Over grown nails can cause problems in walking. Ensure that the dogs nails are trimmed every week.

Trimming of a dog’s toe nail

Trimming of a dog’s toe nail is a very important and delicate process of grooming. Broken or untrimmed toenails can cause several problems to the dog and can be very painful.

Trimming of nails should ideally be done by professionals as the nail develops “bone” and “quick” after a certain age (as shown in the picture below). Any damage to the quick and the dog starts bleeding. If trimming the toenails at home, consult your vet and take proper instructions. Another safer way for inexperience pet owner is to use nail grinder to trim the nail. One must use this to only grind the tip of the nail (Sharp part).
It is important to start getting the dog use to cutting nails from a young age. Grooming should always be incorporated as a routine activity for a dog like walking, and playing. Make sure you play with the dog’s feet and pamper him before you start cutting the toe nails.
It is very important to know and understand the anatomy of a dog toenail, which is quite simple. “Quick” is a nerve that supplies blood to the nail and located in the center of each nail. Quick can be easily seen through clear nails but incase of black nails extra caution is required. Vein detecting nail clipper (See image below) is highly recommended. (Product may not be available in developing countries)

Steps to follow:

  1. Nail trimming should be done with lots of patience. Ensure the dog is sitting comfortable on a table or on your lap. The room should be well lit and the dog should be in a pleasant mood.
  2. Take your dog nail trimmers and cut the nail below the quick at a 45 degree angle, making sure to have the cutting end of the clipper toward the end of the nail. If your dog has black nails, you'll want to make several small clips instead of one large one; make sure to trim very thin slices until you see a black dot, which will signal the top of the quick
The more often you trim your dog's nails, the further the quick will regress into the nail, which allows you to cut shorter and shorter each time. Make sure to allow at least 2 days in-between each trim. You want to get your dog's nails to the point where when his paw is on the ground, the nails do not touch the floor. You can use special pet nail grinders to speed up this process

Choosing a Pair of Nail Clippers

Choosing a correct nail clipper for the dog is as essential as trimming the nails. The clipper should be selected keeping the dog size into consideration. Use large clippers for bigger dogs and smaller clippers for small dogs.

For just born pups from the age of 3 weeks to 3 months use scissor style clippers. They are specially built to cut delicate nails and easier to handle. These clippers can also be used on toy dogs. (Do not attempt to cut a newborn’s nails unless you’re experienced and unless it’s necessary)

Following are the types of nail clippers you can buy from your local market:
  1. Scissor style (See image below) – Best for puppies. Work like scissors and easy to use on soft nails 
  2. Budget clippers or guillotine style (See image below) - The Guillotine style clipper have a slide action. The "jaws" slide forward as you grip the handle. These cut slower, and tend to cause slight discomfort.
  3. Nail Grinders (See image below) - grinding nail clippers are for professional groomers but can also be used by inexperienced pet owner since it’s relatively safer. They have a lever that you can position to tell you where you can stop the nail.
  4. Quick sensing cutter – As the name suggests, this type of nail trimmer has a in built sensor that protects the quick from being cut.  This helps cut adequate portion of the nail without cutting to close to the quick.

Scissor style Clipper                            Budget clippers                     Dog nail grinder

If you cut the quick.

If you cut the quick, and the dog starts bleeding make sure that you have silver nitrate or a styptic pen on hand. In case such products are not available in your city then you can use flour or cornstarch to stop the bleeding. You may have to use a light bandage to apply pressure on the cut. If the nail is still bleeding after 10 minutes, you'll want to call you vet.