How to Find Your Dog’s Nail Quick

From their shape to their color, dogs’ nails look vastly different from our own. It can be quite a challenge to determine how much of your dog’s nail you should trim, especially because clipping too far can cause discomfort or bleeding. Luckily, we’re here to help you identify your dog’s “quick,” or the part of the nail that you should not cut while trimming.

Follow these tips for finding your dog’s nail quick!

What is a Dog’s Quick?

The “quick” is a soft cuticle that contains the blood vessel and nerves that run through your dog’s nail. Mainly located above the nail curve, this vascular structure provides nourishment to your dog’s nails, which allows them to grow and feel certain sensations. If you nick the quick while trimming, it can be painful for your dog and typically causes bleeding.

If bleeding does occur, stop trimming. We recommend applying pet styptic powder or styptic gel to the affected area to instantly control bleeding.

Dog nail quick diagram

How to Find the Quick on Dog Nails

If your furry friend has light-colored nails, finding the quick is relatively easy. First, gently hold your dog’s paw in your hand. While looking down at your dog’s semi-transparent nails, locate the pink region in the center of each nail. This pink area showing through the outside of the nail is the quick. It’s that simple!

How to Find the Quick on Black Dog Nails

Locating the quick on black dog nails is a bit more difficult than it is on light-colored dog nails. From a top view, it is virtually impossible to see the quick. However, it can help to look at the bottom of your dog’s black nails; there may be a groove on the underside that separates the hard nail from the soft cuticle. You will want to avoid trimming into the soft cuticle because it contains your dog’s nail quick.

Another option is to shine a light, such as a small flashlight or cell phone light, on your dog’s paws to help identify where the quick is located.


➔ RELATED: How to Trim Your Dog’s Nails

How to Recede Your Dog’s Nail Quick

If your dog’s nails are extremely long, trim a small amount and wait one week before trimming again to allow the quick to recede. You should then repeat weekly until their nails are the appropriate length.

Nailed It!

Even the most experienced pet parents know that dog grooming can be an obstacle. Whether it’s taken care of by you, your veterinarian, or a professional groomer, regular nail trimming is important for providing your furry friend traction and avoiding uncomfortable walking and running.

If you choose to trim your dog’s nails yourself, we hope this information helps you successfully find your dog’s nail quick and increases your confidence as you care for your best friend!