How Do I Trim My Dog’s Hair Around The Paws?

Are you wondering how to give your furry friend a paw-fect pedicure at home? trimming your dog’s hair around their paws can be a tricky task, but with a little guidance, you’ll be able to master it in no time. In this article, we’ll explore some simple and safe techniques to keep your dog’s paws looking neat and tidy, ensuring they stay comfortable and stylish. So grab your grooming tools and get ready to become a pro at paw grooming!

Tools and Supplies Needed

To successfully trim your dog’s hair around the paws, you will need a few essential tools and supplies. These include:


A pair of sharp, blunt-ended scissors is essential for safely trimming your dog’s hair. Make sure they are designated for pet grooming to avoid any accidents.

Electric clippers

Electric clippers can be useful for trimming larger areas of hair quickly and efficiently. However, it is important to be cautious when using them to avoid cutting your dog’s skin.


A comb with wide teeth will be beneficial for gently detangling your dog’s hair and removing any mats or tangles.


Having a towel nearby will come in handy for wiping away any loose hair or debris during the grooming process.

Styptic powder or cornstarch

Accidents can happen, so it’s essential to have some styptic powder or cornstarch on hand to stop any bleeding in case you accidentally nick your dog’s skin.

Dog treats

Using positive reinforcement during the grooming process can help keep your dog calm and cooperative. Having some delicious dog treats nearby will help make the experience more enjoyable for both of you.


Before getting started with trimming your dog’s hair, it’s important to make a few preparations to ensure a smooth process.

Choose a suitable location

Select a location where both you and your dog will feel comfortable during the grooming session. Ideally, choose a quiet space with minimal distractions to help keep your pup relaxed.

Position your dog comfortably

Lay down a non-slip mat or towel for your dog to stand on during the grooming process. This will provide added stability and comfort for your furry friend.

Assess the hair length

Before beginning the trimming process, take a close look at your dog’s paw hair. Assess the length and determine how much trimming is needed. Remember, the goal is to trim conservatively and maintain a natural-looking appearance.

Trimming the Hair

Now that you’re all set up and prepared, it’s time to start trimming your dog’s hair around the paws. Take it step by step, and remember to go at your dog’s pace to maintain a stress-free experience.

Cleaning the paws

Start by gently cleaning your dog’s paws to remove any dirt or debris. Use a damp cloth or pet-friendly wipes to wipe away any substances that may be stuck to the fur.

Trimming the hair on top of the paws

Using scissors, carefully trim the hair on top of your dog’s paws. Hold the scissors parallel to the paw pad and trim the hair evenly, avoiding cutting too close to the skin. Gradually move around each paw, taking your time to ensure an even trim.

Trimming the hair between the paw pads

Next, focus on the hair between your dog’s paw pads. This hair tends to grow long and can become matted or collect debris easily. Use your comb to gently lift the hair and trim it to match the level of the paw pad. Be cautious not to cut the sensitive skin between the paw pads.

Trimming the hair around the dewclaws

If your dog has dewclaws, these also require regular trimming. Gently hold your dog’s paw and use the scissors to carefully trim the hair around the dewclaw. Be extra careful not to accidentally cut the skin or the dewclaw itself.

Tips for Safe Trimming

Trimming your dog’s hair around the paws requires care and attention to ensure their comfort and safety. Here are some helpful tips to keep in mind:

Avoid cutting too close to the skin

When trimming your dog’s hair, always leave a safe margin of hair to avoid accidentally cutting the skin. It’s better to trim conservatively and make additional adjustments later.

Be cautious with electric clippers

If using electric clippers, remember that they can be noisy and may startle your dog. Introduce them gradually, allowing your dog to become familiar with the sound and sensation before beginning the trimming process.

Take breaks if needed

Patience is key during the grooming process. If your dog becomes anxious or restless, take a short break and try again later. It’s important to ensure your dog remains calm and comfortable throughout the entire grooming session.

