samoyed nails

Trimming Samoyed’s Nails Safely. Complete Guide

Samoyed dog nails trimming guide

samoyed nails

Samoyed Dog nail anatomy

The nails of a Samoyed dog are made up of two parts — the nail itself and the quick.

The nail: This is the tough outer shell that grows and lengthens like the human nails. No
nerves are present in this outer shell and thus, it is safe to trim this part.

Dog quick: In addition to the nail, Samoyeds have an extra sensitive layer beneath called the
quick. The dog quick is actually an inner cuticle that contains nerves and blood vessels. You can distinguish the quick of a dog nail based on the nail color – light colored nail has easily visible quick that is usually pink in color and seen at the center of the nail. A dark-colored nail has less
distinguishable quick as it is not visible on the surface. It is only visible after trimming when the general whitish nail end starts appearing a little darker.

Samoyed nail length: The longer the nail of your Samoyed the longer will be its quick.

Trimming process — top to bottom

Nail trimming is an important care process for all kinds of dogs especially the ones that are physically inactive or outside their natural habitat. This can be especially true for Samoyed dogs that were genetically structured to live in the snowy terrain. Dog nails are naturally worn off when exposed to hard surfaces like stones or concrete and so, wild dogs have naturally trimmed nails. However, if your Samoyed mostly spends its time on carpeted floors or couches, its nails will overgrow, which in turn will affect its mobility and cause severe pain and discomfort. Hence it is important to trim it on a regular basis. So how do you cut a Samoyed dog’s nails? It is pretty much cut the exact same way you cut any other dog’s nails. So the real question is how do you cut a dog’s nails?

You might sometimes think it would be easier to just call in a professional and that’s when the question, “how much does it cost to get a dog’s nails clipped?” arises. The usual price of hiring a pet care professional or going to a vet to trim pet nails is about $10-$20 depending on your dog and the service. Taking into account that nails need to be trimmed at a regular interval, it is much more advisable to invest in a good pair of clippers or grinders that will cost you $30 at the most and become a master dog nail trimmer. Follow these simple steps below to learn how to do the entire trimming process safely from your own home:

  1. Get a firm yet gentle grip of your Samoyed’s paw, making sure that it is comfortable.
  2. Position your clipper or grinder just at the edge of Samoyed’s nail.
  3. Carefully clip the dog’s nails.
  4. Give your Sammy a treat to comfort it.
  5. Continue clipping and stop immediately if you approach your dog’s quick area.
  6. If your dog is agitated, stop immediately and give it a treat or comfort it. If it continues its whining then stop for the day.
  7. Once the trimming session is over, give your Samoyed some treats and praise.

Can you soften the dog’s nails before clipping?

YES and YOU DEFINITELY SHOULD! Just like how we can get hurt from clipping our nails roughly or by using bad clippers, Samoyeds can get hurt too. Dog nails like human nails are made up of Keratin and are therefore most soft after a bath. This is the peak time to clip your dog’s nails safely!

If you don’t have time for a bath, soaking your Samoyed’s paw in warm water works just the same. This not only softness the cuticles but also produces a relaxing effect on your dog thus reducing its chance of getting agitated by nail clipping.

How often to trim Samoyed nails

A very important factor when it comes to your Samoyed dog’s nail care is how often should you trim. To fully understand this, you must first ask “how long does it take for nails to grow back?” and “how long should Samoyed dogs nails be?”

It is advisable that you trim Samoyed’s nails at least twice a month keeping a regular time interval. Make sure that you don’t overdo it at any particular session as this will disrupt the routine and pattern of nail growth. In case your dog’s nails are too long, you might wonder how to fix the overgrown dog nails. All you have to do is really just follow the trimming procedure given above with extra care. If the condition is far worse than you or your Sammy can handle, it would definitely be time to visit your vet.

