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Why It Is So Important to Cut Your Dog’s Claws and How to Do It Yourself

07.10.2022 - Reading time: 3 minutes


If your dog sounds like a tap dancer on your living room laminate floor, then you should take a closer look at its paws, because there is something wrong going on. You will probably immediately notice that your four-legged friend's claws are too long. Almost every dog owner is familiar with the problems associated with cutting dogs' claws, because many dogs have a deep-seated fear about their paws and an aversion to claw clippers.


Cutting your dog’s claws is not merely a question of appearance, but primarily a matter of your four-legged friend’s health. Read here why it is so important to cut your dog’s claws and how to do it yourself.

Cutting claws: Why is this important for the dog?

Overly long claws will impede your dog’s walking and cause him pain. As a coping mechanism your dog will try to keep his paws at an angle, which in the long run may lead to posture problems and muscular tension.

Cutting claws and paw care are important for your dog’s well-being and health, and will prove to be problem-free for most dogs with a little practice.

Instructions for cutting your dog's claws

The frequency with which you should cut your dog’s claws depends on how quickly the horn and new tissue starts to grow back. If the new tissue in a claw that is too long has already grown almost to the tip of the claw, then you need to be patient. In the beginning, filing away only a few millimetres should be sufficient and the claws should be trimmed weekly. That way, the new tissue in the dog’s claw will recede more and more.

However, normally it suffices to cut the claws every three weeks. We recommend: as often as necessary and always keep the claws just short of touching the ground.

You can find more information at Maxi Zoo under Paw care for dogs.

For claw and paw care, you will need the following tools:

  • Claw clippers or claw trimmers for small breeds
  • Fur scissors with blunt ends
  • Claw file
  • Good light source/torch

In order to cut claws, you need a steady hand, a relaxed dog and a good light source to illuminate the inside of the claw. The dog’s claw is made of horn and is filled with so-called vital tissue almost to the tip. This consists, among other things, of nerve cords and blood capillaries and is very well supplied with blood. The most important rule in claw care is therefore: Never cut into the vital tissue, because this will cause your dog great pain and bleed heavily. A dog injured in this way will quickly lose confidence and will be reluctant to have its claws cut again.

This is how it's done!

  • Make sure your dog is lying or sitting calmly and relaxed. Hold your dog’s paw in your free hand keeping it firmly in place without exerting too much pressure on it. This will prevent cuts that could be caused by a sudden withdrawal of the paw. If the horn is white, you can see the pink or white vital tissue very clearly; if the claws are black, we recommend using a torch to illuminate them.
  • Now place the claw nippers approx. 1mm from the vital tissue and clip off the claw without squeezing it.
  • Then file them down by moving the file in one direction only to prevent tearing and splintering – moving the file back and forth would be painful for your dog.

Now your dog can scamper off without a care in the world. But don’t forget to reward your dog with treats.


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