How To Cut An Uncooperative Dog’s Nails |A Step-By-Step Guide

If you’re a dog owner, you know how important it is to keep your dog’s nails trimmed.

But if your dog is uncooperative, trying to cut its nails can be a real hassle.

This article will show you how to cut your dog’s nails even when uncooperative.

With these tips, you’ll be able to get the job done quickly and easily – without any drama.

Here’s how to cut an uncooperative dogs nails.

How To Cut An Uncooperative Dog’s Nails

brown dog paw in human hand getting nails cut

Gather The Supplies You Will Need, Including Nail Clippers, Styptic Powder, And A Treat

To make cutting your dog’s nails as stress-free as possible for your dog, you need to have the right tools.

At a minimum, you should grab a dog nail clipper, styptic powder, and a few treats.

When using dog nail clippers, try to clip only the tip of the dog’s nails instead of too much at once.

Make sure there is enough space between the clippers and their paw pads by holding the dog’s legs up if needed.

In case of an accidental overcut, the styptic powder will work wonders to stop any bleeding caused by it.

Lastly, never forget to reward your pup with a treat or two after they have successfully gone through cutting nails.

Soften Dog’s Nails To Make Nail Cutting Easier

Softening a dog’s nails can make trimming them much more accessible.

Before you cut your dog’s nails, soak his or her paws in warm water for a few minutes until the nails are soft and easy to work with.

Once the nails have been softened, you can feel more confident that you won’t slip while cutting them.

Most importantly, get your dog used to having their nails trimmed and being handled from a young age.

This will help them get used to it and make it easier for you to cut their nails.

You can also use products made just for dogs to soften their nails, but make sure they are safe for dogs because some have harsher chemicals than needed.

white pup getting nails cut

Before You Begin, Introduce Your Dog To The Nail Clippers

Begin by getting him used to the sound of metal on the dog’s nails, then move the clipper up and down without cutting anything.

After each successful step, praise your dog and give him a reward or a belly rub.

After a few days, you can use the clippers on his nails without further preparation.

Have Your Dog Sit Or Lie Down In A Comfortable Position

Having your dog sit or lie down in a comfortable position can help with their overall behavior training.

If done correctly, this will help reinforce the commands and make it easier for you to give new ones.

When you tell your dog to sit, it should keep its body straight and its legs out in front of it.

When you tell him to lie down, his stomach should be on the ground and his head should be up.

He should also be able to stretch back comfortably.

Before letting your dog do this, you need to make sure that their nails are properly trimmed so that their paws don’t hurt.

Start With One Paw And Gently Hold It While You Clip The Dog’s Nails

white pup getting nails cut by human

When it’s time to cut your dog’s nails, it’s important to keep them calm and not make them nervous.

Start by gently grabbing one paw of your dog and holding it firmly as you cut the dog’s nails using specially designed clippers made for dogs.

Be careful when you make the cut.

If you cut the quick (the pink part with the nerve ending, which is like the cuticle on a human) by accident, it can hurt, make you feel uncomfortable, or even cause bleeding.

Make sure you are always close by so that the job can be done all at once and your dog doesn’t have to go through this procedure more than necessary.

If Your Dog Starts To Squirm, Take A Break And Try Again Later

If your dog starts to squirm when you cut the dog’s nails, it’s essential to take a break and try again later.

When it’s time to cut a dog’s nails, the person doing it needs to be patient, talk calmly, and move slowly.

Taking breaks during the session gives your dog a chance to calm down and get ready for the next step.

Making sure that you and your dog are both comfortable and calm will help the nail-trimming go smoothly.

light brown dog getting nails cut

Reward Your Dog With A Treat After Each Nail Is Clipped

Clipping a dog’s nails may be daunting, but with the right approach, it can be simple and easy.

An effective way to get your dog comfortable with nail clipping is to reward them with a treat after each successful clip.

That will build positive associations in their minds and help make the process less stressful for you and your pup!

Plus, it’s a great way to show appreciation for their cooperation!

When dog’s nails are adequately trimmed on dogs, it leads to healthier dog’s nails and helps them live more comfortably.

Treats are an invaluable part of making the process an overall pleasant experience.

Clean Up Any Messes Made During The Process With Soap And Water

Grooming your dog’s nails should often be a neglected part of their routine care.

Whatever product you use to clip the nails is essential, but it is just as necessary to have a willing dog -and handler- performing this task.

When finished, don’t forget to thoroughly clean up with soap and water.

