How Often Should You/How to Know When to Cut Your Dog’s Nails

A dog owner has to take care of many aspects of their pet’s life, especially when it comes to grooming. Dogs tend to grow out their coats of hair, grow their nails very long, and generally need a good bath every now and then. If you skimp on any of these, your pup is probably not going to be well received in the neighborhood.

Of all these grooming habits, cutting a dog’s nails is perhaps one of the most important. This is because long talons can cause harm to yourself, to children, and other pets you may have around the house. They would also leave marks on your flooring, bringing down the look of your home.

Not sure when you should cut your dog’s nails, or how? We’ll give you a few tips below:

What it Takes

The most common rule of cutting your dog’s nails is to cut them before they can touch the floor or the ground. In short, if the dog’s nails are tapping against your floorboards as they walk across your living room, you’ve left it a bit too late.

Of course, this means that the frequency of nail cutting or trimming will be different for each dog. It would depend on their breed, their size, and even their age. You’d have to be alert and check their paws weekly to see whether their nails are in need of some scissors or clippers. See if the nails are close to the ground when they’re in a regular standing position and decide from there.

On the Regular

If possible, though, you might want to make your nail trimming activity as regular as possible. If you can take off a little each week or every other week, this would accustom your dog to the practice. This way, they would sit more easily and let you finish the job instead of panicking and running away.

If you suddenly start to clip their mails one day without warning, the dog might get stressed and even have trust issues. Stress can cause a number of health issues in dogs, so you don’t want to worry them any more than absolutely necessary. The same goes for you. If you take it easy and ease into the process every week or so, you’d also find yourself a less stressed dog owner.

Go Slow

If your dog is young, you should be especially careful to be slow and gentle with your nail clipping. This is necessary in order not to alarm the dog at all. Take extra care not to go near the nerves or the blood supply for the nails.

How Much to Cut

Your goal should be to clip each nail just enough to shorten it without cutting it to the quick. Dogs usually have either clear nails or dark. The clear option is easier to cut since you can actually see the nerve endings and avoid them.

However, no matter which color nails you’re dealing with, you’re advised to take it very slowly. At the same time, keep praising and talking in a soothing manner to your dog. This will help your pet get through the whole process, strange though it may seem to them. When it’s over, or when one nail is done, you can reward them with a treat in order to make them associate nail cutting with something positive.

Other Factors

As a dog owner, you should be aware that their front nails usually grow faster than the back ones. This is similar to our fingernails as compared to the toenails. Hence, you may not have to trim the rear nails as regularly as the front ones. A simple checking will probably tell you when it’s time to do any of the paws.

Another factor to consider in the case of dog nails is their level of activity. Those dogs that have regular walks on the pavement would have worn-down nails. These wouldn’t require trimming early as much as a dog that mostly stays inside or plays on the grass. Certain breeds like the Chihuahua usually stay indoors, so they might need the most nail trimming or clipping.

Other Dog Grooming & Hygiene Posts

Dog Grooming & Hygiene Insights