The Art Of Trimming Your Dogs Nails

The Art Of Trimming Your Dogs Nails

So you’ve just returned home from a long day’s work and as you open the front door, your dog jumps on you! Lo and behold, you feel sharp pains on your leg. Ouch! Ouch! Ouch! There it goes … red nail marks all over your legs again. This means that it’s time to trim you dog’s nails.

It is very important to trim your dog’s nails. It should be done every 3-4 weeks. One reason is that the growing nails may curl inwards into its foot pads and hurt your dog. This may eventually lead to sores and infection. Another danger of not trimming your dog’s nails is that the nails might hook onto certain surfaces in the house such as curtains, delicate furniture and etc. Not only will your possessions be destroyed, the force of impact may also rip off your dog’s claws and cause it much pain and bleeding.

Below are some guidelines to follow to trimming your dog’s nails.

1. Equipment

Before you begin trimming, you need the proper equipment. The normal kitchen scissors or human nail clippers are not the ideal tools for getting this job done. Below are two common trimmers used by dog groomers and owners alike.

• Guillotine Style Clipper

This trimmer is the favorite among beginners as they are easier to use. They are ideal for small to medium nails, but not so for tiny or large nails.

• Guillotine Style Clipper

This trimmer is the first choice for professionals. They have a similar concept to the scissors, but with more force. They come in various sizes for the different nail sizes.

2. Knowing Your Dog’s Nails

Knowing the anatomy of your dog’s nails is very important so as not to harm the dog’s nails. Take a look at the below diagram.

A dog’s nail consists of an outer shell which is the safe zone for cutting. Moving down the nail, you’ll get to what is referred to as the “quick”. The quick consists of the dog’s nerve and blood vessels. Hence, the dog will bleed and be in pain if we cut it.

3. Trimming The Nails

Before you start any trimming, location is very important. Choose a comfortable place so as not to stress the dog unnecessarily. The easiest position to cut the nails is to have the dog sit down, relax and let you do anything to his legs. However, if your dog keeps moving, then a better position will be to let it sit on the table and you lean over them so that you can use your body weight to hold them steady if necessary.

Now that you are in a good position, hold the trimmer with your dominant hand, grasp your dog’s paws with your other hand and apply a little pressure to it. For better control of the trimming, place your thumb on the bottom of the foot pad and your fingers on the top of the foot near the nail bed. Line the blade in line with the imaginary cutting line (as seen in the diagram), and with one motion, squeeze the handle of the trimmer to cut the nails. This method of one quick cut should only be done if your dog’s nails are white color or slightly transparent where you can see the location of the nerves and blood vessels clearly.

However, if they are darker nails which make it very hard to see the quick, then the approach to take should be to cut a little by little up the nail. Halfway through if you’re unsure whether you’re too near to the quick then we suggest that you stop and let it be.

Remember to give your dog a treat after you cut a few nails so as to reward or distract him. In that way, it will be less afraid of the next session.

4. Some Useful Tips

So what do you do if you are cutting the nails halfway and your dogs begins to yelp and blood starts to flow out from the nails?

Firstly, do not panic. Get some styptic powder. If you do not have that, then corn starch or flour from your kitchen is fine too. It’s not that effective as styptic powder, but it’ll do the job. Wipe away the blood first with cotton ball, tissue or paper towel first. Then apply some powder on the tip of the nails that you’ve just cut. The pain is just temporary and your dog will be able to walk normally, so you don’t have to worry about that..

Do not attempt to cut your dog’s nails if he/she is moving a lot, as it is very dangerous. If your dog just won’t sit still, then we suggest that it is best you bring it to the professional groomers. Let the experts handle it.

Doggy Care

Latest Posts