How to Give a Dog a Pedicure

Easy
10 - 15 Minutes
1 Month

Introduction

Just because you like to go to your favorite salon for a pedicure, this doesn't mean your pup likes having his nails trimmed. Maybe you have never trimmed a dog's nails before. No matter what the reason, giving your dog a pedicure should be on your regular schedule of grooming. Not only will this make it easier for your dog to walk but it will help with his balance and his gait. Along with this, nails that are too long can cause excessive stress and strain on his joints, which can lead to serious injury.

Dog's Perspective

Many dogs do not like having their feet touched, let alone their nails trimmed. Before you start giving your dog a pedicure, spend time rubbing and playing with his feet. The more time you spend doing this, the more comfortable he will be when the time comes for you to trim his nails. Be sure to check his paws each time for any sores, cracked nails or pads, and splinters. Making sure his paws are healthy before you start is an important part of the pedicure. 

The Massage First Method

Effective
0 Votes
Scissors
Nail Clipper
Step
1
Start with a paw bath
Just like when you go to the spa for a pedicure, start your pup out with a nice warm paw bath. Gently wash his paws using a mild soap and washcloth.
Step
2
Don't forget the massage
This is a good time to massage his paws and help him to relax. Dry his paws using a nice thick dry towel.
Step
3
Moisturizing time
Using a gentle moisturizer, massage it gently into his feet. Be sure to use a moisturizer intended to be used on puppy feet (you can also use a small amount of olive oil). Massage the lotion into his pads and nails.
Step
4
Clip time
Using your choice of nail clippers (scissor type work better for larger breeds, guillotine for smaller dogs), start with one front paw and trim all nails, including the dew claw. Take your time and do NOT cut into the quick or it will cause pain and bleeding.
Step
5
If he bleeds
If you cut too far and the nail begins to bleed, you can use flour, cornstarch, or styptic powder available at your pet store to stop the bleeding. If for any reason this doesn't work, you should take your pup to the vet to have the end of the nail cauterized.
Step
6
Be patient
Take your time, be patient and your pup will come to tolerate having his nails trimmed.
Recommend grooming method?

The On the Floor Method

Effective
0 Votes
Scissors
Nail Clipper
Nail File
Step
1
Start by sitting down
Start out by sitting down and having your pooch come over and lie down on the floor in front of you. Give him a treat and let him calm down and relax.
Step
2
Wash and clean
Using a bowl of warm soapy water and washcloth, bathe your pup's feet, removing any dirt and debris. This is a good time to look for any injuries, cracks in his pads or nails, or burrs, and if needed, take him to the vet.
Step
3
Cut the nails
Be sure you know where the quick stops in each nail and cut straight across the nail without cutting into the quick. Be sure you have some styptic powder on hand just in case you cut into the quick and it starts to bleed. Use sharp nail cutters and make each cut fast and accurate.
Step
4
Trim the hair
If your dog has hair that grows between his pads and toes, use a small pair of scissors to trim these hairs back. This will keep your pup from sliding around on wood, tile, or linoleum flooring. It's also a good time to trim the hair on top of his feet and around his ankles.
Step
5
Finish up with a file
The last step in the pedicure is to use a file and smooth out the ends of each toenail. Not only will this help to keep them from splitting, but it will cut down on how badly he is likely to scratch you the next time you play. You can also use an electric nail grinder like "Pedi-Paws" to do this, but your dog will need to get used to the noise first.
Recommend grooming method?

Caution & Considerations

  • If you are just getting started giving your dog a pedicure, start slowly by allowing him to get used the clippers first.
  • If you are nervous, you can bet your dog will pick up on this and reflect this in the way he behaves during his pedicure.
  • If you see any damage or injuries to his pads, toes, nails, or paws, be sure to have them checked by his vet.
  • Taking your dog for a long walk first is a great way to tire him out and make giving him a pedicure much easier.
  • You should never use nail polish that is made for humans on your pup, as the chemicals in them are not safe for use on dogs.
  • Never paint nails that are cracked or split. 

Conclusion

Make the grooming and pedicure process fun for your dog and he won't mind having it done. In fact, he will come to appreciate it as short nails make it easier and more comfortable for him to walk. The key to making this task simple for both of you is to remain calm and take your time. Have plenty of treats on hand to reward him for being a good boy. 

Success Stories and Grooming Questions