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How To Trim Your Pet's Nails?

Pets, like humans, need regular grooming to stay healthy and happy. One of the often-overlooked aspects of grooming is pet nail trimming.

pet nail

While it may seem like a small detail, long nails can cause pain and discomfort for your Fluffy Friend and even lead to serious health problems if left unaddressed.

However, trimming your pet's nails can be a daunting task, especially if you're new to pet ownership or have a particularly anxious or skittish pet.

But fear not! In this blog post, we'll provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to trim your pet's nails effectively and safely. With a bit of patience and practice, you'll be a pro at pet nail trimming in no time!

The Importance of Trimming Your Pet’s Nails

pet nail

Regular pet nail care goes beyond aesthetics.

Pain from unhealthy nails can occasionally result in your canine or feline suffering irreparable harm.

The live pink quick and the tough exterior substance, known as the shell, make up your pet's nails.

The quick goes through the centre of the nail, giving it blood.

When the quick's nerves are cut, your fur baby will bleed and feel pain or discomfort. Also, with regular trimming, the quick will move away from the end.

Long nails can cause misshapen feet and long-term tendon injuries. They can also transform a healthy paw into a splayed foot, possibly reducing traction.

Additionally, the structure of both leg and foot is forced as the long nail strikes the ground.

Still, some dogs don't require as frequent nail trimming because their nails grow down.

Know When To Trim

If you hear your pet's nails clicking or notice them moving sideways, it's time to trim their nails. Also, you know the nails are too long if they are touching the ground when your pet is standing.

Additionally, a curve from the nail or if the nail extends far from the pink quick means you need to do a trimming session.

Still, pets with dark nails present a challenge as you can't see the quick. What usually works well is using a bright flashlight and placing it under the nail to check the quick.

How Often You Should Trim Your Pet's Nails

A monthly nail trim for your pooch or kitty is a good rule of thumb.

Pets who spend most of their time indoors or on grass may need nail clipping every two weeks. On the other hand, pets who run or stroll frequently on concrete may require less nail trimming.

Remember that the quick might lengthen if you let the nails grow too long. In this case, it would be more challenging to clip your fluffball's nails.

Related: Pet First Aid: What You Should Know

Step-by-Step Guide to Trimming Pet Nails

pet nail

What You Need:

Nail trimmers come in various designs, including scissors, canine-specific grinder tools, and guillotine models.

We recommend styptic powder, corn starch, or flour in case you accidentally cut a nail too short and need to stop the bleeding.

If this is your first time, it’s always best to consult a groomer or vet before trimming your pet’s nails.



  1. Pick up a paw and isolate the toe you want to start with. Make sure that none of your pet’s fur is blocking anything. Keep a firm grip in case your fur baby yanks his paw.
  2. Push your forefinger forward with your thumb slightly up on the pad. This makes the nail longer.
  3. Cut off the nail just enough to avoid trimming the quick. Trim the dewclaws, which you can find on the inside of the paw.
  4. Avoid trimming the nail past the point where it curves. Be on the lookout for a chalky and white ring in dogs with dark nails.
  5. File the nails to smoothen them.

Don’t forget to reward your pet with treats and lots of hugs! Keep your animal companion comfortable with a furniture cover too!

Accidentally Cutting The Quick

Don’t panic if you accidentally cut your pet’s quick! Even professional groomers occasionally cut the quick because not all dogs will remain still for nail trimmings, so don't be hard on yourself if it happens!

Cornstarch and flour can halt bleeding, but styptic powder (which contains Benzocaine) can also lessen discomfort. Scoop up some cornstarch, flour, or styptic powder, and press it firmly against the nail for a few seconds.

Cutting the nail in little segments instead of a large chunk is the best technique to prevent cutting the quick.

Related: How to Groom Your Dog at Home like a Pro

A Guide to Grinding Pet Nails

pet nail

What You Need:

  • Nail Grinder
  • Finishing Stone


  1. Do Steps 1 and 2 above.
  2. Grind small portions of your pet’s nail.
  3. Smooth down sharp edges by grinding over the nail's end.
  4. Make sure your pet is comfortable. Observe any sensitivities.
  5. Keep your pet’s fur away from the nail grinder to prevent it from getting entangled.
  6. A finishing stone is handy for smoothing and buffing the nails—much like your mani-pedi!


Of course, you can place your pet in his anti-anxiety bed so he’s comfy and snug.

Keep the treats handy! Rewarding your pet for good behaviour while grooming will make the process better for them and less challenging for you!

Related: The More You Know: How Do Dogs Communicate?

pet nail


Trimming your pet's nails is an essential part of their grooming routine that should not be overlooked.

It not only keeps their nails healthy and strong but also prevents them from causing any harm to themselves or others.

By following the steps and reminders discussed in this guide, you can safely and effectively trim and grind your pet's nails at home.

However, if you feel uncomfortable or unsure, it's always best to seek the help of a professional groomer or veterinarian.

Remember, with a little practice and patience, you can make nail trimming a stress-free experience for both you and your Fluffy Friend.

Have you trimmed your fur baby’s nails before? How was your experience? Let us know in the comments!



Looking for some products that could help you out?

Check out our Online Shop!

Here are some useful products in relation to this blog post:

MrFluffyFriend - Anti-Anxiety Furniture Cover Deluxe

MrFluffyFriend - Nail Clippers

MrFluffyFriend - Anxiety Relieving Pet Bed

1 comment

  • Thanks for thinking of this nervewracking routine.
    MrFluffyFriend™ replied:
    Hey Susan!

    Thanks for your comment! Were you able to clip or trim your furbaby’s nails? If you’re nervous, ask an experienced vet or groomer to show you how.

    Lots of luck!

    —From Your MrFluffyFriend Team!

    Susan Rich

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