When to start trimming Samoyed puppy nails

Samoyed puppies and all babies, in general, are not popularly known for staying still and being compliant. So it can seem quite stressful to even think of trying to trim its nails. With patience and practice, however, you can successfully train a Samoyed puppy to grow into a compliant dog.

You can start trimming your puppy nails by as early as 8 weeks. Though there wouldn’t be much to trim, the point is to make the puppy comfortable with the sight of the clipper or grinder. How to cut a Samoyed puppy nails is to actually make tiny nibs rather actual clippings just so your puppy can get the feel of it. Remember to always keep it gentle. This way by the time your puppy grows its full size, it will be able to sit still for your happy trimming sessions.

Mistakes to avoid

Utmost care must be taken while clipping your Samoyed’s nails unless you want your dog to get hurt:

  1. Samoyed’s nails cut too short: Clipping your Samoyed dog’s nails too short can cause a huge pain. This would be due to the fact that you cut into its sensitive quick.
  2. Samoyed nail bleeding: This is also a direct result of cutting the quick of your dog’s
    nails. The quick is highly sensitive and even a small nick can cause a lot of bleeding as it contains most nerve endings.

Nail Trimming Tips

Depending on the color and length of your Samoyed’s nails, you will have to use appropriate techniques. If Samoyed’s nails are white (semi-transparent) you will easily be able to distinguish the quick of the nail and you can get a fairly less stressful dog nail trim session. If however, your
dog has black nails, it can be quite difficult as the quick is not visible from the surface and you are more likely to cause injury.

How do you cut a Samoyed dog’s nails that are black?

Black nails are a little trickier to cut as the quick is not visible from the outside. You may ask yourself, “how do I know where to clip my dog’s nails if they are black?”. Worry not for there are still ways to safely trim your dog’s black nails without any untoward accident. Follow the guidelines below to safely trim your Samoyed dog’s black nails:

  • Clip a tiny bit of t he nail, around 1/18th of the nail.
  • After the first trim, check to see if your dog’s nail-head appears whitish. If so it means you are still in the dead region and you can continue the next clipping.
  • Repeat the above until you see a dark/black appearance on the nail-head. This dark appearance indicates that you are now close to the nail quick and it would be advisable to stop at this point.
  • The most important guideline for trimming black nails is to TAKE IT SLOW! Keep checking the nail-head after each trim and also make sure to keep comforting your dog to boost both your confidence.

And here are some extra pro tips that can help you better in the process:

  1. Place a spoon of peanut butter for your Samoyed to lick so that the trimming process is more enjoyable
  2. Styptic Powder!! What styptic powder does is it slows down bleeding by causing the speedy contraction of the blood vessels. This is especially useful if you cut your dog nail’s quick.
  3. Corn starch or flour is also a good replacement for styptic powder in case you run out. Though these are not as effective, it will slow down bleeding.
  4. To recede long quicks, cut a little from each nail and wait a few days for the quick to recede. Once it reaches a preferable length you can start cutting at the regular monthly intervals.
  5. The best angles for nail trimming depends on your tool. For scissor-style clipper, the recommended angle is 180° (parallel to the nails). For guillotine style, you should position it straight from top to bottom.

What if my Samoyed does not let me cut its nails

Nail trimming can be a huge hassle both for you and your  Samoyed dog, especially for your Sammy if it is new to the process. However, with patience and a positive character, you can
train your dog to get comfortable to nail clipping in a single week!

nail quick

DAY 1: Place the nail clipper/grinder near your dog. Allow it to sniff or play with the tool
and mimick gestures of nail clipping. DO NOT clip the nails!

DAY 2: Take it a step further by lightly tapping the nail clipper/grinder on your dog’s paw.
This allows the dog to get accustomed to the sight and touch of the tool. Treat
your dog after doing so.

Day 3: Repeat the actions of Day 2 but this time, give the clipper a squeeze so your dog can
hear the sound or turn on the grinder so that it can feel its vibrations.

