How To Trim Dog Nails That Are Overgrown [5 Easy Steps]

Your dog’s nails, like yours, must be trimmed and cut on a regular basis to avoid becoming overgrown.

Overgrown dog nails can be ugly and make playtime a problem for pet owners due to the risk of being scratched by your dog.

But don’t beat yourself up if you haven’t clipped your dog’s nails in a while.

It’s not the first time someone has done it.

If you’re looking for information on how to cut overgrown dog nails, you’ve come to the correct spot.

How To Trim Dog Nails That Are Overgrown

Related Posts

Dog Nail Clipper

Dog Nails Discoloration [Facts]

What is a Dog Nails Quick [ Answered ]

Why Overgrown Dog’s Nail Is A Problem?

Overgrown dog nails can create discomfort and health problems, according to the American Kennel Club (AKC).

When nails are long enough to tap-tap-tap along the floor, the toes may splay, putting undue pressure on the foot and leg structure.

Overgrown dog’s nails can cause tendon injuries and even misshapen feet over time.

Even if your dog’s excessive nails aren’t creating health problems, they are inconvenient for him.

Because the “quick,” a cluster of nerves and blood arteries at the middle of the nail, you can’t just cut off an overgrown dog nail.

The quick of a dog nail grows with it.

The quick of a dog with overgrown nails will be longer, making it difficult to cut the nail back to the proper length.

That isn’t to say that your dog will always have long nails.

Maintaining a healthy nail length for your dog is beneficial to their general health and well-being.

With that in mind, here’s how to cut your dog’s excessive nails.

Why Trimming Dog’s Nails Is Important?

Without the discomfort of growing nails, your dog will feel much better.

This is due to the fact that a dog’s nail will simply continue to grow, and the additional lead might cause pain.

A dog’s overgrown nails will eventually sag, causing pain to its paws.

Overgrown dog nails, like ingrown human nails, can cause pain and infection, which are two things you definitely don’t want to happen to your canines.

See also  How Much To Feed A Foxhound Puppy? [Answered]

Another reason to keep your dog’s nails trimmed is because an overgrown nail might get snagged on textiles such as your carpet.

Select and use the appropriate dog nail trimming materials

Because dog nails are not the same as human nails, a conventional nail cutter will not suffice for your canine companion.

Because dogs’ nails are larger and cylindrical in shape, make sure you use dog-specific nail cutters.

The guillotine tool is great for novices, the scissor-type nail clipper is best for short dog claws, and the clamp type nail clipper is commonly used by vets and pet grooming specialists because of its ease of use and sturdiness to keep sharp for a long time.

Trim Your Dog’s Nails in 5 Easy Steps

Step one: Make your dog feel at ease.

If your dog is afraid of getting their nails clipped, the first step is to get them to accept the tools that are required.

This, like any other type of desensitization training, can take some time.

Bring out the clippers and let your dog have a look around. Reward them with a treat as they sniff the clippers.

Repeat this process multiple times over the course of a few days until your dog is excited to see the nail trimmers come out.

The goal is to create a favorable impression.

If you wish to shorten your dog’s nails with a rotary nail grinder, such as a Dremel, follow the same steps.

Dremel are loud, so focus on building your dog’s tolerance for the noise by rewarding them every time you use one.

Keep in mind to be patient.

Some dogs soon learn that the presence of the Dremel and clippers indicates the presence of rewards.

Some dogs need a little longer to acclimate, especially if they’ve had unpleasant experiences in the past with nail trimmers.

They’ll become more at ease over time.

Step two: Position yourself for nail trimming.

Trim your dog’s nails when he or she is relaxed and comfortable.

A second person aside from the dog owner to hold, pet, and distract the dog is beneficial.

You can hold your dog in your lap if he or she is small.

Just make sure you have a clear view of their nails before you start the nail trim using nail clippers.

Lift your dog’s paw once you’re in a safe posture.

See also  Best Home Remedy For Dog Nail Bleeding

To prevent children from dragging it away, keep it close to their body.

