Up next in Dog Care & Grooming 101 (51 videos)
Become an expert in the care and feeding of Fido with the advice in this Howcast video series.
You Will Need
- A sturdy table or counter
- A towel
- Dog nail clippers
- Styptic powder or cornstarch
- 1-inch-wide emery board
- A helper
- Dog treats
Check dog's nails
Check to see if your dog's nails need clipping. You shouldn't hear her nails clicking against a hard floor when she walks. If there's clicking, it's time for a clipping.
Your dog probably won't enjoy this procedure, so she's likely to require some form of restraint. Hold her in your lap, or spread a towel on a sturdy table or counter and place the dog on top. Stand on the side of the table opposite the nails you'll be trimming and lean over her, so you can hold her down with your body, if necessary.
Holding one paw gently but firmly, clip the tip of the nail. Clip from underneath, holding the clippers at a slight angle in keeping with the curve of the nail.
Be careful to avoid the blood vessels and nerves that run through a dog's nail, called the quick. If you cut into the quick, it will cause pain and bleeding.
If you cut into the quick, place a tissue over the nail and apply pressure until it stops bleeding—or try dipping the nail into styptic powder or cornstarch. It's unlikely that the bleeding will continue for longer than 5 to 7 minutes, but if it does, or if the blood is spurting, call your vet.
Don't forget to trim the dewclaws, located slightly behind the paw on the inner part of the leg. Some breeds have more than one pair on their hind legs.
Use emery board
If your dog still has some patience left, it's a good idea to use an emery board to lightly file the nails smooth.
Praise your dog
Praise your dog lavishly before you let her go. That way she'll come to associate these beauty treatments with extra attention from her owner!