Day 4-6: Repeat the above with a tiny clip on the edge of 1 nail each day. Do not overdo it as
this may reset your progress. Make sure to be gentle with the dog

Day 7: Rub your dog’s paws and get a firm grip. Try clipping one nail till the start of its quick.

If the dog reacts positively, you can start the normal procedure of nail trimming from the next day!

Nail grinding process — top to bottom

If even after all that coaxing, your dog is still hesitant on getting its nails clipped, you might want to consider the next best option — the grinder. Hold up now, it isn’t as terrifying as it sounds, in fact, grinders are much safer than nail clippers. Grinders are easier to control and provide a closer trim without the risk of unnecessary nicks.

How to grind Samoyed nails

Dog nail grinders are relatively simple in operation. Grinding uses grit for gradual shaving down of the nails. That means all you need to do is switch on the grinder and lightly touch your dog’s nails.

A good dog nail grinder will always come with adjustable speed control so that you can choose the pace. It is recommended that you set the speed to a minimum when you first start using a grinder so that both you and your Samoyed get accustomed to the vibrating motion. Speaking of which, if your dog is new to this gadget make sure to get it properly accustomed to the sound of the grinder before you start the actual process. To do this you can turn on the grinder near your Samoyed’s paw without actually touching it and do so in a gentle manner so that your dog is not startled. The actual grinding process should only be initiated on the next or after some days if your dog is highly sensitive. Make sure to give plenty of treats and praise your Sammy along each step.

Nail grooming tools


Commonly, these are of two types:

Scissor clippers: These are very sturdy tools that provide a good grip and usually used on larger dogs. the Hertzko Professional Pet Nail Scissor is one such scissor clipper that comes at a reasonable rate.

Guillotine clippers: These are mostly used for small dogs or puppies. As the name suggests, the blades are positioned like the guillotine and the nail is cut transversely. A popular favorite is the Resco Original Deluxe Dog and Cat Nail/Claw Clipper recommended for its sturdiness and precision.


This is widely considered as a much safer trimming tool that provides a closer trim. However, its vibration sound may distract or irritate your dog. If you opt for a grinder, you should definitely get one with a quite motor such as the ConairPRO Dog and Cat™ Professional Corded Nail
Grinder. It comes with simple operating instructions and a good range of speed that you can control.

Related questions

Can I use a human nail clipper on a Samoyed dog?

The shape and structure of human nail clippers and Samoyed dog nail clippers are inherently differently and rightly so. This is because of the fact that the size and composition of human nails and dogs nails differently. Humans have softer cuticles that are more malleable whereas Samoyed dogs have a hard outer shell-like structure to protect their inner nail quickly. Human nail clippers are simply not sturdy enough to clip dog nails unless they belong to a really young puppy with underdeveloped nails. Even so, it is inadvisable to trim dog nails with human clippers.

How long does it take for a dog’s nail quick to heal?

Two weeks in most cases. Unless your Samoyed has suffered a serious injury in its leg, the nail quick can recover in a span of two weeks, that is with frequent care. There are generally four steps to follow for a full recovery:

  1. Investigate the area.
  2. Remove the nail if the injury is swelling or too deep.
  3. Stop the Bleeding and disinfect the wound. Take your dog to the vet as soon as possible so that it can be checked for further symptoms or threats. Be gentle with it and offer lots of praises and treats.

Do long nails hurt Samoyed dogs?

Yes, there is a huge danger of long nails: It poses a huge threat to the skeletal structure of dogs and causes mobility issues. It is crucial to know that the longer the nails, the longer the quick also. Some of the dangerous impacts of overgrown nails and quick are:

  • Limping or irregular walking
  • Frail nails that fracture easily
  • Increased chance of quick infection causing pain and bleeding.
  • Samoyeds may become phobic of slippery floors and hard surfaces
  • Paw pads become sore and toe joints may get deformed under prolonged pressure from overgrown nails. This could lead to skeletal abnormalities