How to trim the dog's claws? Preparation and detailed step by step instructions


Claw care is not just a hygienic procedure: the pet's health depends on its timeliness and quality. Regrown claws are able to grow into the cushions of the paws, causing inflammation and suppuration.

Often the claws of dewclaws, growing and curving, dig into the skin and muscles, up to the rupture of blood vessels. The springy gait is lost, the posture is disturbed, the coordination of movements and the general muscle tone, as the main emphasis during movement falls on claws and not on the base of the paws and toes.

This is especially dangerous for the unformed constitution of puppies: as a result, it is possible that it leads to a razmetu (wrong setting of the paws), dislocation, which is quite difficult to correct.

Without care, the risk of injury (cracking, chipping, breaking off) becomes high. Disturbed integrity of the integument is a gate for the penetration of pathogenic microflora: purulent inflammation develops, sometimes developing into necrosis of the adjacent tissues, which is fraught with finger amputation, and sometimes the entire paw.

Against the background of these problems, domestic ones look petty, but they still cause a lot of trouble to their owners: a clatter on the parquet floor, a scratch of interior objects or an owner of an animal.

Why don't claws grind off at all?

Healthy claws are always shiny, dense, evenly painted over the entire length, have a semicircular shape with the ends directed towards the ground. As they grow, they should grind in a natural way, but in the absence of daily walks, low mobility of the pet, constant spending time in greenhouse conditions or at the hands of the owners, this does not happen, therefore our intervention is required.

The same dachshund, tsvergpinchera, fox terrier and other active breeds few what owner would have thought to teach him to walk on a diaper or tray. But many yorkies, Pekingese, Petersburg orchids and Pomeranian spitz-dogs go for walks not every day. And sitting at home, on the carpet claws do not whittle.

Preparatory stage

Our main weapon

It is necessary to prepare in advance for the haircut of claws, so that in the process you do not have to run after one after another, once again making the dog nervous. All tools and first aid items (what will happen) should be stored in a separate plastic box.

What you need to keep on hand:

  • guillotine-type clipper with rubberized metal handles so that it does not slide in the hands,
  • ordinary nail file,
  • cotton pads,
  • antiseptic (alcohol, chlorhexidine, hydrogen peroxide),
  • Hemostatic agents: Talc or manganese powder (preferably in a vial for ease of use).

Technique haircuts

The dotted line shows the correct cut line.

The dog should be in excellent spirits, should not be subjected to the procedure excited or scared dog. This rule applies to the owner. Additionally, confidence should flow from it. If the owner is afraid of hurting, although the process is absolutely painless, then you should seek help from a specialist (veterinarian or groomer).

The animal is placed on a flat surface (table, couch, floor) or placed on its knees. Depending on the position of the body, the paw is gently pulled forward or pulled back, the finger is pressed onto the pad with the finger of the left hand, the claw is lengthened, the excess excess is cut off at an angle of 45 in the direction inside the foot with clear, confident movements of the right hand. A nail file polished tip, giving it smoothness.

How to work with a nail clipper

Repeat the procedure once every two to three weeks.

How not to cut off the excess?

A look from the inside: red marked pulp of the claw - we are trying not to touch it.

It is impossible to cut by eye in any case, otherwise the vessel may be injured. The knowledge of the anatomy of the claw will help to avoid bleeding: outside is a thick layer of keratinized epithelium, inside passes the blood vessels and nerves, enclosed in a special sheath - the claw bed or pulp.

Cut, stepping back a couple of millimeters from the pulp. In dogs with light claws, this area of ​​living tissue is perfectly visible to the naked eye. In animals with a dark color act cautiously, biting off the claw little by little, as soon as a dark dot appears in the center of the ground, the procedure is stopped.

If the hand trembled

Anyone can touch a blood vessel: an experienced groomer and a man without skill. There is nothing deadly in it. The wound is immediately treated with any antiseptic and clamped for a few seconds with a cotton pad with manganese poured onto it. In case of severe bleeding, which cannot be stopped on its own, the animal is urgently taken to the clinic.

