Clipping Your Dog’s Claws

Do you ever hear clicking when your dog walks across the kitchen floor? If so, it’s probably time for your furry pal to get a manicure. Overgrown claws are not only unsightly, they can also have an adverse effect on your canine buddy’s health. Nails that are too long are not only painful for Fido, they can affect his gait, and ultimately contribute to skeletal issues, such as arthritis. In this article, your Livonia, MI veterinarian  goes over some basic information about your dog’s claws.


Many people are nervous about clipping their dog’s claws, and understandably so. Cutting Fido’s claws too close can hurt him and cause bleeding, or even lead to an infection. These types of problems occur when the nail is cut too close to the quick, which is where Fido’s nerves and blood vessels end. That said, clipping your pup’s claws isn’t necessarily difficult. Some dogs might be perfectly happy to sit still for a few minutes while getting a ‘pawdicure’, especially if they know there’s a snack coming. Other dogs, however, might squirm and wiggle, making the process much more difficult. If your canine buddy just won’t stay still, it may be worth your while to have your vet or groomer clip his toenails. This is usually pretty quick and fairly inexpensive procedure.


There are two types of clippers which are suitable for trimming Fido’s nails. Guillotine clippers are generally the easiest to use on dogs, but the other kind, which are more like scissors, will also work. Nowadays, you can find clippers equipped with sensors, which takes the guesswork out of the process. These tend to be more expensive than the other kinds, but many pet owners find it well worth the one-time expense. If you are using regular clippers, you’ll want to slice off thin pieces of your pup’s nails, and look at the clippings. When you start to see a pale oval appear, stop.

Dew Claws

Fido’s dew claws also need regular attention. The dew claw is located higher up on his foot than his other claws. Sometimes, if left untrimmed, dew claws will become so overgrown that they curl around and become ingrown!

Does your pup need a ‘pawdicure’? Please call us any time to schedule an appointment. As your Livonia, MI vet clinic , we are here to help with all of your pet care needs.

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