Pawsitively Trim! – How to Keep Dog Nails Short without Clipping

Keep Dog nail short without clipping

As responsible pet owners, we have a lot on our plate when it comes to taking care of our furry companions. From regular coat brushing to bathing and hair trimming, there’s a lot to keep up with.

One crucial aspect is maintaining the right length of our dog’s nails. We’ve all been there when our dog simply detests getting their nails clipped, and we find ourselves wondering, “How can I keep my dog’s nails short without clipping?” Is there a solution to this predicament?

Fortunately for your dog, there are ways to keep your dog’s nails short without the need for clipping.

In this article, we have revealed all the ways to keep your dog’s nails short without clipping. You will also get to learn the benefits of keeping your dog’s nails short at all times.

Without further ado, let’s proceed!

Why Should you keep your Dog’s Nail Short?

It is very important to keep your dog’s nails short at all times. When dog nails are too long, they can easily get caught on objects and this may cause harm or injury to your dog’s paw.

The long nails can also affect your dog’s mobility, it will make it impossible for your dog to run comfortably, especially on slippery floors.

When a dog’s nail grows too long, it might begin to curl and grow into the paw pads, this may cause pain, inflammation, and infections on dogs’ paws.

Dogs are fond of damaging our furniture, carpets, and floors by scratching them. However, by keeping your dog’s nails short at all times, you can prevent all these from happening.

Dog’s long nails are also prone to breakage. However, by keeping the nail short, you can help prevent nail breakage and also reduce pain and discomfort for your furry friend.

How to Keep Dog Nails Short without Clipping

Using nail grinder to file dog's nails

There are several ways to keep your dog’s nails short without clipping and in this section, we have revealed five methods you can try.

These ways range from natural methods to the use of cheap and harmless tools.

Here are the ways to keep your dog’s nails short without clipping:

Walk your Dog regularly on Rough Surface

One of the most effective ways to keep your dog’s nails short naturally without clipping is by taking him on a walk regularly.

Making him walk on hard surfaces such as asphalt or concrete floor will help wear out his long nails thereby making it short and harmless.

Make Use of Nail Grinders

Dog nail grinder

The nail grinder is my top recommendation for all pet owners. This fantastic tool can be used for trimming dogs’ nails without the need for clipping.

It is an electric device with a rotating head. This head has a gentle abrasive surface that can be used to trim dog nails.

This device is very safe to use, as it comes with protective features to ensure your dog’s well-being. It also has a button which is used to control its speed. You can start with a slower speed and then gradually increase it after your dog is already used to it.

The only downside to this device is that it can be a bit noisy, and this might scare or make your dog anxious. However, some brands offer quieter options, and you may just be lucky to purchase one!

Make use of the Scratching Pad

Scratching is an instinctual behavior in dogs, and it is not uncommon seeing your furry friend scratching on a surface.

You can use this to your advantage by purchasing a scratching pad for your dog and allowing him to scratch on it freely.

A scratching pad is a board with an abrasive surface that can naturally wear down your dog’s nails without you having to clip them.

If you have made up your mind to opt for a scratching pad, kindly get one with a mild abrasive surface to avoid injury on your dog’s paw.

Make use of an Emery Board

An emery board is also like a scratching pad. However, this board is designed solely for humans, and it has different levels of coarseness.

This device is not 100% safe like a scratching pad. Therefore, it is not advisable to leave your dog to scratch on this board without supervision.

To make use of this board, hold your dog’s paw gently but firmly and use the board to file it gently. Avoid circular motion to prevent friction and file it in a left and right direction.

Make use of positive reinforcement to make the nail-trimming process easier for your dog. Give them treats to keep them calm, ensuring a smooth and injury-free experience.

Encourage Digging

This is another natural method to keep your dog’s nails short without clipping. Encourage your dog to dig frequently. By digging, his nail will get in contact with the floor often and this will make the nail wear down.

However, digging is not always recommendable because it can make your dog prone to infection.

But to make this method safer, you can provide a sandbox for your dog. You may also designate a safe area in your yard where your dog can always go to dig.

All you just have to do is to train your dog to always go to this particular area anytime he wants to dig. This training won’t be easy, and it requires patience. However, with positive reinforcement, your dog will learn to always go to that area anytime he wants to dig.


As a responsible dog owner, it is important to keep our dog’s nails short at all times. This will make walking more comfortable, and it will also eradicate the risk of injury due to getting his nail caught on an object or something.

However, not all dogs enjoy getting their nails clipped. But, by following the methods highlighted in this article (walking your dog on a hard surface, using a scratch pad or emery board, making use of a nail grinder, etc.) you can keep your dog’s nail short without clipping.

Remember, these techniques are simple and much easier than clipping. Just be patient, use positive reinforcement, and prioritize your dog’s comfort and safety throughout the process.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use Regular Human Nail Clippers to Trim my Dog’s Nails?

It is not recommended to use regular human nail clippers to trim your dog’s nails. Dog nails are thicker and harder, requiring specialized clippers designed for their anatomy.

Using human nail clippers can cause discomfort or injury to your dog’s nails. It’s best to use a device specialized for dogs.

How often should I file or Grind my Dog’s Nails?

The frequency of filing or grinding your dog’s nails depends on their activity level and how fast their nails grow.

On average, once every 1-2 weeks is suitable for most dogs. Regular maintenance prevents overgrowth and keeps their nails at an appropriate length for their comfort and well-being.


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