What angle do I trim a dog and cat’s nails using guillotine style nail clippers?

Original Question: I am using guillotine nail clippers to clip my dog's nails. At what angle do I trim? Would it be side-to-side or top to bottom? Is the angle different for cats? - Alice

What angle do I trim a dog and cat’s nails using guillotine style nail clippers? Jul 30, 2018

Hi Alice,

Thanks for your question.

The guillotine clippers should be used vertically to cut the nails with the blade cutting from the bottom of the nail upwards. You can use them for cats as well and since their nails are very thin, the clippers can be used in any direction but they’ll work the best from bottom to top. I would avoid directing the blade from the top and downwards.

Be sure to watch our video “How to Safely Trim a Dog’s Nails” and “How to Safely Trim a Cat’s Nails”. The most important advice I have is to only cut one nail and then give lots of love and treats. Then cut one more nail the next day. This will introduce it slowly and make it a comfortable process instead of a painful and scary event. Make sure that these first few trims are only taking a tiny slice of nail off at the end. Do not cut a significant amount of the nail off at one time because it is more likely to be painful and they’ll fight you on it the next time.

I hope this helps,

Dr. Clayton Greenway

Disclaimer: healthcareforpets.com and its team of veterinarians and clinicians do not endorse any products, services, or recommended advice. All advice presented by our veterinarians, clinicians, tools, resources, etc is not meant to replace a regular physical exam and consultation with your primary veterinarian or other clinicians. We always encourage you to seek medical advice from your regular veterinarian.

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