Samoyed being walked on a sidewalk.

Does Walking Your Dog Trim Their Nails?

5 mins |

Trimming a dog’s nails can be a difficult and even painful process for both you and your dog. So, are there ways to trim a dog’s nails naturally? Does walking your dog trim their nails, for example?

Yes, walking your dog does trim their nails, but you or a professional will still need to trim their nails too.

Why Should I Care About How Long My Dog’s Nails Are?

A Samoyed laying on a wood floor while their owner prepares to clip one of their nails.
A Samoyed getting its nails clipped.

In most cases, the nails of dogs who live with humans don’t get worn down like they would in the wild. Dog’s nails that are too long are at risk of being torn or broken. Long nails can also hurt dogs or make it awkward for them to move.

Trimming your dog’s nails keeps their nails at a healthy length that lets them live the good life they deserve.

How Often Should I Clip My Dog’s Nails?

This will depend on your dog as all dogs are a little different. Still, a good time to trim them is when a dog’s nails just before they touch the ground.

How Do I Train My Dog To Be Okay With Nail-Clipping?

There are several things you can do to train your dog to let you clip their nails. One is to start them as young as possible. The sooner you can build a trusted routine in your dog, the better.

Another thing you can do is give them something positive to associate with their nails getting clipped. This can be a treat (or two or three…), but it helps even more if you show them how positive you are about the whole thing too.

You’ll also have to be patient with your dog. They won’t be okay with getting their nails clipped the first time. Likely, there won’t even be any nail clipping the first time.

Start the routine without the clippers, give them some treats, then show them the clippers the next time. Keep repeating this, adding more and more steps until you’re ready to clip one of your dog’s nails. Be careful though, there are some things to watch out for.

What Do I Need To Be Careful Of When Clipping My Dog’s Nails?

The most important thing to watch out for when clipping your dog’s nails is “the quick”. The quick is where the blood vessels are in the nail. Although it won’t be easy to spot in all dogs, in general, the quick is pinkish. Do not clip the quick or it will hurt your dog a lot.

Another thing to watch out for is the angle at which to clip your dog’s nails. You won’t want to clip the whole nail in one go. Instead, you’ll make several small clips, each at a 45-degree angle.

The Groomer Or Vet Option

Maybe you’re not comfortable with clipping your dog’s nails, or maybe it’s just not working out. Either way, you have more options. You could schedule an appointment with a groomer, for example.

This will cost money, but they will perform the task professionally and perhaps teach you how to perform it yourself, moving forward. Vets are also an option, although you’ll want to confirm they offer nail-clipping services before scheduling an appointment with them.

There may also be training classes you and your dog can take that help you both get comfortable with the nail-clipping process.

What Are Some Other Ways To Trim A Dog’s Nails?

Here are some other ways you can trim your dog’s nails (although you or a professional will still need to clip them too, just not as much).

1. Walk Your Dog

That’s right, walking your dog helps trim their nails. This is only true if they’re walking on a hard or rough surface, such as rocks, concrete, pavement, or something similar. Just another reason to take your dog on more walks.

2. Get A DiggerDog Nail File

The DiggerDog Nail File is an interesting product. By encouraging your dog to dig at the surface of the nail file, their nails get worn down. Now and then, you pull the box open and give them a treat. This will only work for food-motivated dogs though.

Digger Dog Nail File Board - Stress Free Alternative to Dog Nail Clippers and Dog Nail Grinders - Easy and Fun Dog Nail Scratch Board - Dog Scratcher for Small and Large Dogs (Blue)
369 Reviews
Digger Dog Nail File Board - Stress Free Alternative to Dog Nail Clippers and Dog Nail Grinders - Easy and Fun Dog Nail Scratch Board - Dog Scratcher for Small and Large Dogs (Blue)
  • Easy and Fun: A stress-free nail trimming alternative to dog nail grinders and nail clippers. The original Dog Nail File by DiggerDog will make the trimming of a dog’s front nails easy and fun.
  • Nail File for Dogs: Specifically, and only for a dog's more problematic front nails. Our unique nail trimming device is also gentle enough to use with puppies, as long as it is carefully supervised by the owner.
  • Dog Nail File Toy: Interactive, fun, and reward-based solution for stressful nail trimming. Large and small dogs will joyfully scratch and grind their nails down trying to get to the toy or treat. Dogs will think this is a game of hide and seek.
  • Durable Dog Scratch Board: The stainless-steel abrasive plates are very efficient yet not too harsh. They will not rust, and we expect them to last several years.
  • Enjoyable Dog Scratch Pad for Nails: Ideal for dogs who don't tolerate traditional nail trimming tools The DiggerDog Nail File is a great alternative dog nail trimming tool for dogs that do not like dog nail grinders or dog nail clippers.

3. Have Your Dog Dig In Rough Ground

Digging, especially on rough ground, can help wear down a dog’s nails. You may not want them to do this in the backyard, but taking them to some nearby woods could be a good choice. Just remember to stay safe and also watch out for some trees.

4. Use A Different Tool Than Clippers

Sometimes it’s not the process, but the tool that causes issues for your dog. So, if your clippers are causing them anxiety, try a nail file or a grinder. Either one might be just what your dog needs.

In Conclusion: Does Walking Your Dog Trim Their Nails?

Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to trim your dog’s nails even without nail clippers. This includes walking them, just so long as it’s on hard or rough surfaces. We’re curious what your tips are though. Tell us your creative ideas for trimming a dog’s nails in the comments below!