How to Use Dog Nail Clippers – Safely and Efficiently

Depending on your dog’s breed – its nails might grow too quickly. Sooner than you know it, you’d end up taking your dog to the vet to get its nails cut again.

But would your dog be more comfortable and willing to get its nails cut at home or at the vet? Maybe it’s time to learn how to use dog nail clippers and get the job done yourself.

It can’t be that hard, right? And there’s no reason to pay for the service if you can help your dog by doing it for him/her and also save some money on the side.

You can cut your dog’s nails at home! The process is fairly simple and all you need is the proper nail clipper.

In this post, you’ll find out exactly how to use dog nail clipper, safety and efficiently – so you don’t have to let vet cut your dog’s nails ever again.

What Type of Clippers Do You Need?


You can’t use just any clippers. Luckily, you don’t need to reinvent the wheel either.

There are clippers specially designed for clipping dog’s nails. And if you’re wondering whether you can use human nail clippers – the answer is no.

Nail clippers we use aren’t strong enough to cut through the dog’s nails.

Instead, you should look out for specialized dog nail clippers such as guillotine clippers. These clippers are specially designed to cut through the dog’s nails due to the sharpness of the blades and the design.

Even though there are other designs – we find guillotine clippers to be one of the easiest ones to use. However, keep in mind that guillotine clippers are only ideal for smaller dogs with thinner nails.

In case you have a larger dog with thicker nails – you’ll have to look out for a different type of dog nail clipper.

How to Use Dog Nail Clippers?

How to Use Dog Nail Clippers

If you’ve equipped yourself with proper dog nail clippers – what’s next?

Here’s What You Will Need

Other than the clippers – here’s what else we recommend to prepare before starting:

  • Dog Treats
  • Nail Grinder
  • Styptic Powder (not necessary but is useful to have)

If your dog doesn’t like to get their nails cut – dog treats can help keep them distracted while you do the job.

Nail grinder is what we recommend to use in order to grind the sharp nails after cutting to smooth the nails out and round the edges.

Styptic powder is not necessary by any means, but in case you cut your dog – you’ll want to have it. This powder is ideal to stop bleeding quickly in case of accidentally cutting into your dog’s nail quick.

Cutting the Dog’s Nails

Cutting Dog's Nails

Dog nail clippers look like a regular tool to us – but for dogs, it can be something very scary & intimidating. So there’s no doubt some dogs won’t even want to be near them (especially if they had an unpleasant nail cutting experience in the past).

Therefore, getting your dogs used to the nail clippers first is a smart idea, and you should take your time.

Once you’ve got your dog familiar with the nail cutters – you’d want to start small. This means, cut only the tiny portion of your dog’s nail.

In case you didn’t know, dog nails have quick which is a vein that runs through the dog’s nail. You need to make sure you don’t cut the vein as it can be a painful experience for the dog.

To avoid cutting the dog’s nail quick, you should start by trimming the tiny portion of the nail first.

It’s always easy to spot a nail quick with lighter nails, but it’s a bit trickier to spot nail quick with darker dogs.

Therefore, you better start small as you can always cut your dog’s nail again anytime later rather than going big and cutting the dog’s nail quick.

After you’ve successfully trimmed your dog’s nails, you should always reward your dog with treats.

But lastly, you shouldn’t forget to use a nail grinder to trim down the sharp edges and any inconsistencies in the nail so your dog doesn’t get caught in toys or rugs.

Cutting dog’s nails aren’t complicated and learning how to use dog nail clippers isn’t hard either. However, even though there’s no right or wrong way to use dog nail clippers – it’s all about making sure you cut just enough of the nail so you don’t hit the nail quick (vein).

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