The Importance of Dog Nail Trimming

The Importance of Dog Nail Trimming

  • Kirsten Thornhill - 17.06.2020

If you’ve ever wondered just how to trim your dog’s nails, you’re on the right page! Trimming your pupper’s nails at home can be somewhat stressful, but hopefully after reading these quick tips, you’ll be breezin’ through with nail clipping ease.

We all know how crucial nail trimming is to the essential services of the groomer. A doggo with long nails can be especially painful for a dog owner’s furniture and legs…..ha ha. Maintaining nail health is so important for numerous reasons that paw parents may not yet know. If your dog’s nails are not properly maintained and trimmed, it can lead to a scary trip to the veterinarian. 


In today’s article, we’ll talk about the importance of keeping up with your four-legged friend’s nails and exactly how you can help them from the comfort of your own four walls. 

Let’s clip!

Nail Trimming: The Importance

We can assume that no paw parents can stand the idea of seeing their fur child in pain. Dogs are well-known for hiding when they are experiencing pain, making it extremely difficult for paw parents to recognize it and take action. Long, overgrown nails can cause tons of distress and agony, even if your dog isn’t really paying attention to their paws. 

Experts make the human comparison of having a hangnail or long nails that bend, flexible or not. We most likely don’t need to tell you just how painful those are. It’s similar for your dog! When your dog has long nails, walking may even cause a significant amount of pain or pressure on their toes. Thus, resulting in super sore and tender nail beds. 



As you can imagine, walking on surfaces such as the pavement or sidewalk only adds to the amount of pain and pressure on their feet. In several instances, the constant pressure and distress leads to inflammation, causing arthritis. Long nails can also lead to issues with nerve damage and posture. 

Dogs who spend a great amount of time outside on paved surfaces or gravel often require less nail upkeep as the natural elements have their nails at a healthy and comfortable length. However, dogs that are primarily inside, elderly dogs, or dogs who have limited mobility may require more regular nail trims in order to ensure additional issues don’t arise. 

Painful Truths of Paw Health

Nails that are way overgrown and not properly managed can result in the nail curling and growing directly into their paw pad. Not only does this sound super painful, but if their nail causes the paw pad to split, an infection can quickly take place.

The dewclaw, also known as the thumb nail, is more susceptible to overgrowth since they don’t get as worn down walking compared to the other nails. It may even be forgotten while trimming, honestly. Severe cases of nail overgrowth, especially when an infection occurs, may have to be medically treated by a vet. 



Another concern to take note of here is with the potential for long nails to splinter or break if they get caught on something (or someone). This can be very painful and may require a trip to the vet. Your furry friend may need to be sedated to trim the nail back and may require pain medications and antibiotics. Ugh.

I’m sure, by now, you’re already bright eyed and bushy tailed about the importance of nail health being something you definitely can’t overlook. A simple nail trim can make all the difference in your dog’s daily life. The good news? It’s a lot easier to upkeep than you think!

Dog Nail Clippers 101

Where do we begin? Comfort. Make sure you have the best nail clippers that fit your specific dog’s needs, fido’s comfort level needs to be key here! The most common type is the “scissor” style nail trimmers. Many paw parents have reported that this is the easiest form of clippers available. However, do be aware of these tips:


  • Nail clippers designed for small dogs are the best for controlling the length of the nail and how short you cut them.

  • The “scissor” nail trimmers may be one of the easiest trimmers, but might not be the most efficient for your specific dog.

  • Instead of continuously cutting them to ensure they’re even, feel free to use a nail file. This may help get rid of any hangnails, crooked edges, and help prevent cutting too low. 

  • Nail clippers that are designed for large doggos should only be used for large dog breeds.

  • Keep your trimmer sharp! Dull scissors can result in having to use excessive pressure to cut the nail and may result in pain for your pup.

  • If you choose to use a nail grinder, make sure the bits and tips are replaced. 

  • If you choose to use an electric nail grinder, make sure your tools are fully charged.

How to Trim your Dog Nails: 5 Steps

Now that you’ve got your nail trimmer, it’s time to talk through exactly how to maintain your pup’s nails, at home, on your time. 

