How to cut your dogs nails


How to cut your dog’s nails? Your dog’s nails have to be clipped at least once every week. Except if your dog is always running or walking on a hard surface, then this will keep the nails nice and short. Read our article here on walking your dog safely. Whenever you begin to hear the click or tap of your dog’s nails on hard surfaces such as wooden floors or tiles then know that the time has come for you to cut them down. Read further to learn how to cut your dog’s nails.

How to cut your dogs nails
Perfectly trimmed nails

Not all dogs love it when you trim or cut their nails, so this might not be an enjoyable activity for both you and your dog. But, when you begin to cut your dog’s nails when they are still a puppy, it will help your dog get used to the experience, the noise, the feeling, all become part and parcel of a process they will enjoy or at least put up with, with minimal fuss.

Trimming or cutting the nails of your dog is a very vital aspect of grooming as it contributes to their health and wellbeing. If you do not trim the nails of your dog, this can lead to health problems down the line. In this article, we will talk about the important reasons why you should always cut/trim your dog’s nails, and we’ll also let you know how to go about this important task.

How to take care of your dog’s nails

There are some dogs that often play around on hard surfaces like concrete and tarmac. These dogs always have their nails worn down because of the hard surfaces that they are always running on.

But, many other dogs are not like this. Most of them play around on grassy environments and also spend a lot of time indoors. For these kinds of dogs, the tips of their nails will keep growing longer if they are not clipped by the owner.

When the nails of a dog are too long, then there is every tendency that the nails will tear off. The injury can be caused by a piece of furniture, carpeting, toys or any other thing where the nails can be caught.

Sometimes, the kind of injury that may occur might require the help of a veterinary doctor. Another disadvantage of a dog having long nails is that the dog will not be able to move around comfortably. And no one wants to see their dog in discomfort.

When a dog with long nails is walking, the toenails will constantly be hitting the floor, making more pressure to be on the bed of the nail. With this kind of pressure, the dog will never be comfortable and this will make the weight distribution of the dog to be different while walking, and this will affect the alignment of their paw joints and toes. Now, let us proceed to the tips on how to cut your dog’s nails.

In case you are finding difficulty in trimming the nails of your dog, these tips will lead you in the right direction.

Dog nails trimming/cutting tips

The nail and the quick are what make up the toenails of your dog. If the quick is visible, you will see it in the form of pink color. This is the part that aids the supply of blood to the dog’s nail. While cutting your dog’s nails, avoid getting up to the quick because it is sensitive and if it is being cut, it will bleed.

It is not compulsory that you cut all the nails at once. You can decide to cut them one at a time and also engage in other activities or you can stop after you have trimmed one paw and continue later.

If your dog is always irritated while you cut their nails, then you have work to do. Make sure that your dog always feels comfortable whenever you do this. This will enable them to easily and quickly get used to it. To help them get used to this, the first thing you have to do is to gradually introduce them to the equipment you use in trimming the nails. such as the clippers, and make her get familiar with their paws being handled.

Always offer your dog amazing treats, rewards, and praise. I find tiny bits of cheese work wonders. This allows the dog to have a positive view of the trimming exercise. With these, your dog will never get nervous whenever you want to clip nails.

How to cut your dogs nails
An example of overgrown dog nails.

Your clipper should be held at a 45° angle when cutting the nails of your dog. As we have initially mentioned, you need to be extremely careful while trimming the nails so as not to cut the quick. The quick has a vein, so if it is cut, it will bleed A lot. If the nails of your dog are white, you have to be mindful of the quick which will be pink. Stop trimming when you get close to it.

But, if their nails are black, always watch out for the whitish interior. As you cut, you will see the whitish interior. As soon as you stop seeing it, then you have to stop cutting. To trim your dog’s nails with ease, follow the following three simple steps.

What to do

Before you start cutting or trimming, make sure that the foot of your dog is steady in your hand. But, try as much as possible to be gentle while holding it.

The next thing you need to do is to snip off the end part of every toenail. But just a small bit of the nail. To do this, make use of either a scissors-type clipper or guillotine. Place the small tip of your dog’s nail on the clipper, then snip it carefully. If you are snipping and you start feeling a spongy part. Stop immediately! You have just cut the quick.

Always Be quick to stop your dog from bleeding. If you mistakenly cut the quick of the dog’s nail, your dog will not be happy and the nail will almost always bleed. and bleed a lot. So when you cut it, use a cauterizer immediately.

A cauterizer is what stops the quick from bleeding by heating up the wounded area. You can also decide to apply styptic powder on the injury with the use of a clean cotton swab. As you cut the nails of your dog, make sure that you always have a moderately wet washcloth ready by your side so that you can always lay your hand on it when you want to clean blood. And, the styptic powder when necessary.

When you cut the quick, it can be a very painful and unpleasant experience for the dog. This is why you should be very careful while cutting the nails of your dog.

How will I know when to cut my dog’s nails and how often should I do that?

The ideal time to cut your dog’s nails is when they have gotten long and are already reaching the floor. You can use your eyes to always check the nails or just listen to the clicks of the nails as your dog walks around.

What do you need to cut a dogs nails

Firstly you must use the correct nail clippers. Alternatively, you can use a grinding tool that is readily available. These will grind the nail down and don’t involve pressure on the nail witch some dogs can associate with pain or discomfort.

Treats, some trainers believe that you shouldn’t “bribe” your dog. It’s not bribing. Dogs learn by association. So If they receive a treat for cutting their nails then it becomes a process they will do because they know food is on its way.

Also, use an antibacterial cream or antiseptic if you do cut the nail. Apply some cotton wool to soak up the blood then wrap with bandage tape. Leave to heal, and check every day to make sure.

I hope this guide on how to cut your dog’s nails has been very helpful. Now you can cut your dog’s nails all by yourself and keep them healthy and happy.

Check out this video on the correct form for clipping your dogs nails.

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