A dog’s toenails are no joke

Keeping your dog’s nails trimmed and healthy can be a challenge. The processes is often stressful for dogs and their owners. But it doesn’t need to be. Just like visiting the vet, the first step toward success is calmness.

Did you know?…

  • Nails that are too long can cause splayed feet, crooked toes, and tendon injuries over an extended period. As the long nail hits the ground, the pressure puts force on the foot and leg structure.
  • Too-long nails chip, break and tear, which can lead to vet visits. 
  • Your dog’s paws are subjected to all kinds of terrain. They should be checked for scrapes, cuts, and splinters regularly.
  • Long haired dogs also need to have the hair around the feet and in between their toes trimmed to keep them looking neat and clean.
  • The Canine Good Citizen Responsible Dog Owner Pledge requires that dog owners practice regular grooming, which includes keeping your dog’s paws clean, neat and trim. Presenting a dog with overgrown nails can result in failing the CGC.

All About My Dog


Join vet tech and DREAM DREMELER, Andrea Berberian, for on-site dremel nail cutting services.

Learn More

All About My Dog


Join vet tech and DREAM DREMELER, Andrea Berberian, for on-site dremel nail cutting services.

Learn More

Clipping FAQ

How often should I cut my dog’s nails?

On average – every two weeks.

I don’t know how (or I’m afraid) to cut my dog’s nails. What should I do?

Seek the help of a professional dog groomer! Vet practices offer nail trimming services. So do private dog groomers and large pet store chains.

My dog hates having his nails trimmed. What should I do?

Practice, practice, practice. Help your dog enter a calm state of mind by being calm yourself. Stop talking. (No talking at all). Sit on the ground next to your dog. Invite them to sit or lay down next to you. Be quiet. Restful. Relax. Run your hand down your dog’s leg. Stop, rest, relax, be calm. Let your dog adjust. Gently, quietly touch one toe on one paw. Repeat every day until your dog can tolerate his paws and nails being handled.

How short should I cut my dog’s nails?

Trim to the point that is short of the quick, the cuticle of the nail that is soft, painful and can bleed. (see diagram below) Regular trimming causes the quick to recede, allowing more nail to be cut each week until the paw can strike the ground naturally. 

How long is too long?

If your dog’s nails are clicking on the floor, they’re too long.

Dremel or nail clippers? Which is best?

There are two types of canine nail clippers. Regular nail cutters and dremels, hand-held devices that grind the nail down instead of clipping it short. With the proper preparation, a dremel session can be as relaxing as a spa treatment. Learn more about our Dremel Clinic!

What are dewclaws? Should they be removed or trimmed?

Dewclaws are the canine equivalent of toes and thumbs. Typically, front dewclaws (thumbs) are firmly attached; you can feel the bone that connects them to the leg. Front dewclaws are not typically removed as dog’s still use them for grasping, climbing, extra traction and stabilization. Rear and double dewclaws (toes) are typically attached by loose skin and frequently removed in the early days of a pup’s life to prevent injury. Regular trimming is recommended to keep dewclaws healthy and injury-free.

All About My Dog periodically runs Toenail Clipping and Dremel Clinics. Learn more here, or check out our Clinic Schedule for availability.