1. Prepare

Be prepared. It’s important that you know exactly how your tool works, including how and where the blades move and slide. With knowing this, you can’t fully be sure that you are cutting the nail properly. If you have any questions or uncertainties with the tool, look up the answers prior to trimming. Cutting nails is something that should never be a “here goes nothin’” task. 

Allow your puppers time to investigate the tool prior to using it. Many dogs can be sensitive when it comes to their feet being touched or messed with. Grabbing your dog’s foot and bringing a foreign object to it, isn’t quite the sweetest “hello” to your four-legged pal. 

2. Treats to the Rescue

Have treats nearby! Nail trimming is not really a task that paw parents get excited for. By distracting your dog with treats, this can help make the process quick and safe. 



As quickly as you’d like to get the clipping over with, you may need to give your pup a break if they need it. The last thing you want is for your dog to run away when they know it’s trimming time. 

3. A Firm Grasp

Have a firm grip on their paw and push back any hair that could be in the way of the nail. Make sure you are able to see exactly where you’ll be cutting. Restrain your dog’s body if they’re trying to move and wiggle out, this may require another human to help. 

If your dog’s nails are overgrown, their paw may be super sore and very tender. Try to stay alert and aware of your dog’s behavior when you hold their paw in your hand. If they cry or yell, be gentle. 

4. Dogs Nails are Different

Our human nails are so very different from our pup’s nails. You should never put the dog’s entire nail in clippers or cut the entire nail. NOT GOOD. The nail should be cut from underneath and at a 45-degree angle or so. 

Carefully place the opening of the nail clippers over the end of your dog’s nail. It’s important that you only cut in the white nailed area. If you have questions, you can always head to the internet for answers or ask your vet to show you how you can properly trim their nails. 

If you cut past the white nail area this means that you are cutting into the pink area of the nail, known as the quick. This pink area will be incredibly tender and may cause a significant amount of bleeding. This pink area is where blood vessels are located. So it makes sense it would bleed. Avoid at all costs, FYI. 

5. Clean Cut = Good Cut

Hold their paw steady and make a clean cut by gently squeezing on the handle of the nail trimmer. It’s important to have an idea of how tightly you will need to squeeze in order to get a clean cut, without harming your pupper’s paw.

Once you make the cut, you may notice a crooked edge that didn’t fully come off with the scissors. Simply use a nail filer here to shave down the remaining portion. Better safe than sorry here friends! Avoid pulling it off with your fingers as this may cause tearing or harming the nail. 

How Often to Nail Trim

How frequently should I be trimming my dog’s nails? Well, it depends on just how active your dog is and how much their nails get “manicured” by the sidewalks and pavements. 



Most paw parents trim their dog’s nails every 3 - 6 weeks.

CBD Dog Chews: Key for Nail Trimming

The first handful of times you trim your pup’s nails, it won’t be easy. Even the sweetest, most gentle dog may nip or get aggressive during this new activity. Paw parents may find themselves wondering how and what they can do to make this trim easier for everyone involved. And what do you know, we’ve got a solution! We highly recommend our Pet CBD Chews.



Each chew is packed with 2 mg of broad-spectrum hemp oil CBD, giving your pup the relaxation feeling without any high. Our Pet CBD Chews are 100% THC free and are 5 - 10 times more bioavailable than other oil-based treats.

How to Trim Your Dog’s Nails: Final Thoughts

When all is said and done, we know you only want what’s best for your puppers. Many paw parents don’t yet fully  understand the importance of something as simple as trimming nails. 

Nonetheless, we hope today’s article helped keep you in-the-know on the often overlooked discussion of nail trimming - a task that all paw parents should implement into their dog’s routine. 



The most important thing you can do as a paw parent is to continue to stay alert. Keep a close eye on your pup’s “normal” behaviors. Take note of whether or not your dog is shifting their weight when they walk. Check on their thumbnails, the dewclaws, as they tend to grow faster than their other nails. Always ask questions when you have them. These small tips can make the greatest difference for your four-legged friend’s nail health and overall well-being. 

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