How to Trim A Pugs Nails and Why You Need To

As a dog owner, there will be a time when you need to learn how to trim a Pugs nails, especially, when they start getting too long. Most pet owners are scared to cut their nails because they think they are going to hurt them.

At least that’s what I used to think when I first started clipping Mindy’s nails. However, after some practice and plenty of treats, I finally learned how to do it without causing her any pain.

What Happens If My Pug’s Nails Are Too Long?

Your dog’s nails shouldn’t be allowed to grow too long, otherwise, they can deal with painful feet when walking. Long toenails will cause push back into the nail bed whenever Fido walks on hard surfaces like hardwood floors, vinyl flooring, or any type of hard surfaces.

how to trim a pugs nails

This can cause excessive pressure on the toe joints and even cause the toe to twist abnormally to the side. This will result in sore toes that can eventually become arthritic if not trimmed properly.

Once their nails become too long and sore, it will become harder to trim. Your Pug dog won’t want you touching their paws and may even end up screaming out in pain.

Read this article if you want to know why Pugs scream and how to get them to stop.

Can Lead to Skeletal Issues

The long nails can cause your dog to walk irregularly for long periods of time, which will eventually lead to skeletal problems. If their nails have become too long, you may want to ask your vet or groomer for help.

There’s a good possibility that you won’t be able to cut the nails all at once. You’ll need to trim them one day and then wait a week or so before you trim them again.

This will give it enough time for the quick to recede and cause harm to your pet. If you don’t trim the nails on a regular basis, the quick start growing along with the nail.

This is why you will need to trim some and then wait a few weeks to do the process again.

They Will Bleed When You Cut Them

Another thing that you will notice if you let them grow too long is that they will bleed as soon as you trim them. Not only are they painful for your canine friend, but they will take forever to stop bleeding.

This usually happens when you waited too long to trim the nails and you cut the quick. We did this a few times on Mindy and trust me, it sucks to see your pet cry and squirm from the pain.

If you think that your dog’s nails will bleed when you clip them, you may want to have some Kwik Stop styptic powder with Benzocaine that causes the blood to clot. That saved our lives plenty of time when we waited too long to clip Mindy’s nails.

Make It Fun

If you’ve never trimmed your Pug’s nails, it’s not going to be an easy thing to do. Most dogs don’t really like their paws being touched, especially, if you haven’t trained them properly.

The best thing you can do is make trimming fun, by giving them praise and treats after the clipping. They will soon understand that whenever they allow you to cut their nails, they will get a treat.

They will also be less likely to put up a fight or scream whenever you touch their paws.

Now let’s look at the step-by-step process to trim their nails so you can properly care for them.

What You Will Need to Cut Your Pugs Nails?

If it’s your first time trimming their nails, you want to make sure that you have everything you need. Their first experience will determine whether they will kick and scream the next time you try clipping their nails.


I recommend using some professional nail dog clippers, not a dremmel or human nail clippers. The noise from the dremmel will just scare your dog and it will become hard to manage.

If you’re doing this at home, you’ll do a lot better with some razor sharp clippers. Both of you will be scared and you want to make this as painless as possible.

Styptic Powder

Depending on how long your pug’s nails are, you may even need some quick stop Styptic Powder. This will help stop the bleeding if you let their nails get too long. We had to use it on Mindy a lot because we let her nails get too long.

You’ll only need to use this if your pug’s nails are too long or if they are curled in. If it’s your first time clipping your pug’s nails, you may want to get it anyway, just in case you cut the nail too far. (it sometimes happens)


The last thing you’ll need is some treats for your pug. You’re going to want to make this experience as pleasant as possible and the best way to do that is by giving them a treat after cutting their nails.

Eventually, they will learn that whenever they let you trim their nails, they get a treat. At first, they will be apprehensive and some may even scream like you’re getting ready to kill them.

Pugs will usually be apprehensive about getting its nails trimmed when they’ve had a bad experience in the past. Maybe a groomer hurt them? Some pugs don’t want you touching their paws.

Regardless, these tips will help you keep your pug calm and happy. Remember, we’re only trimming the nails, you don’t want to cut too much, otherwise, they will bleed.

What Is The Quick?

The quick is a blood vessel (the quick) or soft cuticle that is rich in blood vessels and nerves. It’s easy to identify on a lighter colored dog because it’s the pink region the center of a translucent/white nail.

However, if you have a black pug, it can be harder to see. You will be able to see a small dark circle in the middle of their nails. If your dog has black nails, you’ll just want to trim the top of them.

I’ve shared a video below that will show you how to cut your dogs nails if they have black or dark nails properly.

Best Way to Cut A Pugs Nails In 5 Steps

professional dog clippers
You’ll need some professional dog clippers to clip your pug’s nails.

