Nail Care In Dogs

People who have decided to finally make the family complete with a dog should of course also find out about the associated tasks in advance. Keeping dogs does not only include going for a walk, playing together, proper training, or the right nutrition. The care of the animals also plays an important role. When caring for their animals, many dog owners primarily think of grooming their dogs. But the claws of the animals must also be checked and cared for regularly. In this article, you will find out what you need to pay attention to, how best to cut your dog’s claws, and what tools you can use to do this.

When should dogs’ claws be clipped?

As with most animals, the claws of dogs grow continuously. For this reason, it is particularly important to ensure that the dogs are able to wear down their claws naturally. If this is not possible, the claws must be trimmed regularly by the owner or the veterinarian.

Unfortunately, it often happens that the claws of dogs are too long. In this case, it can quickly happen that the dog’s entire musculoskeletal system is restricted. For example, it is very common for affected animals to have pain when walking. In addition, postural damage occurs again and again, which of course can also have a very negative effect on the skeleton of your animal. Your darling’s muscles can also be negatively affected by claws that are too long. Furthermore, it happens again and again that affected animals injure themselves badly when scratching. These injuries can then inflame again. In addition, it can of course happen that claws grow in, so that in the worst case an operation is even necessary.

Due to these many dangerous facts, it is important that you as a dog owner check the claws of your fur nose at regular intervals and, if necessary, trim them. If you are ever unsure, you can of course seek the advice of your veterinarian.

How do you know if a dog’s claws are too long?

Many dog ​​owners keep asking themselves when it’s really time to trim their pet’s claws. As soon as your dog’s claws come into contact with the ground when standing normally, they are too long. In this case, you should trim your pet’s claws. Furthermore, you should always make sure that your dog’s claws are intact. If these are split, protruding, or ingrown, you should also act immediately.

What is used to cut the dog’s claws?

The dog’s claws should only be cut with the tools provided for this purpose. There are special claw tongs or claw scissors for this, which you can easily order online from us. Please leave the nail scissors or kitchen scissors where you are. Claw scissors have a special rounded cutting surface. This makes it possible to exert even pressure on the dog’s claw. This can then be separated cleanly without splintering. Splitting occurs primarily when the dog’s claws are cut with the wrong tool, such as regular scissors.

The preparation for you and your dog

When it comes to dog grooming, preparation is extremely important for you and your animals. So you shouldn’t just grab your dog’s paw and go for it. Slowly get your darling used to it and take away their fear. So you don’t have to cut all the claws at once, you can approach them slowly. Below are some tips and tricks to best get you and your dog used to clipping their nails:

  • Practice giving paws with your dog. It is important that he voluntarily places his paw in your hand. Keep working here with small rewards in the form of tasty snacks.
  • You are welcome to show your dog the different tools for clipping his claws, so he has the opportunity to get to know and sniff out these products. You should show him all the equipment, including, for example, the nail file and the nail clippers.
  • Show your dog not only the tools but also the noises made by these products. In this way, you can ensure that your darling does not stretch before it snaps and pulls his paw back jerkily when clipping his claws.
  • Repeat the situation with your dog over and over again. However, the claws are not yet cut. This way you can get your dog used to this procedure.
  • Please always take your time when clipping your claws. It is also important that you remain calm and that you convey this calmness to your animal. If you are under stress or afraid of cutting your claws yourself, your darling will of course notice.
  • Only trim your pet’s nails when the dog is having a quiet moment. This is ideal, for example, just before or after sleeping. Even when the animals just want to cuddle or have eaten, they are a little calmer than usual and ready to clip their claws. However, if your dog wants to play, this is of course not the right time, as your dog would not keep still in such a case.
  • If your dog gets tired of clipping its claws and wants to perform, gets scared, or gets too jittery, you should stop clipping its claws. So you don’t have to cut all the claws at once every time.
  • After clipping the nails, you must never forget to reward your dog. This way he will be less afraid the next time and of course, he will know what good things await him after this procedure.

