Cutting your dog’s nails is a very important part of their grooming. So much so that neglecting it can actually lead to a reduction in traction, arthritis, chronic pain, and other uncomfortable – and unnecessary – feelings.
To keep up on your pup’s nail trimming, you could visit the groomer or the vet on a monthly basis and allow them to take care of this important part of pet care. But, trimming your dog’s nails at home can be a rather easy part of your routine once you know how to do it.
So, let’s talk about how to trim dog nails safely.
Purchase the Right Trimmers
There are a few different types of nail trimmers available for dogs, with the two most common being a scissors type and a guillotine type. Both trimmers effectively work to cut your dog’s nails, though the guillotine-type nail trimmers tend to be easier for handling this task – especially if you are new to doing so.
When you make this purchase, be sure you are investing in a quality pair of nail trimmers. This will make the experience much easier for you and your pup.
Get Your Dog Comfortable
First and foremost, you never want to just grab your pup’s paw and start cutting. This is an easy way to startle your pup – and can lead to injury. If this happens, having your dog sit through future nail trimming may be a struggle.
The best way to get your dog comfortable is to introduce the nail clippers slowly and calmly – without cutting. Let your pet sniff them and get familiar with them. Hold his paws frequently just because so that he becomes comfortable with you doing so. Doing this will make holding his paw and trimming the nails less of a shock when the time comes.
The Nail Trimming
Make sure your dog is relaxed and give him praise. Then, hold your dog’s paw. You want to firmly have a grip, but you don’t want to squeeze as you could hurt the toes. It may help to lean over your pet to keep him still while doing this.
With your nail trimmers, cut the nail below the quick at a 45-degree angle. If your nail trimmers have a guide, you know that you can easily – and safely – cut up to that point without causing injury. If you do not have a guide, then avoid cutting behind the natural curve of their nail. If it makes you feel more at ease, just move up the nail in small bits with each trim.
Once you do this a couple of times you will begin to get more comfortable with the process.
Dog Nail Trimming: Tips and Tricks
It is possible to cut too much of your dog’s nail – and you will know when you have. The nail will bleed and this can be very painful for your pet. Never cut too close to the pink area of the nail known as the quick. If your dog has black nails, be sure to cut just a little bit at a time. When you see chalky white edges with a black dot in the middle, stop.
And don’t forget these tips and tricks:
- Do your nail trimming in a well-lit room – or outside on a sunny day.
- Bring treats to reward your dog before, during, and after so they associate it with a positive experience
- Do not squeeze their toes as you trim
- If there is hair around the nail, use scissors to trim this away before trimming the nail
- Consider having help from another person to hold your pup still, if needed
The more effort you put in to make nail trimming a fun experience with quality time together, the less fearful your dog will be. And that makes nail trimming so much easier for everyone.
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