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Essential Tips for Trimming Your Dog’s Nails

How important is it to trim my dog’s nails? How often should I do it? Can I do it myself? Yes, there are many questions. So, you are in the right spot to get to know the essential details for trimming your dog’s nails.

This article addresses some of dog owners’ most critical questions about trimming their best friend’s nails. First, just to let you know, trimming your dog’s nails is indeed crucial as it has an impact on your pet´s well-being and health. Hence, let´s begin with the most common to the most insightful answers to your concerns about reducing stress, trimming, and avoiding hurting your dog.

How Important Is It To Take Care of Your Dog’s Nails?

We need to address the reason behind trimming your pet’s nails. Long nails might cause pain to your dog. In addition, they can end up damaging your dog’s feet.

The inner part of the nail is named the quick, which supplies blood to the nail. If a nail grows to the point that it is susceptible to breaking or even tearing off completely, it will cause discomfort to your pet while walking.

Therefore, regular trimming will help the quick to recede slowly, enhancing its well-being. On the other hand, wearing long nails for a prolonged time might cause the dog’s weight to rest partially on the nails, producing foot deformations and injuries.

How To Get Your Dog Used To Nail Trimming?

Trimming your dog shouldn’t be a hassle. However, if your dog is anxious and this is your first day at work, here we compiled some step-by-step recommendations. But first, consider getting your dog to feel accustomed to the clip-clip sound gradually. Then, let your dog smell it every once in a while. Do this without actually cutting any nails. Next, reward your friend with tasty treats after your dog has seen, heard, and smelled the clippers. Finally, the big day arrives, and you can start working on safely trimming your dog’s nails.

How To Trim Your Dog´s Nails in a Safe Manner

It is essential to know when to trim your dog’s nails. You can do this every time you notice it touches the ground. On average, dogs’ nails need to be trimmed every three to four weeks. Lapdogs might require further trimming than those accustomed to walking on pavement.

  1. Take your dog to a quiet, far from distractions area of the house.
  2. For small dogs, you can easily place your pet in your lap, finding a comfortable position to extend the legs and maneuver with your hands, paws, and nails, or in your arms with nail scissors. If you have a large dog, make sure you have someone to help you hold your pet while you do the trimming. If your dog had a prior bad experience and is nervous and aggressive, you might need to use a muzzle before you start.
  3. Gently pick a paw at a time, with your less skillful hand, placing your thumb on a toe’s pad. Meanwhile, use your forefinger to remove the hair covering the nail.
  4. Slightly push the paw down with a backward movement to ensure no hair covers the nail.
  5. Once cleared, clip the tip of the nail straight across, making sure you don’t go further the curve of the nail. You can decide how much you take off from checking the neighbor nail you have already trimmed.
  6. Remember, the inner part named the quick contains blood vessels. Avoid clipping the quick as this might produce pain and bleeding. Also, the back nails need minor trimming off than the front nails.
  7. Remember to give your friend some treats along the process. You can also provide a treat per nail trimmed.

How To Trim Black Nails?

Pigmented nails might become a problem as it is hard to see the quickly. In such circumstances, you can start clipping little by little, trying to identify a white ring surrounding the outer part of the quick. However, if you need help, you can schedule a trimming appointment at a veterinarian clinic.

Is There an Alternative To Clipping Your Dog’s Nails?

You can grind your dog’s nails instead of trimming them. To do so, you can use a Dremel specifically designed to grind your pet’s nails. The good part is that a Dremel gives your dog an elegant touch, and you can safely use it every seven to ten days. A recommendation is to trim your dog’s hair before you start, and while working, move the Dremel constantly as friction might cause uncomfortable warming on the nail.

Trimming your dog with a Dremel helps you get a rounded shape on the edges, making playing with your dog more pleasant and helping you avoid getting all your furniture destroyed.

What Are the Tools I Need for Trimming My Dog’s Nails at Home?

From scissors, and guillotine types to grinders, there are all sorts of trimmers. Feel free to choose the more comfortable one for you and your dog. However, there is something you shouldn’t forget, and that is a whole load of treats and styptic powder (or flour or cornstarch) to help your dog if you cut a little bit on the quick and starts bleeding. Also, if it makes you feel more confident, some brands include a guard to keep you from accidentally cutting the nail too short.

What Should I Do if My Dog Starts Bleeding?

It is not a tool, but it is essential to have styptic powder (or flour or cornstarch) and lots of love for your dog if you cut a little bit more than needed by accident. Keep calm and dip your dog’s bleeding nail into the powder or pour some powder on your fingertip and then apply pressure to the nail; this will help form a clot. If it keeps bleeding, it is time to call a veterinarian for further instructions.

In an emergency, you can also visit Central Orange County Emergency Animal Hospital. COCEAH is an Emergency Animal Hospital opening 24 hours on Holidays and Friday from 6:00 pm through Monday 8:00. We also serve you and your pet from Monday to Thursday from 06:00 pm to 08:00 pm. COCEAH is the premier emergency veterinary center serving pet owners and primary-care veterinarians in Newport.

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Young Joo Kim, DVM, MS

Young Joo Kim, DVM, MS

Dr. Kim received his DVM degree from Seoul National University, College of Veterinary Medicine, one of the most prestigious schools in South Korea. He also earned a M.S. degree from the same school in Veterinary Anatomy and Histology.

Biography >>
Young Joo Kim, DVM, MS

Young Joo Kim, DVM, MS

Dr. Kim received his DVM degree from Seoul National University, College of Veterinary Medicine, one of the most prestigious schools in South Korea. He also earned a M.S. degree from the same school in Veterinary Anatomy and Histology.

Biography >>