When Can You Cut A Puppy’s Nails?

When Can You Cut A Puppy's Nails
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If you are a dog owner, you might have wondered about when the right time to cut your puppy’s nails might be. Or maybe you didn’t even know that you should cut them at all.

The fact is, most owners don’t “do” dogs nails, although this is very important. When a dog's nails grow long, they might create unpleasant and painful sensations when your dog runs or walks, although you might not notice that.

Why do dogs need their nails trimmed?

First, we need to realize why our dogs need their nails trimmed. You might even be wondering if this is natural since dogs wouldn’t be able to have their nails clipped if they lived in the wilderness.

The fact is, when dogs spend lots of time outdoors, running and playing, their nails are naturally worn off. However, if you keep your dog inside most of the time, its nails might grow longer than normal, and even a small difference matters.

When a dog's nails become too long, they don’t just look unattractive. If they constantly touch the ground, they will cause pain to the dog and put pressure on the toe joint.

This won’t cause any serious damage all of a sudden, but over time, it might realign joints on the foreleg and change the way the foot looks, which can also lead to more severe health problems.

As you can see, this isn’t just an aesthetic problem. If you compromise your dog’s weight distribution and natural alignment, your dog might be more prone to injuries, and running or walking will become difficult and painful.

When Can You Cut A Puppy's Nails

So, when can you cut a puppy's nails?

Most people wait until their puppy grows a bit older to start cutting its nails. However, most vets agree that you should begin very early and not wait for several months to pass.

Basically, you should start cutting your dog’s nails the first week it comes home, even if there isn’t much to trim. One of the most important things is that your puppy will get used to it, so you won’t have any problems as they grow older.

Many people who own older dogs struggle with cutting their nails for the first time. If the dog is more than a year or two old, it might be scared of the nail grinder and run away. You will have to start slowly and make the dog realize that it is nothing to be scared of.

How to trim your puppy’s nails

Now that you have realized when and why to start cutting their nails, let’s discuss how to do it. Basically, trimming the puppy’s nails is not a complicated process.

Start with holding its paw firmly in one hand. It might also be good to hold the puppy close to your body with that arm. Then, place your thumb on top of its foot and your fingers below its foot in order to spread the toes.

Then, just cut its nails one at a time, right where the nail starts to curve. When you cut all the nails, you should file them to remove sharp edges.

You should know that your puppy might wiggle or whine while you cut its nails. However, don’t panic. Talk to it smoothly and try to relax it. After a few times, it will get used to having its nails cut and won’t have any problems while you do it.

Nail trimming tools

There are multiple tools available on the market for trimming dog’s nails. Usually, you can find all of those tools in pet-supply stores. They can vary in different aspects.

For example, there are special trimming tools made for small dog breeds, since they have smaller nails that are a bit different from large dog breeds. If you own a small dog, the guillotine trimmer might be the best solution.

If you, on the other hand, own a large dog, then dog nail clippers are the way to go. However, if you are skilled and have cut your dog's nails numerous times, then you can use any tool you choose. It is all a matter of preference.

A great thing to note is that, when you buy a nail trimmer, you should also buy styptic powder. It can help if you accidentally cut your puppy’s nails too short.


As we have already mentioned, you should start cutting your puppy’s nails within the first week it arrives, even if there isn’t much to cut. That way, you will make them used to have their nails cut, also making your job easier in the future.

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