The Best Way to Cut Dog Nails at Home

For a long time, one of my least favorite parts about being a dog mom was cutting my dog’s nails.

When Cali was a puppy, I clipped her nails too far and hit one of the nerves (quicks), causing her a lot of pain and bleeding.

From that point on I either made my husband or the vet cut her nails because I didn’t trust myself to do it.

Fortunately, I have found a solution to my nail cutting phobia that gives me more control and is much less likely to hurt my dog’s nails.

how to cut dog nails

How to Cut Dog Nails

As you can see from the diagram above, each one of your dog’s nails contains a nerve/quick that is sensitive and filled with blood.

If you wait too long to cut your dog’s nails, this quick gets longer, making it even harder to cut their nails than before.

When this happens, you cannot clip their nails like you normally would.

Instead, you must slowly trim the tips of the nails every few days in order to shrink the quick back.

In addition, you should avoid cutting straight down but instead at an angle as shown in the diagram to avoid cutting the quick.

You should be able to see the quick in your dog’s nails by shining a bright light on their paws.

The goal for your dog’s nails is that when trimmed their nails should not be touching the floor.

For me, I know it’s time to trim their nails once I hear my dogs “tap dancing” on the floor during the day. 

What To Do if You Cut The Quick 

If you accidentally cut too far into your dog’s nail, you will cut into the quick. This results in lots of pain and bleeding from your fur baby. 🙁

If you happen to cut into the quick on accident, compress the nail with a clean cloth or paper towel for 2 minutes.

If there is a lot of bleeding, wrap ice into the cloth or towel to slow the bleeding.

Once the bleeding has slowed, dip your dog’s nail into a bowl of corn starch, as this will help coagulation (will help the blood clot at the wound to start healing).

If still bleeding, repeat dipping into the corn starch. Do not wipe away any additional blood at this point as it will prevent coagulation.

Once the bleeding stops, keep your dogs nail wrapped and compressed and keep your dog off their feet for 30 mins or so.

If the bleeding hasn’t stopped after 30 minutes, you should go to the emergency vet.

If it has stopped bleeding, you can wash the nail in lukewarm water and bandage it to prevent infections. 

the best way to cut dog nails

The Best Way to Cut Dog Nails

My nail cutting phobia started when I was using a clipper that I got from the store.

I never liked the pressure it put on my dog’s nails, and their nails would often splinter and not leave a clean cut.

I could tell that my dog’s also hated getting their nails cut because they would run into their crates as soon as they saw the clippers come out.

Desperate to find a solution, I went onto Amazon to see if there was a better way to cut dog nails than using clippers.

After doing some research, I found the Casfuy Dog Nail Grinder (affiliate link) with almost 50k positive reviews.

Many of the reviews stated the same problems I was having with normal clippers and they said this was a lifesaver for them, so I decided to buy it.

Instead of a blunt cut like clippers, this nail grinder has a grinding stone with 3 different speeds.

If your dog hates vibrating noises like mine do, just turn it on and place it on the floor for your dogs to investigate.

My dog’s hate these kinds of noises but after a few minutes they didn’t seem to care.

My favorite part about this nail grinder is that I can actually see what I’m doing, and I know exactly how much I’m cutting.

There is no more nail breakage or splitting, which I’m sure my dogs appreciate immensely.

I would recommend this nail grinder to anyone who is afraid of cutting their dog’s nails and always seems to push it off.

I went from cutting their nails from once a month to grinding them once a week, and their nail health has improved greatly. No more long quicks! 


Cutting your dog’s nails is an important part of paw care and a critical part of grooming for all dogs.

It is important to trim your dog’s nails regularly to prevent the quick from growing too long and becoming hazardous during clippings.

I hope this post helped you learn how to cut your dog’s nails, as well as the best and safest way to do it.

What is your dog’s paw care routine? Let me know in the comments!

Click here for more great articles on dog behavior, training, and all things dog mom!

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