How to Clip Dog Nails that Are Black: The Best Way

how to clip dog nails that are black

Nail clipping your dog’s nails are activities feared by both dog owners and their dogs. It is even a harder matter when you need to learn how to clip dog nails that are black.

However, dog’s nails need to be clipped from once a week to once a month so it is essential to do so.

So what is the best way to clip your dog’s nails even when they are black. To know more, read on.

Tools you’ll need

  • Guillotine nail clippers
  • Scissors nail clippers
  • Grinder
  • nail file
  • Styptic powder

You got to buy a good quality nail clippers that are suited to your dog’s size and sharp. Also being concave shape, clippers can effectively clip down the nails.

Poor nail clippers are more likely to split the nails.

The anatomy of the dog nails

Inside the dog nail, there is the quick and the nail itself. The quick is the part of the nail that supplies the nerves and nourish the nail.

Dogs do not have any feeling in their nails part. However, the quick has sensation in it because it contains nerves that transmit back to the brain.

Best way to trim dog nails that are black

How to Clip Dog Nails that Are Black: The Best Way |
Credited: AKC

Black nails are challenging to clip because the quick is not visible from the side. It is much easier to clip your dog’s nails if their nails are hooked where you can clip the nails making the nail flat across the bottom.

This happens without the risk of clipping the quick. If your dog doesn’t have hooked nails, you got to pay attention to know where the nail part ends and the quick starts.

The cut surface of the nail looks white or grey. As you get closer to the quick, the surface will turn black at the center and eventually pink where the quick starts.

Clip your dog’s nails until you reach the black part at the center. Do not clip beyond that point. As your dog will be in pain and their nails will bleed.

How to find the quick on black dog nails

how to clip dog nails that are black
Credited: Pet Health Hospital

Clip the nails in small cuts so you have the ability to see the quick and not cut through it. As you cut, a black spot will appear in the middle.

Steps to clip black dog nails

1.) Get the tools

Get either the guillotine nail clippers , scissors nail clippers, or grinder. So you are ready to clip your dog’s nails. The guillotine nail clipper has a hole in it where your dog’s nails is put in and acts as a guillotine in clipping the nail.

While the scissors nail clippers acts as a scissor to clip the dog’s nails.

2.) Make your dog comfortable

how to clip dog nails that are black
Credited: AKC

Make your dog comfortable to the sounds and touching of the clippers or grinder.

By practising with touching your dog’s paws. Then practise with the clipper or grinder sound and tapping on your dog’s paws, and finally combining the clipper or grinder with actually clipping their nails.

Reward your dog for waiting so patiently.

3.) Clipping dog’s nails : the clipper method

  • Hold the tool in your dominant hand.
  • Then Hold your dog’s paw firmly with the other hand.
  • Begin at the very end of the tip of the nails.
  • Gradually clip about 1 to 2 mm in small pieces.
  • Check your dog nails every time you clip. When you see a black spot in the middle, stop you are near the quick.
  • You could use a nail file to smooth out the rough edges.

4.) Clipping dog’s nails: the grinder method

  • Like the clippers, hold the grinder in one hand and the dog’s paw in the other hand.
  • Gently let the grinder touch your dog’s nails and gently count to two.
  • Remove the grinder for a few seconds. Then praise your dog.
  • Repeat until you reach the quick, the black spot.

5.) Reward your dog

Reward your dog after you finished nail clipping your dog. You can give them treats and lots of praise. So they associate this experience as a positive one.

What if you clip too deep?

If you clip the nails too deep beyond the quick, your dog will bleed and be in pain. So it is best to use styptic powder. Be cautioned that dog’s will often ,in the beginning, feel a sting associated with applying the styptic powder.

Once you are sure your dog stopped bleeding, wash the affected area with water and put a bandage on it to prevent infections and licking.


In conclusion, It takes patience and careful handling when learning how to clip dog nails that are black.

Also be sure to know where the nail ends and the quick starts to avoid bleeding in your dog’s nails. Follow these steps for an effective nail clipping of black nails.

If you need to know more about tips on clipping your dog’s nails, check Top 9 Tips on How to Clip Dogs nails.

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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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