You first need to restrain the dog in order to cut its nails properly. To do so, gently coax the dog to sit on a table. Then position yourself at the side of the table opposite the dog’s paws where you will clip the nails.
Position your arms and upper body over the dog. Place your left forearm above the dog’s neck to prevent it from lifting its head. This is necessary especially when cutting the dog’s front nails. With your left hand, hold the paw where you would clip the nails. Hold the clipper in your right hand. Prevent the dog from standing by placing your upper body above its shoulders.
Another way to restrain a dog is by laying it on its side. Do this if your dog wiggles too much. Place the dog on the table and keep it lying on its side with your upper body and right arm. The paw should be in your left hand while your left arm keeps the dog from lifting its head. This will be easier with the help of a friend or a family member.
You are now ready to begin cutting your dog’s nails. There are two types of nail cutters that you can use: the guillotine type or scissors type.
The guillotine type nail cutter is used by holding it in the hand you are more comfortable in. Close your hand around the clipper. Squeeze the handle and the cutting blade will move accordingly. The scissors type is used to cut long nails that are already curling in a circle. To use the scissors type nail cutter, place it at a right angle to the nail you will cut.
Start with the front paws. The first claws you may cut are the dew claws, or the claws on the paw’s inner side. Locate the nerves and blood vessels of the nail. This area is known as the quick. Cut the nail approximately 2 millimeters from the quick. It is a good idea to clip the nails in several small cuts. This will lessen the risk of cutting the quick.
You should start cutting the nails of your dog while it is still young. This will train your dog to get used to the process.