How to Clip Dog Nails
Keeping your dog happy and healthy every day goes beyond food and exercise. It’s about the family making a loving effort to help take care of your dog, right down to the finest details. Take nail trimming for example. Like fingernails, a dog’s toenails keep growing, and if left untrimmed, they can be uncomfortable for the dog, and for your family.
Your veterinarian can give you an idea of when it’s a good time to trim your dog’s nails. In fact, one option is to let your veterinarian or groomer take care of it. If you decide to do it yourself, you may want to have your veterinarian or groomer show you the proper technique for the sake of your dog’s comfort.
Tips to Get you Started
• Start preparing your dog or puppy for this part of the grooming routine when you bring him home. Massage his feet and look at his nails, and offer praise when he’s still. Expose him to the nail trimmers without actually trimming his nails. These experiences may help reduce your dog’s fears of getting his nails trimmed.
• For some dogs it may take two people to get the job done. One person can hold the dog or distract him by, ear scratches or petting while the other person handles the actual trimming.
• Have your veterinarian, groomer or other pet professional recommend an appropriate nail clipper.
• Buy some styptic powder where you purchase your pet supplies, just in case you cut a nail a little too short and it causes bleeding.
• Gently hold and squeeze your dog’s paw, which will help extend the nail. Find the “quick” by looking for the pink line coming from the base of the nail if your dog has clear nails. The quick is a vein in the nail that feeds the nail bed. Do not cut this!
• On darker nails, it can be more difficult to detect where the quick begins. If your dog has darker nails, make sure you get appropriate instruction before you clip.
• Wait until your dog is still before you make a cut.
• Start conservatively. It’s better to cut a little twice than cut too much and hit the quick.
• If you cut a nail and it bleeds, immediately apply some styptic powder and a small amount of pressure to the end of the nail.
• Praise your dog for holding still and being a trooper.
Keep Nails Shorter Naturally
One benefit to regular exercise, particularly if you and your family walk your dog on a sidewalk, is that the action of walking helps keep the nails trimmed as they brush against concrete. This doesn’t mean you don’t have to worry about nail trimming, but you may be able to go longer between trims.
If you have kids, it might be nice to have them trim their nails while your dog is getting his done. It can help create bonding and comfort for both parties. Either way, grooming your dog is a family affair, and should always be enjoyed as