Pet nail cutting basics explained

Just like human fingernails, a dog and cat nails grow all the time, so regular manicures should be part of every pet owner’s routine. In fact, the Pet Food Warehouse website suggests that trimmed claws are also less likely to snag fabric and inadvertently scratch people. Nail trimming is much easier if your pet has been accustomed to regular manicures since it was a puppy or kitten, but most owners still have a good chance for success even with an adult animal, if they follow these simple instructions.

To get a dog or cat used to having its paw handled, gently hold and massage each paw for a short time. Before clipping, study your pet’s toes and paws carefully. The pink area in the nail is a living nail (called the kwik), which carries the blood supply and should not be cut. The white area that forms the sharp, pointed nail tip is the part that needs trimming. Just take off the tip of the claw, leaving a little white nail on the end to protect the pink portion. If your pet’s nails are cut too closely they could bleed profusely and be quite tender and painful.

In case of an accidental cut, keep syptic powder on hand – this antiseptic clotting agent will help to stop the bleeding quickly.

To follow a step-by-step illustrated diagram of pet nail trimming or for more pet tips visit