Your Morkie’s nails must be kept short – for health’s sake. Here’s how to cut dog nails, easily and safely.

Pick the right clippers

Your dog’s size dictates which type of clippers to use. The wrong kind, or clippers that are too large, will crush your little dog’s nails.

A. Guillotine – the dog’s toenail goes into a hole between blades. This one is for medium size dogs. It is not recommended for Morkies, since it can crush their small nail instead of cutting it.

B. Scissor-type clippers are ideal for small dogs like Morkies. Keep them as sharp as possible. Read the directions on the package carefully. And if you’re not clear on technique, check on YouTube for more help.

C. Heavy duty clippers work on large dogs with strong, resistant nails. Similar to pliers. Not for Morkies.


how to cut dogs nails the tools

Scissor type dog clippers are available in any pet store, or online at Amazon. Pick ones for small size dogs / pets, like these. You can expect to pay about $10.00

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Take it slow for your Morkie’s sake

Get him used to you handling his feet, having them touched and manipulated. If he’s not comfortable, you might want to work on that and in the meantime, get his nails cut at your Vet’s by the technician, or at your local grooming parlour.

(Remember, if you’re cutting your Morkie’s nails yourself, you don’t have to cut all four feet at once.)

Still bleeding?

If your dog’s nail is still bleeding after 5 to 10 minutes, or is really spurting, call your Vet right away.

Oh no! I’ve cut the quick!

Don’t panic – there can be lots of blood and it could really hurt your Morkie.

So before you begin, have Styptic powder handy, or plain cornstarch. If you nick the nail’s quick, put your dog’s paw into the powder/cornstarch. It will help stop the bleeding.


Styptic powder to help stop bleeding quickly.

Styptic powder to help stop bleeding quickly.

Don’t forget the dewclaws

dogs dewclawsDewclaws are extra toes, partway up your dog’s legs. They don’t serve any purpose, and don’t get worn down since they never touch the ground.

Most dogs have dewclaws on their front legs only, although some have them on the rear legs too. If your dog doesn’t have dewclaws on his front legs, he had them surgically removed as a puppy.  (Removing them is controversial; supporters say it prevents ugly accidents where the dewclaw can be torn off. Opponents claim it’s a cruel practice.)

For dogs that still have their dewclaws, it’s crucial that you keep them as comfortably trimmed as other claws. Otherwise they can grow right back into the dog’s leg~

An untrimmed dewclaw can be incredibly sharp and much more likely to hook on something. If it does get hooked, it can easily catch on something and tear. If this happens, it’s just as painful as a person having a fingernail torn out, and can will be sensitive throughout a long healing process.

How long should your Morkie’s nails be?

If you can hear your Morkie’s nails clicking on the floor – they’re too long.

OK Let's do it! How to cut dogs nails

Hold the clippers at a right angle to the nail, with the tip of the nail between the blades. Firmly squeeze the handles to close the scissors and cut the nail. Knowing exactly where to trim takes skill. If your dog has clear nails, you can see the live quick, which looks pink. Cut the nail no closer than about 3 millimetres from the quick. If your dog’s nails are black, take a close look and find the curve in the nail. That’s where the quick ends. So again, you can cut about 3 millimetres below that. (3 millimetres = 1/8″)
If your Morkie has dark nails, you might prefer to trim one little sliver of nail at a time, starting with the tip. As you cut slices off, look at the exposed edge of the cut nail. Eventually, you’ll see a grey or pink oval starting to appear. Stop trimming as soon as you see the oval. If you don’t, you’ll cut into the quick, causing pain, bleeding and lots of drama.

Watch this helpful video on cutting dogs nails




  • Be sure and cut at a 45 degree angle
  • Start with the hind legs –  they’re usually less sensitive
  • Get someone to help you keep your dog still if necessary
  • Don’t forget plenty of praise for your pup throughout the process

Can dogs wear nail polish?

Sure, if it’s made for dogs.

You want a pet-safe polish, and there is such a thing. It’s made from all-natural ingredients that won’t harm your dog if she happens to lick or chew her nails.

Most nail polishes for dogs contain seaweed, aloe, green tea extracts and vitamin E, all of which are harmless. In fact, these ingredients can be beneficial to your dog’s nails. Our own polish contains far too many toxins and is too harsh to be safe.

Like people polish, the doggy versions come in a wide range of colours, including OPI Pawlish and Juicy Crittoure.