Schooling to the procedure

Immutable truth: learning starts from the cradle! Classes are held daily in a playful and friendly manner so that the puppy can trust you. If something does not work, then the lesson is briefly interrupted and continued the next time.


  1. The dog should get used to the appearance and sound of the claw cutter - this will make it possible for him to understand that the tools do not pose a threat. To do this, first start with the fact that just in her presence, "shred" something, for example, a soft pencil.
  2. Only after that we proceed to the next stage: we cut the hair on the foot in the area of ​​the fingers. If the baby behaves well - we reinforce the calm behavior with a delicacy, no - let go back home and ignore for a while.
  3. You can proceed directly to the haircut: we trim the very tip of one claw, encourage. At first, you should not try to cut all the claws at a time - it can scare or annoy your pet.

By and large, the whole learning process can be reduced to five small rules: schooling from childhood, accuracy of actions in the process, close emotional contact, frequent haircuts and encouragement.

That's how we remove all unnecessary things from a long-haired toy terrier between fingers

And finally, a little advice: before cutting the claws to shaggy breeds (such as the Pomeranian, Pekingese, poodles - virtually all small breeds, except for smooth-haired), all long hair on pads, fingers and between them is also cut out, this way the view will improve and much easier the whole process.

Anatomy of dog's claws

In the descriptions of dog breeds, more specifically, in the detailed examination of the structure of the paws, usually, the shape of the claws is indicated. If you combine all the characteristics, we get three types of claws:

  • Feline - Bent with a curved tip.
  • Undercut - arched.
  • Hare - straight, long and often sharp.

The first two species are characteristic of service breeds, the third - decorative and a group of terriers. Claws are a full-fledged part of the paw that performs certain functions. The first thing that comes to mind: a dog digs with the help of claws, but besides the obvious ... claws affect the position, balance and quality of grip when walking and running.

Suppose you decide not to cut the claws of a dog, what will be the consequences? If your ward is active and receives sufficient walking distance - the minimum, but for decorative rocks - catastrophic. So, claws haircut warns:

  • Problems with the musculoskeletal system - too long claws abut the floor or asphalt, because of which the fingers are constantly in an unnatural position. When the claws grow back and become slightly longer, each step of the dog will be painful and she will deliberately start to go to bed. The displacement of the centers of gravity will lead to the deformation of the joints ... at the beginning of the paws, and later on the spine.
  • Severe injuries - everyone knows that most pedigreed dogs have four toes on their hind legs, five toes on their front paws. In outbred quadrupeds do not remove or condemn the dewclaws on their hind legs. The fifth fingers are located above the ground level, on the inner side of the paw, that is, they do not wear out when walking and are constantly growing. As a result, a long and curved claw can cling to a bush or blanket on the bed, which will translate into tearing of soft tissues.
  • Loss of balance while running - short claws give additional support during movement, and long fingers twist.
  • Minor inconvenience - A pet who stands up to drink some water on a quiet night will not go unnoticed, since his “manicure” will be quite loudly clicking on the floor covering.

Important! Caring for a dog necessarily involves clipping claws!

Claw Clippers

Horrified by the length of the pet's claws, have you grabbed hold of ordinary scissors? First, stop, second, do not take the scissors too far away if your pet is long-haired. The claws of the dog are much thicker and stronger than humans, so tweezers, nippers also set aside. For the care of dogs developed special tools - kogterezy. However, everything is not so simple, the tool must be of high quality and properly selected:

  • First of all, you are interested in the material from which the cogteresa is made - at least steel, the better - brass (the harder the metal, the slower the blades become dull). The design should be cast, fastened with rivets.
  • The second thing you should pay attention to is the coating of the blades and the shape of the handles. The metal can be chromium (desirable) or untreated (some metals rust).

