Cutting Your Dog’s Nails

If you have never cut your dog’s nails before, it is best to get her used to you touching her feet first. So for a few seconds, a couple times a day just hold her paws in your hands. Make sure to reward her for letting you do this-I always give a little treat so they know they are being good. Do this for a few days until she is tolerant of you holding them for more than a few seconds.
Now that your dog is used to you touching her feet, you can start cutting her nails.  I prefer using standard dog nail clippers (personally not a fan of the guillotine clippers, but go with whatever you feel most comfortable with).  I recommend just doing one foot at a time with a good, long break in between as a cooling off period. As time goes on, you may not need to do this since your dog will get used to the nail cutting. If your dog’s nails are white, you will notice some red running from the base, but not out into the tip. This red is blood and nerves, called the quick, so you do NOT want to cut into that! Just cut off the white tip of the nail. If your dog has black nails, you will want to cut off a tiny bit at a time and keep an eye on the surface where you are cutting. As you get close to the blood and nerves, a ring on their nail will appear where you are cutting. Once you see this ring in their nail, stop!
I recommend cutting your dog’s nails once a month. If your dog likes treats, it is always a good idea to reward her for a good job! And remember, your dog may not be a fan of the paw touching and nail cutting, so have some patience. It will take some time for her to adjust to this, but if you keep it positive and go slow she will be okay with it in no time!
Bonus: This method also works for cats! I cut my cat’s nails once a week to keep his nails short and dull at all times. It may take even more patience for your feline friend to be okay with paw handling, but go slow and reward liberally and your kitty will warm up to the idea eventually.  Once again, I prefer to use the standard cat nail clippers that you can find in any pet supply store.
*Picture taken from

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