This will not only keep you and your dog clean, but it can also help stop the spread of bacteria or parasites that may be living on surfaces that haven’t been cleaned.

What To Do If The Dog Won’t Let You Cut His Nails?

light brown dog getting nails cut by human

Take Your Dog To The Vet To Get The Nails Trimmed

Taking your dog to the vet to get its nails trimmed should not be seen as a last resort.

Scheduling an appointment today is a significant step toward improving your pet’s well-being!

If you don’t feel comfortable trimming your dog’s nails at home because of how uncooperative or aggressive they might be, there’s nothing wrong with setting up a professional nail trim for them.

Your dog shouldn’t have to deal with nails that are too long.

A veterinary technician with a lot of experience will know how to deal with a dog that doesn’t want to cooperate and can make sure that the dog’s nails are trimmed properly without hurting the dog.

Plus, trimming nails regularly is important for the health of the paws and the quality of life in general.

Try To Use more Distraction To Get Your Dog’s Nails Cut

To cut your uncooperative dog’s nails, the key may be to employ more distractions.

Some dog owners have found success in having a second person help by holding the treats or engaging with the dog while the other person clips the nails.

Playing with the dog before and after the nail trim is another good way to make the dog associate it with something good and fun.

There are also many toys that are made to keep dogs busy while they are being groomed, which can help owners make this process less stressful for their dogs.

No matter what method you choose, any dog owner who wants to clip their dog’s nails more easily needs to use distractions.

Practice Touching Paws To Cut Dog Nails

One practice you can do to deter such behavior and get the dog used to trimming nails is “Touching Paws.”

This practice involves first bringing your dog used to having its paws touched by gently running your hands over its feet and nail tips before trimming.

When the time comes, they must remain calm; therefore, practicing touching paws regularly will aid this process.

Furthermore, experts recommend using positive reinforcement when nail trimming as rewards such as treats or affectionate touch are good tools to have during this activity.

black dogs nails getting cut

Request Assistance From A Friend Or Family Member

If you have a tough dog, enlist the help of a friend or family member to assist you with the process.

This person should be someone your pet is comfortable with. If you have kids, they may not be able to help until they are old enough to control their movements.

Wrap A Towel Around Your Dog

If you don’t want to take your dog to the vet, try this simple approach that makes him feel safe while allowing you access to all four paws.

You can also use an old t-shirt or any other material that is light enough to cut through but thick enough to keep your pet’s skin from being cut.

That can make it easier to cut an uncooperative dog’s nails.

How To Know If Dogs Nails Are Too Long?

Knowing when trimming your dog’s nails is needed can be a tricky task for pet owners.

The best way to know if your dog’s nails need to be trimmed is to listen to how they sound when they walk on hard floors.

If the sound of their nails clicking or tapping is loud, you will know that your dog’s nails need to be trimmed.

In addition to keeping an ear out, you can tell if your dog’s nails need to be trimmed by looking at their length and the shape of the curves.

When looking at the shape of their nails, look for a slight bend at the end that goes past the paw pad.

This could mean that their nails need to be trimmed.

By keeping an eye out for these signs, you can make sure that your dog is comfortable, has healthy dog nails, and doesn’t have long dog nails.

How to Stop a Dog’s Nail From Bleeding

Trimming your dog’s nails can be daunting, mainly if your dog is not used to it.

If you cut your dog’s nail too short, it may start to bleed.

Fortunately, stopping the nail from bleeding is usually straightforward.

First, use a clean cloth or tissue to put direct pressure on the nail.

This should help stop the bleeding.

Using flour or cornstarch to make a paste-like substance around the wound can also be helpful.

Last, if home remedies don’t work after a few minutes, talk to your vet about how to stop the bleeding and keep the nail from clotting.

You can ensure that cutting your beloved pet’s nails doesn’t hurt or hurt them by being careful and paying attention.

black white dog getting his nails cut

Clipping your uncooperative dog’s nails can be a daunting task, but it is a necessary one.

If you and your pet follow the simple steps and tips above, the process will be easier for both of you.

Remember to give your dog a treat after each nail is cut so that they learn that getting their nails cut is a good thing.

And don’t forget to clean up any messes made during the process, so everyone stays happy and healthy!

Before You Go…

Now you know how to cut an uncooperative dog’s nails.

If you want to learn more, read the following articles too!

Mena Emad, DVM
Mena has a Bachelor’s degree in veterinary medicine. His expertise, passion for animal welfare, extensive knowledge, and experience in the field of veterinary medicine make him an excellent resource for our readers.