How to Cut Your Puppy’s Nails

Puppies need to learn how to be still during nail trimming. It’s important you keep calm and relaxed, so your puppy can too!

1. Keep treats close by for rewards, but don’t use them as a lure or bribe. If you give any at all, there should only be a few in the beginning and then stop once your puppy is relaxed.

2. Let your puppy check you out. If at any time he bares his teeth, growls, or struggles when you hold him still, then give him a break and try again tomorrow. You want this to be an enjoyable experience for the both of you!

3. Don’t rush it! If you’re in a rush and your puppy isn’t used to nail clippers or gets nervous, then it will be much harder for him to agree. Take your time and build his trust at his own pace!

4. Talk softly and calmly when you pick up the trimmers. As he begins to trust you more, praise him lovingly.

What you’ll need to Cut Your Puppy’s Nails

– Treats

– A nail clipper

Nail Clippers are available at all pet stores. Scissors are not recommended to cut your dog’s nails with because it is usually hard to fit both hands in the right place when cutting with scissors.

The right way to cut your puppy’s nails

First check to see if your puppy’s nails are too long. Check between the pads of his feet and extend a little further back towards his leg with your thumb or index finger. If the nail has a dark circle in the center it is time to clip to prevent further damage.

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While cutting your dog’s nails, avoid arteries or veins that run through the nail. If you are unsure where these are, then please contact your local veterinarian for guidance before cutting.

If you have any questions or concerns about how to cut your dog’s nails, please follow up with your vet! The easiest way to avoid this is by picking up his feet when he’s standing or sitting down. You’ll notice the pink area that you want to avoid clipping.

Start by taking one paw in your hand and gently press on the pads of his feet until he’s comfortable with this position. If he begins to struggle, then calmly release him and start again when he is more relaxed.

With a treat in your other hand, push lightly on the pad and bring the paw closer to you and use your nail clipper in a quick motion. Don’t hesitate, this will only scare him and give him more reason to fear the trimmers! If any pieces break off don’t worry it happens often enough with groomers too!

If you notice any bleeding after clipping, then apply a styptic pencil or cornstarch to the affected area and press firmly for a few seconds. If it continues, then please contact your veterinarian with any further concerns.

What NOT to do when cutting your puppy’s nails

If your dog is struggling too much or you can’t seem to get him in the proper position, then stop, put the trimmers away and try again another day.

Never force your dog into a position that he is not comfortable with or you’ll just end up scaring him even more!

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Don’t clip too much at once. It’s better to get one nail done well than clipping three nails incorrectly because it will cause discomfort for your puppy.

Don’t cut your dog’s nails too short. This can cause bleeding and will lead to pain for your puppy. Shooting pains up his legs can be excruciating!

The nails should be checked every 3-4 weeks to ensure they are not too long. After cutting your dog’s nails, you can either leave them as is or file them with a nail grinder. I suggest checking with your veterinarian for what they recommend prior to trying to file them.

While cutting your puppy’s nails, keep in mind that if he starts to get scared or struggles, then it’s time to stop! Don’t continue while he is uncomfortable or else this will ruin the experience for him and make him even more uneasy. If you can get through one set of paws without any problems, then try again the next day. It will just take time before your puppy is comfortable with having his nails trimmed. With patience, you should be able to get through this routine easily!