fbpx

How to Trim Dog Nails That Are Overgrown in 8 Easy Stress-Free Steps


dog nails too long

Every 2 weeks or so you’re facing the demanding task of clipping your dog’s long nails. How to trim dog nails that are overgrown, is a necessary skill you must master. You won’t like it but you have to do it.

The nail cutting session can become an event full of drama and anxiety for both of you. An event that almost every dog hates but again you have to do it because if you won’t this would lead to harmful consequences to your dog.

Consequences of Having Overgrown Toenails

a dog sitting in pain because of his over grown toe nails
credit: VCA hospitals

I know, it happens to all of us, no matter how good your intentions are. Trying to remember to trim your dog’s nails every week or two is a thing easier said than done.

You may let your puppy’s toenails to reach a stage where they look like Halloween monster claws. Your cute puppy’s nails now become more like daggers than claws.

but IS this the whole issue here, it hurts you when your dog pokes you?

Of course NOT

Long toenails can cause your four-legged friend a lot of pain and I’m sure you don’t want that.

Now, to your dog, Simple walks can become very painful as when a dog’s toenail contacts the ground too hard, the surface pushes the nail back into the nail bed putting the pressure on toe joints and forces the toe to twist to the side .. talking about this alone gives me goosebumps how do you think your dog feels ?

The repetition of this process during simple walks can lead to sores and your dog’s toes can cause him a lot of pain.

You could pay someone to trim and groom your dog but this session is terrifying enough for your fluffy pal. What do think he would feel if a stranger does it? it would be less terrifying for him if you do it yourself.

OK, that was the “Why” now for the “How”. Here is a simple how-to guide for you to trim your dog’s nail that are overgrown.

How to Trim Dog Nails That Are OverGrown

Set Up the session

woman with a dog in the garden. woman is preparing to trim dog nails that are over grown

Choose a room that is well-lit or you can do it outside using the sunlight

Try to have your dog stand still. If you can’t, try to ask for the help of a friend or, and I don’t like that, you can use a leash.

Be prepared


Make sure all the tools you’re going to need are ready and sterilized

Purchase specialized nail trimmers from the nearest pet store.

Please, don’t cheapen out or use kitchen scissors for your furry friend’s sake.

Spend some extra money for quality efficient trimmers.

Be careful while buying as puppies will need different nail trimmers than adult dogs. So check all the selections you can find in the store and choose what will work best for your dog.

Ease Your Dog into The Process.

Ease your dog into the process by having him get used to the sensation of having his toes touched

holding your dog's paw to release the tension he might have before trying to trim his nails that are over grown.

You don’t want your dog to freak out when you start clipping its toes with a sharp tool on your hand that may hurt your friend at any moment.

Try to relax them into the process by repetitive caressing to their paws and making your dog familiar with the sound of the trimmer before you actually start.

Now after you prepared everything it’s time for the real work to be done.

Step by Step

trimming dog nails that are over grown.
credit: dogtime.com

Every marathon starts with a tiny step.

Start with the very tip of the nail, clip it gently, that way your dog will get used to the sensation and will slightly feel comfortable for the next steps. Very gently hold its paws with your hand. Massage it, caress it, make sure your dog is enjoying it. start with the toe palm outwards to the claws.

It’s better for your dog to relax as the next step would be stressful.

Hold The Nail in Question, Start The Action

trimming dog nails. this a step from " how to trim dog nails that are over grown"
credit: Pet Health Network

Now for the real work. Pick the nail you’re going to clip, hold the toe between your thumb and index finger, apply pressure but not too much or you will freak it out but just enough to hold it still.

The dog may begin to reflect some hostility towards you, may even bark at you. But you have to be very firm. Use your commanding words such as “no” and “stay”, try to reflect some authority, that’s all for his sake.

Get moving to the next

After you successfully clipped your first toenail, things will get much easier from now on.

Apply what you did in the previous step and get busy trimming. It shouldn’t talk long. it’s better to make your cuts small and quick starting from the tip inwards.

Careful with the quick

This is one of the many reasons that dogs hate trimming sessions.

If not handled properly cutting the quick can lead to your puppy’s nails bleeding and scare them for life.

The quick is the vein that feeds the claw. It can be identified by its pink color. when cutting the nails irresponsibly too far you may cut the quick too and believe me you don’t want that so please, be careful.

For more information on how to handle a bleeding toe.

Congratulations, You Made It.

Now after you finished the clipping process, Treat your dog with a tasty treat, he has endured so much. Reward him with extensive playtime for his good behavior.



Who’s a Good Boy?
you are, yes you are.

Make a trimming schedule to avoid any problems in the future and stay on it

How to trim dog nails that are overgrown is a necessary skill that you should learn for your fluffy angel’s sake. It may be an unpleasant experience for you but a necessary one.

So what the weirdest experience you had with your dog while trimming, tell us in the comment section.

feel free to check out my other articles on The best wirehaired dogs and How to get mats out of dog hair, Enjoy,

Have a nice day and Read you next time.

Recent Content

link to He Sliced His Dog's Tongue, Bashed His Head With a Hammer, And Locked Him In A Laundry​ Room For Ruining​ His Lawn!

He Sliced His Dog's Tongue, Bashed His Head With a Hammer, And Locked Him In A Laundry​ Room For Ruining​ His Lawn!

This poor Staffordshire Terrier dog hardly survived certain death after his owner chased him around the backyard to brutally hit him with a hummer for more than 10 times, according to RSPCA NEWS. Also, According to videos and witnesses on the scene, there were two dogs, but that poor dark-colored Staffordshire Terrier, when seen, had blood dripping […]