Trim Dog Nails: 2 Simple DIY Methods Without Clippers


Learning how to trim dog nails is a must for every dog owner. Your dog nails can grow very long ending up into a curve. The curved nails can split or hooked on your carpets and rugs. Of course, nobody wants that!

Some dogs hate trimming their nails and they become extremely anxious. In fact, trim your dog nails is very challenging because when you clip them, it’s possible to cut the quick. Actually, your dog is very smart, they can remember the last trimming experience, especially, if it didn’t go well. They will be uncooperative, which make the process of cutting dog nails more difficult.

Fortunately, there are many alternative methods to trim your dog nails without clippers, like Dremel tool and Nail files. They both are a very effective and safe method to apply.

How to trim dog nails

Clippers can disturb your dog, and holding each nail to trim it can make your dog very anxious. The manual filling makes the process of trimming your fur buddy nails more easy and pleasant experience to your dog.

You should always try to make grooming a good experience for your dog. Praising your doggie and giving them treats will encourage good behavior.

The dermal tool method 

Step 1

Choose your own dermal tool you prefer. You could have different sizes available from small to standard sizes. The purpose of using a dermal tool is that you can’t damage or cut your four-legged friend’s quick, even if they are frightened or anxious. 

Introduce the dermal tool to you buddy and turn it on before using. This will allow your dog to hear the noise. Thus, they will get used to the sound of it and won’t be surprised when you start to trim your dog nails. Gradually your doggie will be familiar and comfortable with it

Step 2

Choosing the right time to trim your dog nails is very important. If you can get your dog relaxed before cutting their nails, this will be a perfect chance for your dog to remain calm during the whole trimming process. You can start clipping your dog’s nails after they have some physical exercise. The more your dog is tired, the more relaxed they will be. And of course, the more easy and quick the process will be.   

Step 3

Your dog may have excessive hair and fur around their toes. You should remove it in order to create better access to your dog’s toes. In fact, the dermal tool runs in a circular motion which may hurt your pooch by plucking their hair aggressively. 

Step 4

Gently hold your pooch’s paws, or have them lie on their back. then, apply the dermal tool on each nail. If you find your dog becomes uncomfortable, wait a moment and try again. You can always have a hand. An assistant will make the process more east

Step 5

You shouldn’t trim your dog’s nail too short. At first, You can work one nail at a time, spread the toes to access the nails easily. You should give your dog a break and don’t apply a lot of pressure, this can make your dog uncomfortable.

file_dog_nailsNail file method

  1. You should choose a hard metal or glass nail file. There many places you can find them. In fact, you can get one from your vet. Cutting your dog nails with files will consume more time as it removes small bits of nails. As a result, you have to file your dog’s nail regularly in order to maintain proper nail length.

  2. Trim excess hair your dog may have.

  3. Make your dog comfortable. Choose a perfect position where you can easily trim their nails. If your dog is small size one, you can simply position them on your lap. But, if they are medium to large you may position them on the floor.

  4. File each nail gently. You will find that long nails can be filed quickly, however, you should be cautious not to file into your dog’s quick.

  5. Don’t forget to praise your doggie.   


  • It is possible when you file your dog’s nails you cut the quick of your dog’s nail which may cause bleeding. You should be cautious and able to locate the quick before start trimming.
  • To prevent creating a negative association, you should file one nail at a time and never apply too much pressure.
  • You should get your dog used to the sound of the tools you are using, in order to make them comfortable with.
  • For safe operation, you should read the tools instructions before using.

How to apply nail polish on your dog’s nails

After cutting your dog nails you may consider applying nail polish on your dog’s perfect nails. You can put a color the matches to their outfit, especially, if they accompany you to a partyPutting nail polish on your dog’s nails is a quite easy process if you know the right technique.

  • Choose the right nail polish

First, choose non-toxic products that are designed for dogs. Dogs’ nail polish is less toxic than humans’. Because dogs often chew their paws so it’s very important to make sure not to take in anything harmful.

Another thing you should take into consideration, the time needed for the nail polish to dry. There are products that need a long time to dry and you have to make your dog calm all that time. Some products are quickly and speed drying.

Also, you should be cautious when you choose a nail polish remover. You should choose one that’s designed for dogs as well.

  • Choose the right location

You should choose a location where minimal damage can be applied. Of course, you don’t want your dog to run around spotting your carpets and furniture with paints!. You can lay a towel on the floor and make your dog stand on.

  • Choose the right color

Match the colors and the patterns with your dog fur and nails’ color. For example, if your dog has dark or black nails, you may consider applying a white or light base coat. You can have pattern nail polish pens which will make it easy if you want to draw patterns on your doggie’s nails. From my experience, I always stick to a simple design. I think they are more easy to apply, plus there is beauty in simplicity.

  • Start to paint

Try to hold your dog’s paw with one hand and holding the nail polish with the other hand. Apply the nail polish on one nail at a timeYou should work quickly as possible as you can in order not to apply pressure on your dog.

If you want to paint the front paws faster, you can ask your dog to sit. As a result, you will be able to hold the paw you want to work on.

Actually, all dogs, no matter what breed they are, need nails’ trimming every 2 weeks maximum. You should schedule a time and stick to it to trim your dog’s nails on a regular basis. As a result, you prevent your dog from having health problems.

If you filed your dog’s nails manually, share with us your experience with pictures.


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