September 11

How To Use Dog Nail Clippers


Clipping a dog’s nails can seem like a daunting task if you have never done it before. But, it is an essential part of dog care. Long nails can be painful and become ingrown. With the right tools and methods, you can ensure that your animal has short nails. You can also do so with minimal stress for all concerned.

  To learn how to use dog nail clippers effectively you need the following tools:  

  • Dog nail scissors for overgrown nails
  • Dog guillotine clippers for shorter nails
  • Other scissors to trim long hair around the paw
  • An emery board for finishing touches
  • Cornstarch in case of a bleeding quick
  • Pillows to keep the dog comfortable
  • Enough treats

Choosing The Right Dog Nail Clipper

The first thing to do is to decide which type of dog nail clipper to use. There are two varieties to choose from. Dog nail scissors work best when a nail is really long and curling over. You can get the nail between the blades and cut it down to size. But, some find the action a little too difficult for smaller nails. This is where dog nail guillotine clippers work best.

How to use dog nail clippers

They are quick and easy to use on most nails. But, long curved nails won’t fit into the hole so easily. Choose a model that is strong, easy to handle and offers a quick clean cut. If you feel scary about clippers, alternatively you may go for dog nail grinders.

Getting The Dog Comfortable

You can’t start clipping a dog’s nails until there are in a comfortable position. Some dogs with grooming training will sit still and give their paw. It might help to let them sit on the sofa, cushions or their dog bed for comfort. Others won’t like the process and may fidget a little bit. The best approach here is to have them lie down on a table. This way they are relaxed and you can still reach their paw. It might help to have a second person involved here. They can restrain the dog if needed and provide plenty of verbal reassurance as you focus on each nail.

How To Handle The Guillotine Clipper

The cutting process is pretty simple. There is a hole in the clipper that you put the nail into. Squeezing the handle then activates a blade which cuts the nail off at the desired point. It should be a quick, pain-free process with minimal noise and distress. Just be aware that is can be harder on thicker, tougher nails.

Make Sure That You Get Every Claw At Just The Right Spot

cutting dog nailYou must take your time to handle every single nail in turn. Work methodically paw-by-paw to make sure that you don’t miss any. This also means that the dog doesn’t have to change position too often. Don’t forget about the little dewclaws on the back of the paw. These aren’t worn down by walking in the same way as other claws. This means that they can get overgrown and damage the paw-pad.

You also need to ensure that each cut on each nail is in the right place. Align the guillotine on the nail so that it is safely below the quick. This mass of blood vessels and nerve tissue is noticeable on pale white nails. It should, therefore, only take one cut to clip the nail. Black nails are more difficult. Try and work in smaller stages with the guillotine to avoid the risk of clipping too far up the nail.

How To Finish Off The Clipping Process

The grooming session isn’t complete yet. It is important to check each nail to make sure that it is the right length and smooth enough. An emery board will remove any rough edges that could cause an injury. Once each paw is perfect, give the dog lots of praise for being a good girl or boy throughout the process. If they know they will get lots of cuddles and a treat for their efforts, they are more likely to cooperate the next time.

This is a good point to end with. when discussing how to use dog nail clippers. Don’t forget that this is a part of regular grooming and health care. Those nails will grow again and the cycle will continue. Keep on top of them, train your dog to get used to the process and it will get easier.


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