Dog Training

Cut claws on the dog? (7 tips guide)

You want to cut your dog's claws? This guide is designed to help you trim your dog's claws properly and without any major mishaps. Also, for this article we have chosen Advice from veterinarian Emin Jasarevic obtained. Note: This article is written for the german country. 

Claw trimming for dogs (How to do it easily)
Table of contents

In many older dogs, the claws wear less because they move less. Accordingly, in many cases it is necessary to cut the nails.

Advantages of shortening the claws

The claws of your pelt-nose sometimes do not wear off enough by themselves. 

Too long claws can cause him pain and lead to health problems:

Initially, the claws hinder walking, and the individual toes of the bale push upwards when stepping. This is quite painful for your faithful friend, especially during long walks. 

He tries to counteract by adopting a protective posture, which is can lead to postural deformities, joint and back problems in the long run. 

The claws can grow in, break off and in the worst case even tear out. This is not only extremely painful for your pet, but the resulting wound can also become infected. The risk of infection is very high with claws in and out. 

Trimming claws makes walking much more comfortable, minimizing the risk of injury and preventing health problems. 

At what point is it worthwhile?

You usually don't even need to look to see if the claws are too long. 

Because: If your four-legged friend walks over parquet or tiles and a clear click can be heard, the nails are too long. 

If you look at the claws, they should be no more than the length of the ball and not touch the ground. This guideline applies to many dogs. It becomes problematic if the cutting is delayed too long. 

The longer the claws become, the more the vessels and nerves within the claw expand. In this case, you often have to shorten the claws. However, only piece by piece. Nerve tissue and vessels can recede over time, so the process is reversed by shortening. This guideline applies to many dogs. 

What is the best way to shorten?

Clipping nails

You can shorten the claws for example a Claw pliers use. The blades of these pliers are rounded for optimal cutting. For very small quadrupeds, you can also use a nail clipper. For them, the claw nippers may be too large.

It is important that the pliers are not blunt and fit well in the hand. The aim is to prevent the nail from being crushed or bent. The faster and more precise the pliers cut, the more comfortable it is for your furry nose and ultimately for you. 

Nerves and vessels

Because of the nerves and vessels, you can not just cut the claws at any point. This will cause your pet pain and bleeding. If he suffers pain, this leads to avoidance behavior. You should therefore know exactly where you can cut. 

If necessary, a Grinder be the means of choice for you. 

In all cases, it is important that you apply sensitivity and shorten the claw only piece by piece. There should also be sufficient light. 

To where should I cut?

A flashlight is recommended for bright claws. You can shine through the claw and see the nerve tissue and vessels so easily. 

The claw is to be shortened by one millimeter per cut. Stop a maximum of two millimeters before the vessels. Shortly before you will already notice a change in the nail tissue. This becomes more and more pink. 

Through dark claws you cannot shine the flashlight. Therefore, you have to orientate yourself on the nail tissue or the cut surface. If you see a dark spot, you are close to the blood vessels

It is best to work gradually millimeter by millimeter, so you avoid cutting into the areas with blood flow. Some breeds have inherently very long claws with blood vessels running through them. 

If a mishap does occur and your darling bleeds, this is quickly stanched with some high-proof alcohol. 

The best position is the following:

lying dog

It can be awkward to trim your four-legged friend's claws while standing. 

You would have to lift his paw first. But since your charge can't move his legs to the side, it would be hard to see his paws.

It would be difficult to assess where the vessels begin.

In addition, cutting the paws from behind is more complex. Because for a dog to stand on three legs is extremely complicated.

The danger isthat he could lose his balance. Then your darling would probably jerk his paw away and could hurt himself.

Remember: Cutting is easier when your pelt is lying on its side. Any paw is good to reach, see and prune. 

Dealing with fearful dogs

For some four-legged friends the cutting of the claws is very stressful and they can react panic-like.

In this case, you can try to make your furry companion gradually get used to cutting. You might first get him used to the cutter and only touch his paws with it. 

To save him stress, you can trim one claw per day. In any case, you should remain calm when he pulls his paw away or wants to run away. If you become impatient, this impatience will be transferred to him. Your pet will probably become even more panicky. 

In some cases, it may be more convenient for both parties, to use a file. 

Should I cut claws on the puppy?

The claws in puppies can really be very sharp. But should you start doing this when they are puppies?

Generally, you don't have to do it in puppyhood. Rather pay attention to a good dog training and that your puppy wears off his claws while playing. 

Of crucial importance is the accustoming of the puppy to the touching of the paws. If the puppy's claws are already cut and he does not experience pain and impatience in the process, he usually does not develop a negative attitude towards nail cutting in adulthood.

When to trim the claws in puppies? This always depends on the wear of the claws. But to check his paws once a week makes sense.

Cost of cutting claws

If you are still unsure, you can first be shown the correct technique by a veterinarian or in a dog salon. Of course, this raises the question of how much it costs to cut the claws in a dog salon or at the vet. The costs are different and move in a dog salon usually between 10 € and 15 €. At the vet, dog claws are shortened from about 15 € upwards - depending on the veterinary practice, this can also be included as a service with a major examination of the dog.

These are the steps you should follow:

Lay the darling on its side and provide sufficient light so that you have an optimal view of the paws and claws.

In any case, try to radiate calmness, as this will be transmitted to your four-legged friend. If you notice that you are unbalanced today or he is nervous, you should perhaps rather cut the nails on another day. 

If you use claw nippers, please check if they are sharp enough.

For white claws you can use a flashlight to see where the blood vessels begin. You can remove the pure white portion up to two millimeters in front of the vessels.

For black claws you work your way forward successively until you discover a black dot in the center of the claw. This is a sign that blood vessels will soon appear.

You can remove the gray and keratinized part without any problems.

Recommendation from the vet

Sound knowledge and practical tips help us all to take the next step in the right direction in an easier way.

I'm sure the tips I've passed on to you will definitely keep you going without losing your cool.

You can already look forward to the moments when your darling just stretches out his paws and let you pamper him 😊

You will also get your share. The serene calm will also reflect on you. 

A real doping for you and your most faithful friend.

  1. - Shorten thumb claw in dogs themselves
  3. A Stress-Free Way For Trimming Your Dog's Toenails
  4. - How to Clip Dog Nails
Examined by the veterinarian Emin Jasarevic
Examined by the veterinarian Emin Jasarevic

I am a veterinarian and writer on animal health topics. Animals are my passion and it is my personal concern to create medically accurate articles and videos to inform pet owners as much as possible.

Learn more

Share now: