How Short Should Dog’s Nails Be?

How Short Should Dog's Nails Be
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So, you have finally decided to try to clip your dog’s nails. However, as soon as you try to do that, you might realize that you have no idea how short the nails be. Or actually, how to do it properly. Don’t worry - we will cover that in this article.

Do I Really Need to Clip My Dog’s Nails?

Many people wonder if that is really necessary. The most obvious thing is that clipping your dog’s nails doesn’t seem like a natural process. On the other hand, having your dog spend the whole day inside is also not a natural thing.

The fact is that if your dog lived outside, in the wild, it would wear down its nails during running or playing, which is completely natural. If your dog is inside most of the day, it won’t have a chance to wear down its nails. This will lead to his nails being much longer than they should be.

The problem is not only aesthetic. Long nails will cause pain and uncomfortable feelings for your dog, even when it’s idle, although you might not notice that. You should also know that it can lead to serious health damage in the long run.

How short should dog's nails be?

There is no strict definition on exactly how long or short dog nails should be, since it can depend upon various factors, such as the dog breed and size.

At first, you should note that usually, smaller dogs need more regular trimming than the larger ones since their nails grow faster. Also, you should consider the age of your dog. Older dogs are usually less active, so their nails will have fewer opportunities to wear off. Therefore, they might also require more frequent trimming.

Another thing to consider is that if your dog is continuously playing in grassy areas, it won’t have nails worn off like a dog that is running on asphalt. Also, nails on the front paws might grow faster than the ones on the back paws, so you might have to clip them at different times.

How Short Should Dog's Nails Be

There is also a very important thing that you should know. If your dog’s nails are very long, or if you have never clipped them, you should not clip the whole length as you would normally.

In that case, you should clip them a little every one or two weeks. The fact is that longer nails have a quick that will protrude in front. If you clip the nails slowly over time, the quick will shrink and get back to its normal position.

Therefore, there is no specific time at which you must clip your dog’s nails. There are various things to consider, and you, as the owner, will know it best.

How to clip my dog’s nails?

Clipping dog nails is a relatively easy process if you have the right tool. The fact is that many people think that they can use human nail clippers. However, dog nails are much different, and most of our nail clippers will be too weak for dogs’ nails.

That will make the whole process more complicated, and you might even hurt the dog since it might break the nail in chunks rather than clipping it.

To clip your dog’s nails, start by holding its paw firmly in one hand. Then, place the thumb on top of its foot and your fingers below so that its toes will spread. It will make it much easier to clip the nails then.

Be very careful how you cut the nail, to avoid cutting the quick. If it bleeds, try and stop the bleeding as soon as possible. You should know that your dog might wiggle or whine, especially if it is an older dog and you never clipped its nails before.

However, you should try to calm it down by talking smoothly and quietly, and after a few times, your dog should get used to it.

Also, note that when buying the right nail clippers, you should consider your dog breed and size. A guillotine clipper is ideal for small breed dogs, but due to its size, it might not be perfect for large dogs.

However, after you get used to clipping its nails, you will be able to use any clipper. You just need a little bit of practice.


In the end, we can conclude that there is no exact size or time when you should clip your dog’s nails. It all depends upon many factors, such as size and breed of your dog. Also, make sure that you buy the right nail clippers, especially if you have never done that before.

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