Nail Care Made Easy: Puppy Pedicures

The click clack of nails on the floor— it’s the sound of an excited puppy coming to greet you! But if that clickity clack starts gouging your floor— or worse— if your puppy’s nails start poking holes in you or your clothes, it is time to cut your pup’s nails. Your dog may avoid the nail clipper like his life depends on it, but with a little care, nail time can go smoothly for everyone involved.

Get the right tools

Tools to make Nail Trimming Go smoothlyBefore you start cutting your dog’s nails, you will need a few tools:

A good pair of clippers

Don’t buy a bargain pair of clippers—you and your dog will regret it. A good stainless steal pair will run you $10 to $12 but the extra cost will save you time and save your companion pain.


Never start cutting your dog’s nail without treats on hand. Nail time is never fun for a pup and having a treat to distract them will make the experience much easier.

First aid—just in case

A dog’s nail has two different parts—the nail itself and the “pink” or quick, which is where the blood supply comes to each nail. Hopefully you don’t cut the quick (it is painful for your dog and bleeds a whole lot) but if you do, you’ll want supplies on hand. Styptic or clotting powder or a nail cauterizer will stop the bleeding and help you prevent a huge mess.

Get the Job Done

Keep calm and carry on

Dogs are usually unhappy about pedicure time. Your best bet is to keep calm yourself no matter what to convince your dog that this is no big deal.

Hold your dog close

Hold your dog in your lap or between your legs and grip their paw in your hands to push their nails out so they are visible.

Slow and steady

Don’t feel like you have to cut a nail through on one cut. Cutting slowly, a bit of pressure at the time, will prevent you from flattening the nail as you cut.

Only snip a bit

Make sure to never cut more than an 1/8 of an inch or so off the nail. This way you are only cutting the dead part and will not touch the quick. Another way to ensure you miss the quick is to feel for the texture—never cut a spongy or softer nail!


Remember to give your dog a treat when you’re done to ensure they remember pedicure time as something to look forward to. It will make your job next time a whole lot easier!