How Often Should I Cut My Dog’s Nails?

nail cutting

Regular grooming is an important part of maintaining your dog’s overall health.

This includes keeping their nail’s trimmed to a good length. The more you know about how to do this, the easier it will be to take good care of your pet over the long term.

Factors to Consider

1. Surfaces

There are numerous factors to consider when it comes to how often you should cut your dog’s nails. This includes the type of flooring that you have at home. If your dog is usually walking on carpeting and softer surfaces, you may have to cut their nails more frequently. If they are often walking on asphalt and other abrasive surfaces, you might not have to cut them as often.

2. Diet

Even your dog’s diet will have a fairly big impact on how often you will need to cut their nails. There are certain vitamins and minerals that can affect the growth rate of their nails and fur.

3. Health Issues

Some dogs have health conditions that cause their nails to grow slower or faster than normal, so you have to keep that in mind as well.

4. Age

Your dog’s age will most likely be another determining factor in how frequently you’ll have to cut their nails. Older dogs are usually less active, which means that their nails don’t get trimmed down as quickly as they used to.

5. Breed

The breed of your dog will undoubtedly have an effect on how often you’ll need to cut their nails as well. The fact is that some breeds need to have their nails trimmed more often than others. Less active breeds will typically require more frequent cutting than breeds that are very hyper or high energy.

Average Length of Time Between Nail Cutting

The average dog should have their nails cut every month to two months. If you have noticed a clicking sound when your dog walks on hard floor surfaces, it is definitely time to cut their nails.

cut dog nails

Tools for Cutting Your Dog’s Nails

The tools that you will need for cutting your dog’s nails include:

  • Grinder: A high quality nail grinder can get the job done just as well as a pair of clippers, and there is minimal risk of bleeding. While it does take a bit longer, it could be worth it, especially if your dog responds well.
  • Clippers: If you are going to clip your dog’s nails, make sure that you get a nice set of trimmers that are specifically designed for this purpose.
  • Powder: Styptic powder will help with stopping any bleeding that might occur.

Potential Problems with Cutting Your Dog’s Nails

There are some potential issues that you could run into when cutting your dog’s nails. It is important that you are aware of these issues before getting started.


Some dogs are more prone to bleeding than others when it comes to getting their nails cut. There is a blood vessel in these animals’ nails, which can cause a lot of bleeding if you aren’t careful. If you happen to cut this blood vessel, just wipe the blood off and try to keep your dog calm. Apply some styptic powder to the wound to stop the bleeding.

cut dog nail


Even the most docile canines can become somewhat aggressive when you try to trim their nails. Other dogs simply act in an agitated and erratic manner. This can make cutting your dog’s nails difficult to say the least. 

It is important that you get your dog to sit still so you don’t accidentally injure it. Try giving your dog a delicious treat just before getting started. You may have to give them another treat or two to complete this process without any issues.

If you have problems getting your dog to sit still when you cut its nails, you should enlist a helper. When you have someone else holding the dog, cutting their nails will be much easier.

Dark Colored Nails

If your dog has dark colored nails, seeing the blood vessel known as the “quick” can be a bit tricky. You should make a point of cutting their nails at least a couple centimeters from the quick, just to be safe.

Tips to Make Cutting Your Dog’s Nails Easier

Start While they are Young

You’ll want to get your dog used to having its paws handled at an early age. When you begin doing this while they are still a puppy, they might not have such an issue with getting their nails cut as an adult. You can start cutting their nails when they are six months old, but not sooner.

Go to the Vet

Sometimes it is best to let a trained and experienced professional cut your dog’s nails. A veterinarian or dog groomer should be able to do this quite easily. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this, especially if you are a first time dog owner.

Give them Praise

It is important to give your dog lots of praise when they allow you to cut their nails without any squirming or resistance. Make sure that you follow up the praise by giving them a little treat. This will ultimately encourage them to behave for you when it comes time to do this.


  • The average dog needs to have their nails trimmed every month or two.
  • The surfaces your dog walks on each will affect how often you’ll need to cut their nails.
  • Your dog’s overall activity level also has a major impact on the nail cutting frequency.
  • If you cut your dog’s nails, use a set of high quality trimmers that are designed for this purpose.
  • You can also use a grinder to grind down your dog’s nails, which might be easier overall.
  • If you actually cut the “quick”, wipe away the bleeding and use styptic powder to stop it.
  • You might want to have someone hold your dog while you cut its nails, especially if they are very anxious or become aggressive.
  • Consider taking your dog to the vet to have its nails cut if you are not confident in your own abilities.
  • If your dog has dark colored nails, take extra caution so as not to cut the quick.
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