Cut claws – that’s how it works

Once you have gotten used to clipping your dog’s claws and your pet is no longer afraid, things can finally get serious. It is important to know that, unlike our fingernails, many nerves and blood vessels run through the dog’s claws. You should take note of these. If you damage them, it can be very painful for your darling.

There are both light and dark claws in dogs. While you can see the nerves and blood vessels very well with the light claws, this is unfortunately not the case with the dark claws. A flashlight can help shine a light through the claws to get a better look at the blood vessels and nerves. So it’s wise not to blindly crop to it. You can also use the blood vessels and nerves to determine how far you can cut back the claws.

Never cut your dog’s nails at an angle, always cut them straight. It is important to keep the cutting surface small at all times. Start trimming at the tip of the dog’s claw. Then cut back only a small piece at a time to check whether everything is well closed with callus at the front. As long as this is the case, you can cut off a small piece. However, as already mentioned, you should always keep an eye on the nerves and blood vessels. If the appearance of the cut surface has changed, the claw has been cut back far enough.

The claw clipper must be applied to the claw in such a way that it cuts from the bottom up. Otherwise, the dog’s claw could splinter, which can also be very painful for the animals. Always apply even pressure to the claw and only cut when the claw is well in the pliers.

Please do not forget the so-called dewclaw. This is a special claw, which is located on the inside of the hind legs of your animals. Of course, this does not touch the ground when running, so that it cannot be worn out. So it is very often the case that only these claws have to be cut and the other dog claws not. Even if the other claws are always at an optimal length, it is necessary that you still check the dewclaw regularly. This claw tends to grow in if the length is too long. However, it is not present in all dogs.

If it happens that you have cut off too much of the claw and blood vessels have been injured by your dog, you must remain calm. Claw wounds tend to bleed profusely. Of course, this injury looks very bad and painful at first. It is now important to ensure good basic care. Because then such an injury is usually not dangerous for your darling. Of course, there is still a risk that this wound will become infected. It is therefore important that you keep an eye on the wound for the next few days and, if necessary, take your dog to the vet. At first, you must of course disinfect your dog’s claws. However, wait until the bleeding has stopped. In the case of serious injuries, you should of course also visit a veterinarian who will look at the wound and do something about it if necessary.

Important information, tips, and tricks for claw care at a glance:

  • Check your dog’s claws at regular intervals and please don’t forget the dewclaws, which are located on the inside of the hind legs.
  • Special equipment must be used to trim the claws, including claw scissors, a nail file, and possibly special claw clippers.
  • You must never cut your dog’s claws crookedly, but always straight.
  • To be on the safe side, please only cut off small pieces of the claw. You then have to check the cut to see whether the front of the claw is still completely covered with callus.
    If your dog’s claws are dark, a flashlight can help you get a better look at the blood vessels and nerves in the claws.
  • Before you clip your dog’s claws for the first time, you must prepare him for this procedure. Please always take your time and do not put your animal under pressure.
  • After clipping the claws, you should always reward your dog with something very special.
  • If you cut off the claw too far and the claw bleeds, you should disinfect and treat the wound after it has stopped bleeding.
  • If you are unsure about clipping the claws because you have never done it before, you can easily have this procedure taught and demonstrated by a dog groomer or your veterinarian.


You should check your four-legged friend’s claws carefully at regular intervals so that your dog is not restricted in its movement, injures itself, or suffers other disadvantages. It is important that you never put yourself under pressure and that you always use high-quality tools for clipping the claws, which have been specially manufactured for clipping the claws. However, you should always consult a veterinarian if you are unsure, have inflamed wounds, or have ingrown claws. It is also advisable that you ensure that your dog can wear off its claws in nature. Due to the many possible risks of injury that can arise from long claws or incorrectly clipped claws, careful claw care is a very important task for dog owners.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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