Whether your dog has given birth to puppies or you have adopted one, it’s up to you to take good care of it and that includes grooming.

Cutting the puppy’s nails can be tricky especially if it is your first time. Here are three methods of cutting puppy nails.

  1. Using clippers

  • One of the common ways to cut the nails is by using clippers. The first thing is to make sure that you get the best clipper. If you do not know how to choose the right one, you can get help from a vet or an employee at the pet store.
  • When you are cutting the nails, make sure to only cut the tip. You should also trim declaw if your pet has one. You can use treats to make the experience a smooth one. Be calm and don’t frighten your dog. Have a phobic puppy to the clipper will make the process longer.
  1. Using a Dremel tool

  • You can opt for a Dremel tool if you do not want to use clippers. It has an abrasive head that will make the process easier. Begin by cutting the tips of the puppy’s nails.
  • In case you are not sure how to use the dremel tool, you can get help from a professional groomer. You can also ask a vet to show you how to do it.
  1. Using a file

  • The file is used to file the dog’s nails. It helps you avoid cutting into the puppy’s nail bed. It can be very painful when cut. When filing, only file the hook at the end of the puppy’s nail.
  • When filing the nail, you should place the dog next to you. It should not be in a front-facing position.

Make your Puppy Relax

You need to make your puppy relax and comfortable. For example, if the puppy tries to run while you are trimming his nails, it will get him injured. Likewise, your puppy can cause injuries to you if he bites or scratches you. It is important to avoid such situations. So, make sure you relax him.

Do not turn on the TV or any other thing that causes noise in the room. However, if your puppy likes background noise, then you can play some music with low, soft volume. This will make him feel comfortable and relax. It is your duty, as a dog owner, to soothe and encourage him before you cut his nails.

Trim His Nails Properly

Before you start making the actual cuts, you must trim his nails properly. Don’t do anything without guidance. Otherwise, it will hurt your puppy’s nails. It can even have bleeding. So, first, you need to place the paw of the puppy in your free hand.

Hold each toe while trimming the nail. Hold the tor with your thumb and the index finger firmly.  Make sure you don’t squeeze tightly. However, you need to put some gentle pressure so that the grip is accurate.

Likewise, you need to cut the white portion of the nail. There is a vein that sits underneath the rest of the nail’s part. This is called “quick.” If you cut it, you will make the paw bleed. Also, if your puppy’s nails are black, then, you must look for a professional puppy groomer to avoid risks of cutting the “vein” or “quick” part of the puppy’s nail by accident.

Cut One Nail per Session

Trimming one nail is a good way to start. It is important to go slow. Otherwise, it can cause anxiety for your pup. You must cut one nail in one session. Experts say that this is a good idea. This also lets you know the reaction of the puppy to cutting.

If your pup reacts badly, make sure you relax or comfort him. In contrast, if your pup is comfortable with trimming or cutting one nail per session, continue in this pattern until you cut all the nails properly.


Cutting the nails of your puppy is a risky task. You surely don’t want to hurt him or cause the paw to bleed. If you think you can’t do this, seek out professional’s help. Again, you must make your puppy comfortable and relax before you start trimming his nails. One nail per session is a great idea. Give your puppy a break after each nail cut.

When can you start cutting a puppy’s nails?

You can start to trim your puppy’s nails from around six weeks and it’s advisable that you do. Even if there isn’t much there to cut, it’ll get them accustomed to the routine and means that by the time you need to give them a proper trim, they’ll be used to sitting still for you.

How can I cut my puppy’s nails at home?

Try one cut — just one — by placing the edge of the clippers over the top of the nail and quickly squeezing the handle. White nails show the nail bed, which you must avoid. If your puppy has dark nails, you need to take extra precaution. You can ask your veterinarian or groomer to give you a lesson.

Can I cut my puppy’s nails with human nail clippers?

For tiny puppies, you can start with human nail clippers, but eventually will need clippers designed to cut the dog’s toenails at the proper angle without splitting or crushing the nail. Dremel-type nail grinder products work well for some dogs.

