Cutting a dog’s nails can be difficult. Some of them don’t like getting their nails trimmed, because they’re susceptible to being touched, and dislike the pressure of a clipper.

While some owners go to the vet to sedate their dogs so that they can have their nails shortened, there are better natural and safer options.

Does Walking Your Dog Trim Their Nails?

Dogs are able to naturally trim their nails when in contact with the ground. Take your dog for walks so they can keep them trimmed. This is the most natural for a puppy to keep their nails short, however, sometimes they will need help since they’re in contact with soft surfaces all the time.

Difference Between Surfaces

You’ll be able to know when your doggy needs to have its nails trimmed, especially if they’re indoor dogs that don't have too much contact with nature. Hearing your pup’s nail clip-clopping paws on the floor is the clearest alert that their nails are long enough.

Considering taking your dog out frequently has many benefits for their health, and also trims their nails. Hard surfaces help keep them at a reasonable size. This routine can avoid letting its nails grow too long, provoking your pup to bite them because of pain.

Best Surfaces for Natural Trimming

Some of the best surfaces to get his nails naturally trimmed are:

  • Concrete: one of the most common surfaces, found almost everywhere. Its hard surface greatly helps your dog to trim his nails.
  • Sand: while it's not a hard surface, places with a lot of sand like a beach can encourage your dog to dig, reaching compacted sand. This activity can keep their claws shortened too.
  • Paved Backyard: if you let your dog out daily in the backyard, this hard surface will effectively prevent your pup’s nails from growing too much.

Why and When You Should Trim Their Nails

It may not be seen as completely necessary because of its relevance, and difficulty of the task. But trimming a dog’s nails is very important if you don't want your pup to be uncomfortable.

This pain or discomfort is caused because long claws make your pooch distribute his weight in uneven ways which can end in health problems. You will notice a very obvious and fast change of mood in your dog right after trimming, making him happier.

Depending on your house and surfaces, periods between trimming may vary. Paved backyards and constant contact with hard flooring might give you the chance to never have to do it.

Some vets suggest doing it once a month if your dog lives and is always in contact with soft surfaces like rugs.

How to Trim Their Claws and What to Use

There is a wide range of tools and ways to trim your dog’s claws that you can use. From nail clippers to guillotine trimmers, nail scissors, plier style trimmers, or grinders.

If it’s your first time doing it or you are very inexperienced, consider going to a vet or an expert dog groomer to show you the steps to do it. If your dog has hairy paws, it’s also recommended to keep them well-trimmed so that you can efficiently notice the nail's length.

Let Them Feel Comfortable

At first, your dog will probably refuse the idea of you cutting his nails. With patience and time, start by letting your pup sniff the tools you will use for it. Touch their nails carefully and make sure to praise or kiss them.

After a few days of repeating this process, you may be able to cut a tiny bit of their nail, proving to them it’s harmless. If they don't react negatively, repeat the next day, until you completely trimmed it bit by bit. He will eventually get used to it and won’t mind you cutting more than a bit at once.

Nail Clipping Steps

Pick up your pup’s paw firmly but do not be rough. Place your thumb under their paw and your forefinger on top of their skin above the nail. By pushing your thumb up and backward, their nail will be extended, making sure there’s no fur on the way.

Do not clip past the nail curve since you will hit the quick, a part of the nail that contains blood vessels. It causes pain and bleeds. Cuts must be straight across and include the dewclaws.

How To Fix Overgrown Nails

Overgrown dog nails not only can lead to discomfort, but also to tendon injuries and even deformed feet. You’ll need to clip long nails weekly if you want to fix it. This gives the quick time to recede toward the paw.

Once your pup’s claws aren’t long enough to cause problems, keep trimming the nails weekly. If you skip a week, your dog’s nails will start being in contact with the ground again.

It’s vital to follow this process because you can’t simply chop off an overgrown dog nail, since as they grow, the quick does too.


Walking your dog trims their nails indeed. And that’s the most natural way you can prevent it from growing up without doing it yourself. It’s common to think that trimming your pup’s nails isn't relevant because they’re pets, but long claws can provoke different health problems.