To separate the nail you want to clip, squeeze the paw and raise one of their toes from underneath.

Step three: Look for the quick

Look at an overgrown nail in the light to detect the quick before using the clippers or grinder.

The quick will appear as a darker, reddish portion within the nail on dogs with light-colored nails.

It may be more difficult to determine where the quick begins if your dog’s long nail are dark.

Trim extremely small sections of the nail at a time if this is the case.

Examine the dog’s toenail tip after you’ve made a cut.

As you cut the nail further, a grayish-pink oval will form at the top of the sliced area, according to the Washington State University veterinary school.

A little black dot may also be visible in the center of the white section.

You should stop chopping at this point because you’re getting close to the quick.

Step four: Quickly, safely, and confidently trim or grind the nail

It’s time to start trimming once you’ve gotten into position, isolated a pet’s nails, and discovered the quick.

Trim a little section of nail at a time with your favorite clippers.

Cut across the tip of the nail at a little slant, following its natural contour.

Look for the little black dot on your pet’s nail that tells you when to stop after each cut on the freshly-cut tip of the nail.

Trim your nails quickly and carefully, and attempt to relax.

Your dog may pick up on your nervousness if you hesitate too much.

On the other hand, rushing through it increases the chances of an accident.

Trim effectively, but take pauses as needed.

Step five: Take your time and practice on a regular basis

You’ll go through the same steps for each dog’s claw.

If you’re new to clipping your dog’s nails, don’t expect to get them all done in one sitting!

In fact, you might have to wait a few minutes, if not an entire day, between nails.

Nail clipping is a progressive process for dogs with excessive nails.

As the quick fades, it becomes clear how much nail should be trimmed at once.

Handle your dog’s paws on a frequent basis, and clip their nails once a week if possible.

Nail trimming will soon become an automatic part of your daily practice.

What should you do if you accidentally cut the quick?

See also  How Much To Feed A Briard Puppy? [Answered]

It’s painful for your dog to cut the quick, but it’s not the end of the world.

It’s also a simple error to make with overgrown dog nails.

If you cut the quick, here’s what you should do:

  • Styptic powder is used to stop bleeding (cornstarch might work in a pinch).
  • For being calm, lavish praise and rewards on your dog.
  • Take a break or maybe quit for the day after that.
  • Both you and your dog require rest and recuperation time.


If you have a high-energy dog, make sure you exercise them first before cutting their nails.

It will be easier to cut their nails if they are weary and content.

Some dogs’ nails have a quick that can be seen.

When toenails grow too long, they might become insensitive, causing more space between the live tissue and the nail.

Use this as a suggestion for cutting if yours does.

It may seem self-evident, but clip your dog’s nails in a well-lit area.

Many clipped quicks are found in dark environments.

Wear your glasses while clipping your dog’s nails if you have them.

Final Thoughts

You may learn how to successfully cut overgrown dog nails whether you use a nail grinder or a nail trimmer.

Use these suggestions to make it a stress-free and enjoyable experience for you and your pet!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Do overgrown nails hurt dogs?

Accidents are caused by overgrown nails — When walking or sprinting, dogs use their claws for traction and balance.
Too long nails might cause a dog to stumble and fall more frequently.
These changes are especially distressing to older, arthritic pets.

How often can you cut overgrown dog nails?

You’ll need to clip your dog’s long nails on a weekly basis if they’ve grown out of control.
This allows the paw to retreat quickly.
Keep clipping your dog’s nails on a weekly basis once they’ve reached an acceptable length.
Your dog’s nails will begin to touch the ground if you skip a week or two.

How do you trim a black dog’s excessive nails?

The key is to trim a small section of nail at a time and stop when the sliced surface reveals a black center.
Black nail trimming
Slow down.
Take a strong but gentle grip on your dog’s paw.
Cut the nail from top to bottom using the clippers (not side to side)
Trim a little section of the nail, about 1/16th of an inch long.

Leave a Comment