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Carrington College Blog

How to Clip Your Pet’s Nails

June 9, 2016

Carrington College Veterinary Technology students demonstrate how to clip your dog or cat’s nails.

It’s important you know the proper way to restrain your pet. Make sure they’re on their side, and hold their legs on the down legs and place your elbow on their neck and head so they don’t hit their head.

The supplies needed are:

  • Nail Clippers
  • Kwik Stop (stops bleeding quickly)

You can get both supplies at your local pet store. Pour a little Kwik Stop into the cap so you have it ready, just in case.

If your pet has black nails, it can be a little bit more difficult to see the quick. The quick is the blood vessel inside the nail. Trim a layer at a time gently until you see a white dot, your sign that you’re at the quick.

If you do trim too short, just apply Kwik Stop, which should stop the bleeding in a few seconds. If it continues to bleed, you can add a little more until and hold pressure until the bleeding stops.

In the wild, animals don’t need to trim their nails because they wear them down in the environment, but indoor pets need to have their nails trimmed about once a month.

Cat nails are a little bit different because they’re clear, which makes it much easier to see the quick.

Restraining a cat is a little different too. You’ll hold the cat’s head and hold his or her arm out so the person doing the clipping can easily access the nails.

The actual procedure for trimming the nails is exactly the same.

Are you interested in learning more about Carrington College’s Veterinary Technology program[1][2]? Then visit today!

[1] For comprehensive consumer information, visit

[2] Carrington College prepares students to take appropriate certification and licensure exams related to their individual majors. The College does not guarantee students will successfully pass these exams or be certified or licensed as a result of completing the program. Credential preparation varies by location.

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