Dog nail trimmersBe Prepared!

A quality pair of trimmers that not only fit your hand, but also fit your dog’s size, is essential. If you’re not comfortable handling the trimmers, it will make the task stressful for both you and your dog.

I prefer the scissor-style trimmers because they allow free movement and won’t crush the dog’s nails. Be sure to also pick up a jar of styptic powder when purchasing nail trimmers—it will come in handy to help stop the bleeding if you accidentally cut to the quick. Don’t worry if it happens; we all do it now and then! A small hydrogen-peroxide spray bottle is also handy to help remove stains.

Styptic PowderBe Careful But Committed!

Once you’ve determined where to cut the nail, do not hesitate; make the cut quickly.

White nails are fairly easy to trim. The goal is to cut as close to the pink nail vein without actually cutting into the vein itself. But again, don’t worry if you do nip too close because we have the styptic powder ready just in case. Black nails are a little trickier since you can’t see where the vein begins. In this case, I recommend making incremental cuts and stopping when a black dot is visible from the underside of the nail.

Bonus Tip

Your dog’s nails will be sharp after a trim. A simple emery board nail file is perfect for smoothing the edges. I prefer a rechargeable battery powered Dremel tool with a grinding attachment. A model with two speed settings is perfect. They allow you to grind the nails down smoothly without cutting the quick.

dog nail trimming diagram

Tammy Neely is owner and operator of Lucky Dog Salon & Spaw (8605 State Road 64, Georgetown, IN 47122). With more than 20 years’ professional grooming experience, Tammy personally sees each client through the entire grooming process. Follow Lucky Dog Salon & Spaw on Facebook or call (812) 951-3100 and make your appointment today.

Posted 10/10/2015