Dog Nails too Long: The Best Way to Clip Them

dog nails too long

Dog nails too long lead to a problem for all dogs. It makes them have nails that clip on the floor making sounds. It can also cause pain to your dog.

Here is all you need to know about long nails.

How to know if your dog’s nails are long

Long dog’s nails are best identified if there is clicking on the floor causing discomfort or interfering with mobility. Problems that happen when the nails are overgrown are:

  • The nails become weak and fracture easily.
  • Your dog may have problems when walking.
  • Your dog may become uncomfortable on slippery floors.
  • Puts pressure on dog’s ankle and can lead to your dog losing their balance.
  • Claws may grow inward which may pierce their paw pads causing infection.

What is the perfect length for dog’s nails?

dog nails too long
Credited: AKC

The nails should be short enough that they don’t touch the ground when the dog is standing in a firm surface but should be long enough so that a dog can climb up hills and can dig.

The best method to clip dog’s nails

1.) Purchase dog nail trimmers

Get nail clippers whether guillotine or scissor style or you can get a nail grinder. Get the suitable nail trimmer for your dog’s age; there are different sizes suitable for each age.

2.) Get your dog used to the sensation of getting their paws touched

Get your dog used to feeling their paws touched. Some dogs are afraid of having physical contact when trimming their nails.

That is why it is important to practice touching their paws when they are young so they can get used to getting their paws touched.

Dog nails too long

3.) Gently take your dog’s paws in your hands

Take your dog’s paws in your hands and gently massage their paws. Start with the claws located in the back as these are less sensitive than the front legs.

Also you got to establish the location of the quick through carefully looking at where it is located.

5.) Hold out a nail

Hold out a nail and hold the toe between your index finger and thumb and apply pressure into your dog’s paw but be gentle. Be firm but do not scare away your dog with commands such as “stay” or “no”.

6.) Start trimming your dog’s nails

Start trimming your dog’s nails. With puppies, it won’t take long as with adult dogs. Start with clipping in small pieces in a 45 degrees angle.

You got to start with the tip of the nail by clipping it slowly and in small pieces. Do not clip in huge pieces so that your dog doesn’t get hurt and doesn’t become scared.

Do not cut the quick as it will cause bleeding and hurt your dog. The quick is the vein that runs through the claw and is identified as a pink color. Cutting the quick can cause your dog to experience trauma of having their paws touched again.

7.) Repeat step 5 and 6

Repeat step 5 and 6 for each nail so you can trim all your dog’s nails effectively. Do not rush the process or cut in large pieces.

8.) Reward your dog for staying so patiently

Dog nails too long

Once you finish trimming your dog’s nails, you got to reward them by giving them treats and praise for doing a job well done.

Tips when clipping long nails

Think about safety

You got to not rush the process as this can cause injury to your dog by either damaging the nail or causing bleeding. Accident may happen so it is important to use styptic powder.

Make sure your dog is happy and calm

The happier and calmer the dog, the more it is easier to clip your dog’s nails. Make them comfortable by soothing them with soft words , putting their favorite blanket or toy with them.

If they want to stop , you have to stop until they are relaxed again. Also make sure to give them a lot of treats for their good behavior.

Make regular grooming a priority

Try and take time each week for a nail clipping session with your dog. Doing so will help stop the problem of having dog nails too long. This will also stop your dog from developing pain and health problems.

Create a schedule for your dog

Have a schedule ready for the time that you are going to clip your dog’s nails so your dog knows when their nails are going to be clipped.


Dogs nails too long causes problems for your dogs. There is a method to clip your dog’s nails that are long. This method relies on being careful when clipping the nails and staying away from the quick.

For more information for clipping dogs’ nails that are black, check How to Clip Dog Nails that Are Black: The Best Way. Share with us your experience.

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Welcome to my bio everyone, my name is Nada. Ever since I was little, I have loved animals because they are so loving and kind. All they need is you attention, love, and care but I didn't understand them very well because I didn't get the chance to raise them. Well, That changed when my family and I got our first dog Rocky, a German Shepherd. Rocky was fun and loving with funny quirks. Being loyal and protective of us, he made me see the nature of a German Shepherd. Now, we have another German Shepherd named Mia. She is a wonderful dog and a rescue who just needed a second chance in life. Mia has long grown from being a terrified dog to the brave and caring German Shepherd that she is today. P.S: Here is a picture of our beautiful German Shepherd, Mia.

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