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Clipping your dogs nails

Posted on May 11 2020

Nailed it!

With the country in lockdown, many people are looking at grooming their 4 legged pals at home. While you play groomers in your living room we can do the hard part for you. So find our comprehensive guide and totally rad instructions on how to cut your dogs nails. 

A Quick Guide To The Quick 

The quick is a small gap inside the nail that contains a bundle of nerves and blood vessels, sounds scary but the quick can be avoided and should be. Often if your dog has white nails you can see the quick inside but if the nails are black its usually impossible to see the quick which can sometimes make a pretty gory plot twist. Cutting the dogs quick can be painful and likely to bleed a lot as you tap into the blood supply of the nail. Don’t let that put you off though, with some common sense, careful agility and nimble procedures you have totally got this in the bag.


Regular nail trimming will cause the quick to recede from the end, this means the longer the nail the longer the quick so try and keep well groomed. Short quicks make for easy maintenance and for your pooches overall comfort. Dogs that walk a lot outside on dirt or hard materials will naturally file their nails, however keep an eye on them as super long nails will be uncomfortable and troublesome. 

What You Need to Succeed

  • Nail Trimmers 
  • Small Towel 
  • Clotting Powder or Corn Starch 
  • Treats 

Lets Get Our Hands Dirty 

Step 1) 

Hold that foot steady and gently

If your dog isn’t into holding hands it could be a good idea getting them used to having the sensations of having their paws and nails touched. Hold the paw, touch the nails and then give them a treat and then try again later.

Step 2)  

Push your fingers between the paw pads and spread the digits of the paw so you can get good access 

Step 3)  

Trim a tiny amount of the nail at a time.

If your pooch is wondering what the heck is going on and is becoming visibly upset or angry finish the nail, praise them with a treat and come back to the rest later. By making the experience a positive one your dog will learn to gain confidence in you and your nail trimming abilities.  

Step 4) 

Observe each tiny cut that is made. Inside the black nail as you trim the tiny bits away they will look generally white. As you get closer to the quick a small black dot will start to appear in the middle of the white area of the nail - this signals that the quick is very close and you should stop trimming. If the black dot isn’t appearing and you feel as though you have trimmed it down sufficiently, don’t keep going. 

Step 5)

Praise them. At Pet Connect our favourite word is treat! It’s super important to let your pooch know they did a good job. They need to associate the unpleasant procedure of nail trimming with something scrumptious and positive. Once you are done treat yourself to a wine.

What happens if I mess up?

If you accidentally cut the quick, try and be calm - your pooch will feel stressed if you start to stress. Get a tissue or towel and try and hold it on the nail for as long as your dog will allow. If you have clotting powder or corn starch use this to stop the bleeding. If your dogs nail doesn’t quit bleeding after 30 mins call the vet. 

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