#1 Have A Friend Help You

If possible, ask a friend or family member to help you out. One of you will hold your pug in your lap while sitting cross-legged and their back facing you. Your pug’s belly should be exposed with their arms and legs extending outward. Try reassuring them by talking to them gently and pet them a few times.

You can even rub their belly a few times to calm them down. Most pugs love their belly rubbed, I know Mindy loved it. It’s best to try to wait until they calm down before introducing the trimmers.

#2 Use A Towel

Place the towel on your pug’s paws underneath the towel, so they can’t see what’s really going on. Start touching their nails gently to help them get comfortable. We never used a towel, because we used to touch her paws when she was a puppy.

She didn’t mind us touching her paws, but some dogs will try biting you if they don’t want their paws being touched.

#3 Start With One Paw At A Time

Once they are comfortable with the sensation of you touching their paws, place the very end of your pug’s toenail into the slot of the trimmers. You’re only trimming the very end! Exert force quickly on the trimmers to make the cut.

#4 Talk To Them Gently

Your pug should be relaxed if you’re NOT cutting too far. However, there’s nothing wrong with still using baby talk to make them feel comfortable.

If your pug is fighting or trying to bite you, or you’re too scared to cut their nails, you should seek the services of a professional dog groomer.

If your pug is relaxed, move on to the next nail until you trim the nails on that paw. Repeat the process on all four paws.

#5 File Your Pug’s Nails Down

Gently file your pug’s nails down so they don’t scratch your floors or anything else. As soon as you’re done with the trimming, go back to the first paw and file their nails one by one.

It won’t take long and it will keep your pug from being snagged on carpet or your hardwoods from being scratched up.

#6 Check For Any Bleeding

Before putting them on the ground and cleaning up the mess, be sure to check the trimmed nails to ensure there is no blood. If you cut the quick and there is bleeding, then use the styptic powder to quickly stop the bleeding.

Don’t forget to give them a treat. Once they understand they get a treat when they let you cut their nails, it will be easier the next time you do it.

Wait at least a week or two and continue the process of cutting just a tiny bit of the nail. If you cut them too short and they bled, you will want to allow more time to allow the quick to recede. Wait two weeks before you try cutting again.

This process may seem intimidating, but once you become familiar with the process, it gets easier. These steps can be followed by anyone who wants to cut their pugs nails at home.

Pug Nail Clipping Video

Watch this video as it will show you exactly how to clip your Pug’s nails and do it properly. I don’t know about you, but I am more of a visual learner and would rather see someone do it.


Should You Cut Your Pug Puppy Nails?

The process is similar to cutting the nails as an adult. I personally think it will be easier to cut puppies nails because if you train them at an earlier age, you’ll have less fuss.

Unlike an adult or senior dog, you should clip a puppy’s nails at least once a week. This will ensure that their nails don’t get too long and you’ll have fewer accidents clipping the quick.

Should You Do It Yourself?

I know that it’s scary trimming your dog’s nails because you don’t want to hurt them. If you don’t feel comfortable doing it yourself, you can opt to take them to the groomers or the vet.

The prices will vary from place to place, but we used to pay around $10 whenever we took Mindy to the vet to have hers cut. We finally realized that it was much easier and less expensive if we just learned how to do it ourselves.

Call your vet and ask them what the average cost of clipping your Pug’s nails are. They will be happy to give you a quote and you can decide if you’re ready to do it yourself or have them professionally clipped.

How to Trim Your Pugs Nails At Home

The steps above will help you trim your pug’s nails properly. I know that it can be scary for the first time, especially, if you have a black dog. That’s why I wanted to share this video which will show you how to cut a dog’s black nails.

The first time I cut Mindy’s black nails, I was scared I would hurt her. However, the steps above are the same ones I used to take to clip her nails. She didn’t mind it, only when I made her bleed.

Unfortunately, that’s something you’re going to do. It’s NOT the end of the world and the quick does grow back.

Bottom Line

It’s important to cut your pugs nails on a regular basis. The more often you cut them, the easier it will be. They will only bleed if you let them get too long.

We tried clipping Mindy’s nails twice a month. Although that didn’t happen, because we got busy. When we got on a regular routine of clipping her nails, they wouldn’t bleed and she didn’t mind the procedure.

Related Questions

How long should a pug’s nails be? If you can hear them clicking on the kitchen floor or you see them getting stuck on the carpet, they are too long.

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References and Further Reading

Dogs Naturally – Stress-Free Way for Trimming Your Dog’s Nails

Dog Notebook – What Is ‘The Quick’ In Your Dog’s Nails and Should You Trim It?

Black Pug Site