How to Make Puppy Nails Less Sharp – Smart Dog Mom

You have a new puppy in your family. How sweet! At least until it starts to poke you with its sharp claws or scratch up the furniture. Therefore, how to make puppy nails less sharp?

How to Make Puppy Nails Less Sharp

It’s vital to trim your pup’s claws for more reasons than to make them less sharp, it’s good for their health and well-being too. Long nails make it so dogs can’t walk properly and they can get stuck on things and break or splinter, and cause pain or even an infection. They could even grow into their food pads, thus harming your pet.

The only way to make puppy nails less sharp is by trimming, cutting, or grinding them down. This article will explain the process as well as talk about other facts regarding puppy nails.

How to make puppy nails less sharp

Why is My Puppy’s Nails So Sharp

Dogs have sharp nails for many reasons. Firstly, a puppy’s claws are part of their wrist’s bone structure. The nails are the ends of the bones and are covered by hardened keratin. Since it is hard, the pup can easily dig, run fast, have better balance and even some dogs can climb trees.

Their nails act like people’s fingernails and protect their toes and paws. A dog’s nails are also sharp because in the wild dogs had to use their claws as well as their teeth to protect themselves from enemies. But domestic dogs usually don’t need to fight, so sharp nails are more likely to harm them than to help them.

When Should You First Clip Puppies’ Nails

In order to get your puppy used to the process, you need to begin clipping their nail as soon as possible. It’s best to do it the first week you have the puppy in its new home. After that, their nails ought to be clipped weekly. This way they are used to getting the process done and won’t resist or be afraid when you need to do it.

You have to be careful to do it right the first time so the pup doesn’t develop a lifetime fear of getting their claws trimmed. Therefore, for instance, be careful of not cutting off too much of the nail and hitting what’s called the quick, as this will cause bleeding.

With some dogs that have dark colored nails, it is hard to see the quick area at the end of the nail, so it’s best to only trim off the sharp edges of your pup’s nails. One tip is that if your pup’s nails are making noises when they walk, they definitely need to have them trimmed.

Related Post: The Best Ways to Moisturize Your Dog Paws 

Trimming Puppy Nails

It is vital to do trimming of puppy nails, but if you cut them too short, it can cause major issues. For instance, they could bleed as stated earlier, and also develop an infection. Plus, it could make your dog afraid of getting its nails trimmed for the rest of their lives or even make them turn aggressive and bite someone if they tried to do it.

There are a lot of techniques for trimming puppy nails to choose from. You can use special made dog nail clippers, human fingernail clippers (for small dogs or puppies), special nail grinding tools, scissors (however, don’t use scissors on tiny newborn pups as it could cut off too much at a time), etc. You just have to choose the one that works best in your dog’s situation.

Getting Your Puppy Comfortable with Nail Trimmers

Be sure to cuddle your puppy and praise them whenever you trim their nails. This helps them not be afraid. You can also offer a tasty treat afterward so they associate treats and good things with nail trimming sessions.

You should also get your new pup used to having their paws handled, rubbed, and examined. This makes it less of a shock or surprise when the next step is trimming the claws.

How to Stop Puppy Nails from Bleeding

There are times when you may accidentally cause your puppy’s nails to bleed or they may injure their nail in some way themselves. The best method of how to stop puppy nails from bleeding is styptic powder or a styptic pencil. It is special made to stop bleeding fast and easily. Just press the bleeding claw with a tiny amount of the powder and it should stop bleeding quickly.

If you don’t have any styptic powder there are a few other methods to stop a pup’s nails from bleeding. These include soap, cornstarch, or flour. You can dip the pup’s bleeding nail into some flour or cornstarch or press the claw into a bar of mild soap. This needs to be done for several minutes using moderate pressure.

If none of the above methods work for how to stop puppy nails from bleeding then seek help at your veterinarian.

Final Thoughts

The bottom line is that a puppy has sharp little claws and these must be regularly trimmed both for their safety as well as yours. You should start doing this right away after you take your new pup home, then continue on a weekly basis using one of the above methods.


How do I stop my dogs nails from being sharp?

The answer is that you can’t as a pup’s nails are always growing and were meant to be sharp for their protection and to dig, etc. However, you can trim them weekly to ensure they are not sharp and pointy since domestic pets have no need for sharp nails in most cases.

How can I soften my puppy’s nails?

If your pup has extra hard nails that are hard to trim, you could soak their nails in some water for a few minutes. This may help them get a bit softer and be easier to clip.

Can I file down my puppy’s nails?

Yes, you can find down your pup’s nails. It’s done like when you file your own nails. Just get an emery board or a nail file. Gently move it over the pup’s claw tips until it gets blunt and is smoother.

You can also use special dog nail grinders to file your pup’s nails. Just follow the directions on the box and be sure they are meant for a dog’s nails, not a person’s.

When can you start cutting a puppy’s nails?

Actually, you can start with a newborn puppy but you have to be extremely careful not to cut off too much of their nail so it won’t bleed. You should at least start cutting a puppy’s nails as soon as you get your new pup so he becomes used to the process.

When do puppies claws become less sharp?

They don’t actually get less sharp, but you can help keep them less sharp via weekly trimming or grinding of their nails.

How to cut Puppy nails when they are scared?

You have to get a puppy used to getting their nails trimmed. If they are scared it makes it harder to do, so start handling their paws from the first time you get them home.

Then talk gently to them, hold them close and praise them for getting it done. You can also give a treat to help them associate nail trimming with good things.

How to cut puppy nails with human clippers?

While dog clippers are better, you can use human nail clippers to trim a puppy’s nails in some cases. It is best if your dog doesn’t have really tough nails. You need to use them the same as dog clippers and be careful to only cut off the tip of the nail to avoid bleeding incidents.

How to clip Golden retriever puppy nails?

You clip a Golden Retriever’s puppy nails the same as any other breed of dog. Just follow the suggestions already mentioned in this article.

When to cut puppies nails for the first time?

As stated many times in this article, a puppy should have its nails trimmed for the first time within a week of getting it in its new home and then continue to trim them weekly.

If needed, you can actually cut a newborn pup’s nails in order to help the mother dog not get scratched when the puppies nurse. However, you must be extremely careful if you do it.

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