to become accustomed to having their paws touched.

This ensures that they are not fearful of having their paws handled.

With your non-dominant hand, firmly grasp your dog's paw and inspect it for debris, ticks, and symptoms of injury.

After that, clean up the debris and grime before tending to the wound.

3. Cut the hair

Also, nail trim the hair between your toes so it doesn't get tangled while you're filing your nails.

4. Get to the paws

Allow your dog to sit or stand while you pick up and file each paw.

You can also have your dog lie down on his back so you can reach his paws.

You may also require assistance in holding your dog.

5. Make sure your dog's toes are separated

Use your fingers to gently separate your dog's toes from one another.

This is done so that you can effectively hold each nail.

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You wouldn't hear your dog's nails tapping if they were at the right length.

With a manual file, it is extremely unlikely that you may hurt the quick.

However, if you observe a grayish oval while filing, you should stop.

Even if it takes a long time, it is best for your dog if he or she is afraid of clippers and Dremel tools.

7. Set aside time to file your nails in little increments

Per filling session, you must work on 1 to 2 nails.

It will take several sessions to complete one paw.

Allow your dog to take pauses so that they do not grow agitated.

Nail files are preferred by dogs over nail clipper and nail grinder because they are less stressful for them.


Allow the Dremel's friction or so called dog nail grinder to perform the work instead of applying pressure to the nail.

Keep the Dremel on one location for no more than three seconds, or the nail will become too hot, causing your dog to feel burned.

You can use styptic powder if bleeding occurs.

A fast cut and then a follow-up with a Dremel is the safest option if your dog's nails are particularly long and jagged.

After that, you can use a Dremel on a daily basis to keep your nails short.

The Biggest Advantage of Having a Groomer Trim a Dog's Nails

When someone else is in charge of the dog's nails, they have all of the necessary equipment to do it securely and effectively.

The biggest advantage is that you, the person your dog adores, aren't participating in the procedure.

There is no tension, no conflict, and no harm to either the dog or the dog owner.

Final Thoughts

You can buff the nails down using a regular nail file, but this may take more time and effort than you want to devote to the process.

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To prevent having to cut your nails, use a Dremel file, which is a motorized file that operates like a sander, to grind them down.

Instead of using a nail trimmer, many groomers utilize a Dremel file.

This method is more efficient and secure than dog nail clippers.

  • Slowly introduce the Dremel over a few days.
  • Allow your dog to inspect it while it is switched off, then turn it on and let her investigate.
  • Once she appears to be comfortable with the Dremel, try touching one dog's toenail or the dew claw with it for a few seconds.
  • When she agrees, give her a compliment.
  • She'll eventually let you use the Dremel to grind her nails down.
  • By grinding the nail tip straight up and down with a Dremel file, you can remove more of the nail near to the quick while avoiding accidently nicking the quick.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Can I file my dog's nails with a regular nail file?

Make sure you're using a nail file made exclusively for dogs.

On your dog's nails, never use a nail file designed for people.

Can I file my dog's nails instead of clipping?

Filing may be a realistic option to simplify the job because clippers can cause a crushing sensation and holding each nail for a second while the cut is done can cause anxiety in your dog.

Can I use sandpaper to file my dogs nails?

Sandpaper. Use 80 grit sandpaper to introduce self-nail filing.

Remember that higher grit numbers indicate softer (less abrasive) grit, which will file your dog's nails back gently.

The majority of dogs are at ease running their nails across 30-40 grit sandpaper, which quickly files down their nails.

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