Use positive reinforcement

Reward your dog with tasty treats and verbal praise during and after the trimming process. This positive reinforcement will create a positive association with grooming and make future trimming sessions easier.

Keep styptic powder or cornstarch nearby

Accidents can happen, even with the utmost care. Keeping styptic powder or cornstarch close by will allow you to quickly stop any bleeding that may occur if you accidentally nick your dog’s skin.

Dealing with Matted Hair

Matted hair can be a common issue, especially if your dog has long or curly hair. Here are some tips to help you deal with mats:

Gently remove mats with a comb

If you encounter mats while trimming your dog’s hair, gently comb through them using a wide-toothed comb. Start from the outside of the mat and work your way in, using short and careful movements. Be patient and avoid pulling on the hair, as this can cause discomfort.

Consider professional grooming for severe matting

If the mats are too difficult to remove or cover a large portion of your dog’s hair, it may be best to seek professional grooming assistance. Professional groomers have the experience and tools required to safely and effectively remove severe mats without causing discomfort to your dog.

Special Considerations for Different Breeds

Different dog breeds may require specific considerations when trimming their paw hair. Here are a few examples:

Long-haired breeds

Long-haired breeds, such as Shih Tzus or Lhasa Apsos, require more frequent grooming to prevent matting and keep their hair looking its best. Regular grooming may include trimming the paw hair to a manageable length to avoid tangles and dirt accumulation.

Double-coated breeds

Breeds with double coats, such as Huskies or Golden Retrievers, have a dense undercoat beneath their longer topcoat. When trimming their paw hair, be cautious not to disturb the undercoat, as it plays a vital role in regulating their body temperature.

Curly or wiry-haired breeds

Breeds like Poodles or Wire-haired Terriers have curly or coarse wiry hair, which requires specialized grooming techniques. Trimming their paw hair may involve more frequent professional grooming or using specific tools, such as thinning shears, to achieve the desired look.

Additional Care Tips

In addition to trimming your dog’s hair around the paws, there are a few other care tips to consider:

Regular brushing to prevent matting

Regular brushing is crucial in preventing matting and tangles from forming in your dog’s hair. Brushing their entire coat, including the paw hair, will help keep it clean and free of knots.

Trimming nails regularly

Trimming your dog’s nails is essential for their overall health and comfort. Make sure to trim them regularly to avoid overgrowth, and be cautious not to cut the quick (the sensitive area inside the nail).

Cleaning between paw pads

Regularly check and clean between your dog’s paw pads to remove any dirt or debris that may accumulate. Use a damp cloth or pet-friendly wipes to gently cleanse the area and prevent any discomfort or infections.

Seeking Professional Help

While trimming your dog’s hair around the paws is a manageable task for most dog owners, there are situations where professional help may be necessary.

Lack of experience or confidence

If you feel uncomfortable or lack experience in trimming your dog’s hair, it may be best to seek the assistance of a professional groomer. They can guide you through the process and ensure your dog’s safety.

Persistent matting or skin issues

If your dog consistently experiences matting or has underlying skin issues, it is essential to consult with a professional groomer or veterinarian. They can assess the situation and provide appropriate grooming recommendations or treatments.

Behavioral concerns during trimming

If your dog becomes overly anxious, aggressive, or unmanageable during the trimming process, it’s crucial to seek professional help. Professional groomers are experienced in handling difficult dogs and can ensure a safe and stress-free grooming experience.


Trimming your dog’s hair around the paws is an essential part of their grooming routine. It helps maintain cleanliness, prevents matting, and keeps their paws healthy. By following the proper tools, preparations, and techniques, you can ensure a safe and comfortable experience for both you and your furry friend.


Now that you have a comprehensive understanding of how to trim your dog’s hair around the paws, you can confidently embark on this grooming task. Remember to approach it with a friendly and patient demeanor, using positive reinforcement and taking breaks as needed. Your dog will appreciate the care and attention you give to keeping their paws looking and feeling their best. Happy trimming!