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How Often Do I Need to Trim My Dog’s Nails?

Dog nail clippers laying on calender with "Clip Dog's nails" circled on one of the dates

In general, it is best to trim your dogs’ nails once every few weeks. Keeping your dog’s nails trimmed is an important part of his self-care routine. Long nails can cause your dog pain, especially when he walks or runs. They can also lead to more serious issues down the road, such as infection or arthritis.

Trimming your dog’s nails on a regular basis is the best way to keep them from getting too long. How often you need to trim your dog’s nails will depend on several factors, including their breed and their activity level. You should ask your vet for advice based on your dog’s individual circumstances.

Do you know What Angle To Cut Dog Nails? Click here to find out.

How Often Should I Cut My Dog’s Nails

As mentioned earlier, it’s best to cut your dog’s nails once every few weeks, or whenever you see that they’re getting too long. If you cut your dog’s nails too often, they’ll become too short and he’ll be in pain.

So, how can you tell when your dog’s nails are too short? If you can easily run your fingers over your dog’s nails, then they’re too short. If you notice that your dog’s nails are getting too short, try filing them down with a nail file.

How to Tell if Your Dog’s Nails Are Too Long

Dogs paws crossed with nails pointed towards the camera on a stone floor

The best way to tell if your dog’s nails are too long, is by feeling them. You should be able to feel the quick (the pink area inside the nail): This is the sensitive part of your dog’s nail where the blood flows. If you can’t feel the quick part of your dog’s nail, then his nails are too long.

If your dog’s nails hit the floor when he’s standing, if he frequently walks on his toes, if he avoids walking on certain surfaces, or if he paws at his feet, then he probably needs his nails trimmed. If you’re unsure whether or not to trim your dog’s nails, then definitely talk to a vet. He or she can let you know if your dog’s nails are too long. Your vet can also show you how to trim your dog’s nails, which is not an easy task for a novice! You can also ask your vet to do it for you, but this will likely cost extra.

What Tools Do I Need?

Guillotine style nail clippers on a white background.

When you’re ready to cut your dog’s nails, you’ll need the right tools. You’ll also want to make sure that you have everything in a place where you can find it easily. You don’t want to be searching for your clippers while your dog is impatiently waiting.

Your basic tools for trimming your dog’s nails will include:

  • A mat (or blanket) to lay your dog on – This will keep his nails from flying every which way.
  • A table or counter for your dog to stand on – You don’t want your dog sitting in his nails!
  • Clippers – These are the best tool for quickly snipping your dog’s nails.
  • Styptic powder – This will help staunch any bleeding if you accidentally cut the quick.
  • A nail file – This is for smoothing out rough edges after you clip your dog’s nails.

How Fast Do Dog Nails Grow? Click here to learn more.

Some Final Words

Small, tan, long haired dog laying on a towel on a table with a human behind them reaching around to clip their nails.

There’s a lot to know about trimming your dog’s nails, and it’s a task that you’ll have to do often. The good news is that there are lots of ways to make this chore easier on both of you. You can try to do this when your dog is relaxed and playful, like right after his daily walk. You can also have your dog lie down on a table or mat to make it easier to see his nails. Then, use clippers to cut just the tip of each nail. Finally, file the nails to smooth them out and reward your dog for being so good during this sometimes-scary chore!

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Please note: We are not veterinarians and you use our advice at your own discretion. We always recommend that you consult your veterinarian whenever you have health-related conditions your furbaby is facing. With that in mind, as pet parents ourselves, we wish nothing but the best for your pet and their healthy and happy lives.