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If your dog does not wear his nails down through exercise you will need to trim his nails. Not trimming his nails can cause your dog to break his nails, which can be very painful for your faithful companion. You also are more likely to be scratched as your pet reaches out to play.

The items needed are nail clippers designed for trimming dog nails and some 'blood stop' just in case you miss and get the vein. An emery board to smooth the clipped nails will help. A few dog treats for rewarding your dog's patience and good behavior and a moistened cotton swab for applying the blood stop will save time, and a mess.

Find a time when your dog is normally sleepy and quiet. While trimming the nails is not a painful procedure, most dogs don't like to have their feet held, and will pull back, making your job a little trickier. Praise your dog while you work; hearing your voice will help to keep him calm. Make sure you have plenty of light to work by since you will need to look at each nail for the vein that runs down the center.

The dark line is the vein; you want to avoid clipping the nail too close to the vein, otherwise this will no longer be the painless procedure it should be. Hold your dog's paw firmly, slide the loop of the clippers over the nail watching for the dark line that indicates the vein. When you are satisfied, clip. If you do get the vein, use a moistened cotton swab to apply a small amount of blood stop. Use the emery board in one direction only to smooth the end of the nail. Most people only trim the front nails, but if necessary you can trim the back nails.

If you can't see the dark vein because your dog has black nails, you can either just trim a little off the end, or use an emery board to file away the excess. Again if you do clip too much, you will need to apply blood stop.

While you have your dog's foot in your hand you might want to check for mats between the toes, burrs, cuts etc., and treat them if needed. A pair of children's nail scissors with blunt tips are ideal for trimming mats from between the toes.

That is it, a very simple procedure. Although, it is recommended that if your dog is likely to bite, have a professional do the job.