  • Handles should fit comfortably in the palm of your hand and be rubberized. Light palm diaper rash will cause smooth plastic handles to slide and slide, and in order to properly trim the dog's claws, you must be sure of every movement.
  • The accessory must match the breed (size) of the dog. Usually, on the counter of the pet store there are clappers for small, medium and large dogs. There are universal products that are suitable for dogs of any size and even for cats.

A large number of colorful packages can confuse you when choosing a tool. In addition, you will need a nail file to process the already clipped claws. Remember, there are only 2 types of kogterezov:

  • Scissors - similar to a pruner, there are 2 handles and 2 blades, one straight, the other bent into a hook.
  • Guillotine shears - a design with an opening for a claw and the handle lever.
  • Files - usually represented by a wide range of models, have a hard coating and are graded to the size of the dog and claw stiffness.

It is worth mentioning the electric (battery-operated or mains) scraper. The tool is a "base", at the top of which there is a rod for nozzles. The nozzle is a grinding stone. With the help of an accessory, you can grind down claws to the desired length and shape, without resorting to a haircut. There are also disadvantages - the price (on the tool and the “spare wheels” themselves), noise and heating of the claw from friction. In short, not every dog ​​will appreciate the modernity and convenience of the new technology.

Measure seven times - dog claws rules

So we got to the difficulties of this simple-looking procedure. Each dog's claw has a cavity filled with a large number of blood vessels and nerve endings. That is, one wrong move will be worth serious stress for the pet and unwillingness to resort to this procedure in the future. Remember, you probably beat your little finger on a corner of furniture, at dusk at night ... do you remember these feelings? Did you get goose bumps on your back? So multiply it by 3 and be able to imagine what the dog feels if its claws are sheared incorrectly. Call your pet right now and look at its claws, you will see the following:

  • If the dog's claws are black, you will not see anything new and this is the most difficult case.
  • On light, beige and brown claws you will see a darkened area from the base of the claw and almost to its very tip. This is the pulp, which can not be damaged when shearing.

Important! On the black claws is not visible pulp. Try to illuminate the claw with a flashlight and if the situation is not cleared, you will have to cut it at random.

Put your pet's paw on the floor. When you cut the claws, the line of the claw blades should be at an angle of 45 ° and 1–1.5 mm below the pulp. Never shorten the claws to the desired length immediately! This is guaranteed to end injuries! Yes, cutting the dog's claws at home is difficult even in theory and only practice will help, but remember that even veterinarians make mistakes when performing the procedure. Be careful and do not rush!

Black claws are cut off by 0.5 mm per pitch. As soon as you see that the cut has become brighter or pink, you need to stop - the next “step” will damage the pulp. By the way, each haircut "drives away" blood vessels deep into the claw. Thus, perseverance and constant periodicity will help to shorten the pet's claws to the desired length without injury. Another guideline that can help you is the hollow on the side of the claw (if there is one), sometimes called the bloodstream. The pulp, as a rule, corresponds or is 0.5–1 mm longer than this hollow.

Important! The most common and critical mistake is rude handling of a dog. You tune, cook with a pet sharply, squeeze a paw, and there are drops of sweat on your face. The picture, presented to the pet, evokes a premonition of "slaughter for life and death." In addition, practice shows that a person makes many more mistakes when he is worried.

Preparation and hygiene - what you need to consider when clipping claws

Well, if your pet is perfectly obedient, calm and trust you without limits. However, this is a great rarity, usually, seeing strange preparations, the ward begins to worry and tries to sneak away from the upcoming procedure. Ideally, the dog should be trained to trim the claws from puppyhood, but we will consider the case more complicated. Suppose you took a pet from a shelter (from the street) or it already experienced a negative experience associated with shortening claws:

  • If the dog does not cut the claws, howls, twists, bites, hides, then just before shearing you should spend a few "idle" preparations. That is, you are fully prepared for the procedure or you stop without finishing if the pet is very nervous. They laid out the instrument, gave the dog a sniff, fed it with sweets, caressed and put everything in the bedside table. At the “dress rehearsals”, and there will be several of them, touch the claws with the claws, but do not cut. Vigorously praise your pet for endurance and trust, do not regret and sweets, so you consolidate the positive emotions associated with the tools for cutting claws.
  • The instrument must be sterile. To the note, the clippers from the packaging are not sterile and are quite rarely clean. Treat the blades with alcohol, boiling water or an antiseptic.
  • If the dog has a long coatTrim it between fingers and in the claw area before the procedure.
  • Wash and clean your feet well., alcohol or antiseptic do not need to handle!

