With Lockdown restrictions resulting in the closure of grooming businesses, you might be looking for some tips on how best to groom your dog at home. Today we will be looking at how to properly and most importantly, safely, trim your dog’s nails.



Nail trimming is an important part in grooming maintenance because nails which are too long can cause your dog a multitude of problems such as pain whilst walking or even arthritis.

How often?

How frequently you need to clip your dog’s nails will depend on your dog and its lifestyle. For instance, smaller or older dogs who go for shorter walks will need their nails trimmed more regularly than bigger and younger dogs as their nails will be less worn down. Likewise, dogs who frequently walk on pavements will have their nails naturally filed down by the hard concrete, unlike dogs who predominately walk on fields.


Dogs have a vein in their nails which is called a quick. If the quick is cut too short, it will bleed and cause your dog pain. If a dog doesn’t get their nails cut frequently, this quick can grow very long, meaning that you can only trim the nails a little bit at a time. If this is the case for your dog, we recommend trimming their nails a little bit every week, using a grinder. Grinders are the easiest way to get your dog’s nails shorter and smoother, whilst avoiding the quick. However, they can be noisy so it would be a good idea to introduce your dog to the sound before attempting to trim their nails.

If your dog’s nails have been cut regularly, the quick will have receded. For these dogs you can use regular clippers once a month on your dog’s nails. If you are going to use dog clippers, it is best to get your dog in a position where you can flip their paw upside down to look at the underneath area. Cut the nail at a 45-degree angle. Go slowly and trim a little amount off at a time, checking that you are not going too close to the quick as you go.

White nails

If your dog has white nails, it is easier to spot the quick. You should be able to see a pink vein through the nails.

Black nails

The quick is a little bit trickier to spot in black nails. Cut a little bit of the nails off at a time until you spot a tiny black dot surrounded by white. This is how you will know you are close to the quick and should stop trimming.

Ultimately, you want your dog to be as comfortable as possible during this experience. Make sure that you take each step slowly and give your dog plenty of treats during and after the process to help keep them calm and relaxed.

Whilst it is beneficial to regularly trim your dog’s nails, only carry out this procedure if you feel confident in doing so, as getting it wrong can harm your dog.