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What Angle to Cut Dog Nails

Dog paw being held by human hand as nails are being clipped

The angle of the dog nail should be cut at 45 degrees to avoid damaging the quick, which is the soft part of the nail that connects to the nail bed. Cutting too far down or cutting too far up will cause bleeding and pain.

A dog’s quick is covered in a callus layer and is made up of blood vessels, nerves and lymphatics. By cutting the quick too deeply, you can damage these important structures, leading to redness and swelling around the nail bed. On top of that, you may also be cutting off blood supply to the nail itself, causing yellowing and browning.

If you aren’t sure how much to cut, it’s better to err on the side of caution. If you cut too little, you risk leaving too many nails behind. But if you cut too much, you can end up with a sloppy-looking finish or even a deformed nail due to trauma from clipping.

What is the Correct Dog Nail Length? Click here to learn more.

Should You Be Cutting a Dog’s Nails at a 45-Degree Angle?

illustration of a 45 degree angle

How Often Do I Need to Trim My Dog’s Nails? Click here to learn more.

Yes, you should be cutting a dog’s nails at a 45-degree angle. Cutting nails at a 45-degree angle is recommended by experts and groomers. But while cutting the nails, you should be careful and stay below the quick.

Sometimes it gets harder to find the quick and you can injure your dog, so you might need an extra set of hands to assist you with the whole process if you are not familiar. You can also visit your vet or groomer; they can guide you and even share some helpful tips.

Do Long Nails Hurt Dogs? CLick here to find out.

Aftercare for Dog Nail Trimming

Person wiping off a dog's paws

If your dog’s nail ends are bleeding, you can apply pressure using a paper towel or a cotton swab. After you have clipped all of the dog’s nails, you should clean the paw thoroughly. This will help prevent infection from occurring. When cleaning your dog’s paws, be sure to use soap and water. You can also use rubbing alcohol to sanitize the paws.

After cleaning your dog’s paws, you can use an antiseptic spray to prevent infection from occurring. You can also use a puppy paw balm to moisturize the paws while providing protection.

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

Some Final Words

Human hand holding a white dog's paw

Cutting your dog’s nails correctly can be tricky. It’s important to not cut the quick, but it can be difficult to know exactly where that is. Luckily, there are several ways to know where the quick is so you can avoid cutting it. For example, you can feel for the quick with your finger before you start cutting. Once you know where it is, you can avoid cutting it and keep your dog comfortable.

Hopefully, these tips will help you learn how to cut dog nails correctly so you can keep your dog comfortable and healthy.

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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.