  • Inspect the pads for cuts and scuffs.. If there are injuries, be careful and try not to hurt your pet by fixing its paw.
  • Inspect claws on the subject of fungus, cracks, fractures - in the first case it is worth contacting the veterinarian, in the second, the injured claws do not shear, but file off.
  • No matter how trite it sounds, wash and clean your hands.. Your palms are a source of fungi and infections, even if they look clean.
  • If the pet is unfamiliar with clipping claws, bites, experiencing pain or very nervous - lock the ward on a short leash and put on a muzzle.
  • Choose the right time - if the pet is not in good spirits or tired, additional stress will fix negative emotions regarding the procedure.

Important! During the preparations be affectionate with your favorite. Speak calmly and quietly, calm and support the dog! Your attitude and confidence are half the success. If your hands and voice tremble, put off the instruments and go to the vet! Prepare and tune in another time you can, but the dog will not forget the pain.

Claw clipping - a step by step theory

You have chosen the right time, processed and prepared the tools, fastened the dog on a leash and are ready for the procedure. Where to start? Pet the pet, tease it a little with a toy and make sure the dog is in a good mood. While you are entertaining your pet, prepare yourself mentally for the fact that you may not finish the procedure, for example, trim only 2-3 claws. Tune in positively and confidently, the ward must feel that he is safe. Next, proceed to the haircut:

  • Start with the front paws. Give the command "Give a paw" and generously praise the pet for the performance. The claws of the hind legs should not be cut off immediately, but after a break of 2–3 hours.
  • Inspect the fingers and remove excess wool. Again, praise your pet for endurance.
  • Take the claws, let the dog sniff them.
  • Place the claw blades 1.5 mm below the pulp at an angle of 45 ° and cut. You can adjust for a long time, but you need to cut the claw quickly and confidently.
  • Everything went well? Praise the dog as if it had just conquered Olympus! Feed your treats and be sure to take a 2-3 minute break.
  • Treat the sections with a nail file. This is an optional condition, but its implementation will help to blunt the sharp edge of the claw.
  • With hind legs will be a little more difficult. During the haircut pet should be lying on its side. Over time, when the procedure will not cause excitement in the dog, the claws of the hind legs can also be cut in a standing position.

Important! Прекращайте процедуру, как только собака начала нервничать и вырываться. Even one clipped claw during the first procedure is a result that must be supported by positive emotions, not fear.

First aid for injuries

Many dogs are very nervous before clipping claws, even if they have not experienced negative emotions before. One alternative is sedatives. Usually, sedatives are made from herbs and dull nervous irritability, this is exactly the effect that is needed for the procedure. Next, prepare a special powder or wipes with a hemostatic effect. If you cut the claw too deep, several dozen vessels will be damaged. Usually, injuries are accompanied by severe bleeding, which causes a mutual panic of the owner and the dog.

Important! In no case do not treat the sticking claw with green paint, fucorcin, iodine, alcohol, dimexide, peroxide, alcohol, vodka, etc. If you do not have special powder at hand, the usual food flour will do. Any alcoholic and cauterizing solutions will only increase the pain!