How do you cut a puppy’s nails when scared?

Hold their paw gently and slowly grip one of their toes. Use the clippers to trim only the tip of your dog’s nail, making sure that you don’t cut too much and injure the quick the very first time. After you manage to trim your pup’s nail without incident, praise them enthusiastically and offer high-value rewards.

What to do if your dog won’t let you cut their nails?

You can hold your dog’s paw and put the clipper near the nails as if you are doing an actual clipping, but do not clip the nail yet. Watch your dog’s reactions and see if she is anxious. If she is not, you can try clipping her nail a bit at a time. And there you go.

How do you cut a dog’s nails if they hate it?

Can I file my dog’s nails instead of clipping?

Many pet owners prefer the use of a motorized nail file or Dremel tool that is often less stressful for dogs, as it eliminates the pinching sensation associated with clippers. Manual filing is time-consuming, but for an extremely anxious dog, it may be a viable alternative to clippers or motorized instruments.

Do vets sedate dogs to cut nails?

For some dogs, however, it’s a terrifying experience they fight tooth and nail to avoid! That’s where sedation comes in. It’s not ideal, but some canine companions need sedation and calming products to sit through a nail trimming session. Sedatives are typically reserved for extreme cases of anxiety and aggression.

Do dogs feel pain when you cut their nails?

Much like a human nail, if a dog’s nail is damaged or hurt, it will cause them pain. One way a nail may cause a dog pain is during the trimming process if they are not maintained regularly. Not only does cutting a dog’s nails too short cause them pain, but leaving them to grow too long can be even more painful.

What is a natural sedative for a dog?

Natural sedatives for dogs, like Rescue Remedy, are usually made from herb and flower extracts such a chamomile and lavender. Pheromones and calming products are also natural ways to soothe an anxious dog.

What can I use to sedate my dog to cut her nails?

Benadryl: This mild antihistamine sedative helps keep your pet calm when it is nervous about clipping its nails. Melatonin supplement: They help regulate body rhythm and help calm down your dog.

What is the best sedative for dogs?

Pre-Hospital Sedation Options for Aggressive and Anxious Dogs
Drug Dose
Gabapentin 10-20 mg/kg (upper end of dose in very hard to handle dogs, lower end of dose in geriatric patients)
Melatonin By weight:<5 kg – 1 mg5-15 kg – 1.5 mg15-50 kg – 3 mg>50 kg – 5 mg
Trazodone 5 mg/kg

How much Benadryl can I give my dog to sedate?

What’s the Benadryl Dosage for Dogs? The standard dosage for oral Benadryl for dogs is 1 mg per pound of body weight, given 2-3 times a day. Most diphenhydramine tablets are 25 mg, which is the size used for a 25-pound dog.

What can I give my dog to knock him out?

Oral Dog Sedatives
  • acepromazine and Telazol powder (an anesthetic)
  • acepromazine and diazepam (an anti-anxiety medicine)
  • diazepam and butorphanol (an opioid pain reliever)
  • phenobarbital and diazepam.
  • dexmedetomidine (a pain reliever and anti-anxiety medication), ketamine (an anesthetic and pain reliever), and butorphanol.

How do groomers keep dogs calm?

Some dogs will quiet down with a towel placed over their eyes or heads; groomers may use that trick to calm down an anxious dog. Groomers also sometimes use a second tether tied around the dog’s waist, or looped under one front leg to keep the dog still. If the dog becomes uncooperative, the treats stop.

What do vets use to calm dogs down?

A sedative is a medication (used in people or animals) to help them relax and reduce anxiety. Unlike a real anesthetic, which makes a pet extraordinarily sleepy and unresponsive, a sedative makes an animal slightly drowsy and calm while still allowing them to be aware of, and interact with, their environment.

Can I sedate my dog myself?

To avoid this stress on their dog, many people turn to dog tranquilizer pills as a dog sedative for grooming. This way, they can try to perform the grooming themselves at home. It isn’t recommended to sedate a dog with dog tranquilizer pills unless you’re a veterinarian.