Nail Trimming

Nail Trimming

A la carte nail trimming/filing. Please book ahead of time to schedule a nail trimming appointment. We can usually schedule you the same day!


One of the main questions we get from clients is “Why can’t you trim my dog’s nails shorter?” The answer lies in the anatomy of a dog’s nail.

As a dog’s nail grows, so does the Quick (the vein inside the nail). Allowing your dog’s nails to grow longer, the quick will also grow longer in relation to the nail growth. After a nail trimming, the quick will be at a similar length to the tip of the nail. As you walk your dog, the quick will slightly recede from the edge of the nail. Regular nail trims and walking your dog will work together to allow for shorter nails for your dog. Some breed’s genetic traits allow for very short nails if regularly maintained. Other breed’s traits will always have a medium/large sized nail, even with regular maintenance.

Nail trimmings are subject to how long the quick has grown. We are only able to trim up to the edge of the quick. Trimming a nail any shorter than that, it will bleed, and your dog will start to dislike nail trimming due to the pain it received from trimming into the quick. Our goal is to clip the nail with a nail clipper, and then file the nail as close as we can to the quick without disturbing the quick. All while supporting your dog so they remain stable and calm during the nail trimming process.

Socializing your dog to nail trimming is very important for their health. Nail health can affect a dog’s exercise habits, which eventually will affect their overall health. Dogs that dislike nail trimming generally get their nails trimmed less. If a client allows the nails to grow too long, they may grow long enough to curl back into the paw pad. Walking or running around can be very painful if the nail has curled back into the paw pad. Clients can help socialize their dog to nail trimming by doing these things at home:

  • Have your dog stand on all 4 legs
  • Lift/Touch each of their feet/paws
  • Do short amounts, offering praise when they are doing a good job

After multiple sessions of this exercise, your dog will become socialized to a person having to touch their feet, and thus will become better for nail trimmings.

Nail Cut too Short?

There are times when a dog will flinch or become spooked during a nail trim, just as we are about to clip the nail. When we do happen to get a nail too short, we use a styptic powder to get the bleeding to stop. When you pick up your dog, we will inform you of any nails we may have trimmed too short, so you can monitor their status. Sometimes if your dog walks on cement or other abrasive surfaces, the quick will become opened again (similar to re-opening a scab/wound). Some home remedies to use in place of a styptic powder would be:  flour or cornstarch.

Please call us if your dog’s nail continues to reopen. We will ask you to return to the shop so we can close up the quick and monitor it to make sure its sealed properly. If we deem Vet care is needed, we will arrange for our Vet to get involved. In no case will we reimburse you for Vet expenses if you do so on your own. Call us first if you have concerns about the service you’ve received.