Another rather complicated injury is the undermining of a claw. Usually, this happens if you slowly squeeze the nails, and the dog pulls the paw hard. The fixed claw remains in the forceps, and the skin and soft tissue are torn. The first thing to realize is that it hurts a lot! Be prepared for the fact that the dog will whine hard and try to escape. Act quickly and without panic:

  • Do not stop talking to the dog, calm down, do everything to distract her.
  • Intercept the injured paw with a gauze cut around the wrist (metatarsus).
  • Tighten well and fix gauze, it is desirable to raise the limb as high as possible.
  • Apply to the injured paw cold - ice, frozen vegetables or a piece of minced meat from the freezer. Beforehand, wrap the compress in a cotton towel and cellophane. The cold will help to stop the bleeding and partially ease the pain.
  • Inspect the wound, if there are open breaks fill them with lidocaine or novocaine.

  • If the wound visually looks too big and needs stitching, wrap the paw in a clean towel, apply cold and go to the vet without delay.
  • In case of small gusts, the wound should be treated with a healing ointment with an anesthetic effect and bandaged. The bandage is applied only after complete bleeding. It is also recommended to impose a separate, small piece of gauze, folded 4-6 times (it will stick to the drying wound) on the wound.

Important! Claw damage implies stopping the procedure. Cut the remaining claws or leave the dog alone for 5-7 days.

Fundamental rules

To teach the animal to the procedure you need at the age of a puppy. So it will be easier for the dog to get used to it and in the future it will behave merrily and relaxed while trimming the nail plate. Some difficulties may arise if you first cut the claws of an adult dog. In such cases, he can break out and whine plaintively.

There are some rules how to cut the claws of a dog in order to reduce discomfort:

  • It is necessary to carefully inspect the dog's paws, if there is wool between the fingers, it should be cut with scissors with rounded tips in order to free access to the nails. In addition, these extra hairs are a place of accumulation of dirt, so removing the hair from the paw pads will reduce the likelihood of infection.
  • The dog's claw consists of two parts - a strong outer shell and an internal sensitive pulp, which consists of blood vessels and nerve endings. If the pulp is damaged, bleeding will begin. Therefore, you need to carefully consider where the sensitive area begins, so as not to hurt the animal. The location of the pulp is much better seen on the white transparent claws, in the case of blacks, it may be necessary to contact the veterinarian for the first procedure.

  • Cutting the hard part of the nail will be easier if you do pruning immediately after washing the paws.
  • The owner must remain calm, talk to the animals affectionately.
  • It is easier to perform the procedure if the dog is lying on the dais. If the animal is located on the floor, you may need an assistant who will hold him tightly by the neck and support his paw. Sometimes pet owners have difficulties in cutting the dog’s nails on their hind legs. This will require laying the animal on its side, and, to facilitate access to the claws, you can press the fingertip.

During the procedure, you should carefully inspect the dog's paws, if cracks, corns, minor damages are detected, hygienic treatment of damaged surfaces should be carried out.

Importance of the process

Dogs' long claws can grow into the skin, causing soreness and wounds. Such injuries are a potential hazard, because there is a risk of infection during the walk and further suppuration of the paw.

Too long nail plates often break, in addition, they affect the gait of the dog. An animal with long claws has to put its paws crooked, which affects the condition of the joints and ligaments. The most dangerous consequences of late nail cutting are blood infection or curvature of the skeleton.

But the long claws of the pet are dangerous for the owner. A dog can involuntarily injure a person, spoil furniture or carpeting in the house. That is why, as soon as you hear the clatter of the paws while the dog is moving around the apartment, you should perform a hygienic procedure.

How often do you need to cut the dog's claws at home? Adult dogs need pruning every 4 weeks, for puppies this period can be extended to 6 weeks.


In order to properly cut the claws of the dog, you need to prepare in advance the necessary tools and medications. The set should consist of the following elements:

  1. Kogterezy. Ordinary scissors can not be used, they can injure the nail plate. It is necessary to take care in advance about the special tool that is sold in pet stores. There are two types of kogterezov: the first resemble a nippers with sharp blades, and the second look like guillotines with holes, where the clipped claw is inserted. For dogs of large breeds with solid nail plates, it is better to acquire a nail clipper in the form of nippers; in all other cases, you can use any device at your discretion.
  2. Nail file for nail treatment.
  3. Hemostatic agents - baby powder or flour.
  4. Antiseptic - iodine, peroxide, potassium permanganate.
  5. Cotton pads for wound care.

