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Scratched floors, damaged furniture and scrapes caused by pooch’s claws... It might be time to trim them! It's sometimes easier said than done. See these 6 tips that will make your job easier!

Accustom them young:

The ideal time to introduce claw trimming is when the animal is in their learning period, when they’re young. As a result, they will get used to it quickly and will be more easily manipulated into adulthood. However, if the dog is no longer a puppy, you can still do it. Just go slowly, one step at a time. We must first get them used to having their paws and claws handled, throughout the day (nap, meal, play period, etc...). Then gradually, introduce the claw cutter. You can start by trimming only one claw at a time and eventually, you will be able to trim all of them in one session.

Remaining Calm is a priority:

An animal is able to feel your emotions, including stress. Prioritize a quiet time in the day and try not to be nervous, otherwise your anxiety will be transferred to your dog. During the task, talk to the animal and do positive reinforcement, it can only be beneficial!

Guillotine or claw cutter, which one to choose?

If you are not a pedicure professional, we strongly recommend that you use the claw cutter, as the guillotine requires more precision and care in immobilizing the claw between the two blades. The claw cutter will allow you to maintain your dog’s claw without over cutting in addition to being equipped with a spring that will allow you to keep the clamp in the open position, making cutting more effective.

Know where to find the right part of the claw:

The canine claws have two parts: dead keratin and live keratin. The latter has nerve endings and blood vessels. As you can imagine, you must never reach the living section because you don’t want to hurt your companion and cause bleeding. If your animal has white claws, you will be able to distinguish their two parts easily, because one will be pink (living keratin). On the other hand, if Fido has black nails, you just have to be more careful and cut the claw millimeter by millimeter from the tip. To know where to stop, you should be able to detect a change in texture and see a color change in the middle of the claw.


Once finished cutting, you can finalize the pedicure with a file. This step is not mandatory but will prevent the freshly cut claws to hurt you or catch your clothes.

Reward your dog:

Remember, the pedicure itself is not fun. If he has behaved well, consider offering him a little something to reproduce this behavior in the future.

Are you more visual? See how to do it in this video.

Did you know? Victoria Veterinary Hospital now offers grooming services! Shampoo, grooming and claw clipping are offered. Learn more.