Trimming Light Colored Nails:
Light colored nails are the easiest to trim simply for the fact that you can see the quick.
The "quick" is the blood vessel that runs through the toenail. It stops part of the way down the nail. The rest of the nail is hollow. (This is where you cut.) With light colored nails you can see a pinkish or purplish tint that stops part of the way down the nail. This is the quick.
Cut just in front of this and you'll be fine! Make sure to stay about an 1/8th of an inch in front of the quick to avoid pinching, or sensitivity. All done! Make sure to reward your pooch with a treat because for many dogs nail trimming is not a happy experience.
Trimming Dark Nails:
Trimming dark colored nails can be a bit of a challenge. Especially when you can't see the quick at a glance. To make sure you don't cut down too far, turn the paw over and look at the back of the nail. There will be a groove in the nail. Where this groove stops is where the quicks begins. To avoid pinching or sensitivity, trim about an 1/8th of an inch before the quick.
If you happen to cut the quick, use stippling powder to stop the bleeding. If you have powdered corn starch on hand, this is great to stop nail bleeding as well. Try to avoid cutting the quick as much as possible because it hurts the dog and could pose a risk for infection.
Alternatives To Nail Clipping:
Actually, to go to a groomer for clipping the cost is pretty inexpensive, about 10 dollars. However, there are pet nail sanding devices made to sand your pet's nails down in a few seconds. These can be somewhat pricey, but once you own one it can save you trips to the vet or groomers.