The owner must prepare a favorite dog treat in advance. It will help to divert the attention of the animal during the procedure and will be a pleasant reward for completing the process.

An important nuance - be patient and choose the most successful time for a haircut. Optimally, if the dog just ate or returned home after a long walk. In this state, he will not be able to actively resist your actions.

Stages of the procedure

To properly trim the dog's claws, you need to use the following instructions:

  1. Carefully inspect the pet's nails and determine the location of the cut. Optimally, if the distance to the pulp will be at least 2 mm.
  2. If the beginning of the sensitive area is not visible, you should begin to cut off the nail plate starting from the very tip.
  3. Take the dog's paw in hand and securely fix it.
  4. Align the claw cutter at an angle of 45 degrees and carefully cut.
  5. Trim nails with a nail file to a smooth surface to prevent them from splitting.
  6. To praise and reward the pet with a treat.

Some animals find it difficult to stay immovable for a long time. In such cases, the pet will need to give a break to recuperate. Each time you will be able to cut off an increasing number of nails and as a result, the whole procedure can be performed at once.

Wound care

If you accidentally hit the pulp and bleeding began, you should calm the animal and then treat the wound:

  1. Wash the damaged area with hydrogen peroxide or iodine.
  2. Apply a weak solution of potassium permanganate to a cotton pad or gauze cut and apply to the wound. Hold for at least a minute.
  3. Press the powder to the tip of the nail and hold it until the bleeding stops.

It is advisable not to let the dog to the water on this day so that he does not infect the infection in a fresh wound.

If you regularly cut the nails, the pulp gradually recedes, which simplifies the process and reduces the chance of injury to the animal. Sometimes a pet is given a sedative before the procedure or in case of serious damage to sensitive tissues. The appointment of such drugs should deal with a veterinarian.

Dog training

Caress and calm the doggie: let the instrument smell, stroke, praise, treat you with a treat.
You can not rude to the dog: scold, grab the paws, squeeze.

Claws are a full-fledged part of the paw that performs certain functions.

At the physical level, training involves:

  • If you see a fungus on the claws, then reduce the dog to the vet.
  • On the surface of a wound or crack - do not shear, but file.
  • If pads show scuffs or cuts, hold the paw gently so as not to hurt your pet.
  • Wash the pads thoroughly, but do not need to be treated with antiseptic or alcohol before the procedure.
  • If the dog has long hair, also shorten its length between the fingers.

Better when he returned from an afternoon walk and ate a good meal.

Necessary tool, scissors

Prepare the following tools:

  • Kogterezy - some look like a pruner, and others like a guillotine with a hole and a handle-lever,
  • hard file
  • antiseptic: peroxide, iodine, potassium permanganate,
  • powder or talc for stopping blood,
  • wool for the treatment of possible wounds.
For the care of dogs developed special tools - kogterezy

How to cut the claws

Instructions for painless cutting of claws:

  1. Determine the pulp - a dark area from the base almost to the tip of the claw, where there is sensitivity in the tissues. Pulp can not be broken, as it is very painful for the dog.
  2. Start with the front paws. Place a nail clipper at a 45 degree angle 2 mm below the pulp. The cut is directed from top to bottom.
  3. Cut without hesitation, confidently and quickly. Only 0.5 mm is removed for each “step”. You can not cut the claw entirely. Chances are that this will end in a wound.
  4. Saw the cut, stripping the sharp edges.
  5. Pause between steps, praise and cheer your pet.
  6. With the procedure on the hind legs, lay the animal on its side.
  7. If the dog began to be very nervous and break free, immediately stop the procedure.
  8. If in the process of work it turned out a wound, then treat it with iodine, powder it with powder, and tie the leg.
How to trim the claws

Trim the hind legs 2-3 hours after the front.

Take your time, eventually the dog will get used to it, and will take this procedure as usual, absolutely not a terrible thing.