Dog nail care is critical to the animal’s well-being and overall quality of life. If a pet’s nails get too long, this can cause them to have trouble walking or standing. Over time, it can also cause damage to their hips and joints because they are not walking properly. All pet owners should have some understanding of the process of trimming the pet’s nails in a safe manner ? and hopefully without frustrating the pet, too.
Understand the Importance of Dog Nail Care
Most people don’t like the process of trimming dog nails and with good reason. Most pets don’t like it either. And, that often leads to frustration on both ends. Yet, it is critical to trim the animal’s nails properly and routinely.
First, consider if the pet’s nails need to be trimmed. If the animal spends most of his or her time outdoors or walking on concrete or other hard surfaces, the nails will file down naturally. Most pets don’t spend much time on these types of surfaces (and that’s a good thing). If a pet’s nails are loud when he or she walks, that is a good indication that the animal needs its nails trimmed. It is best if the pet’s nails do not constantly touch the ground.
Providing proper dog nail care isn’t just to help your pet look good or cut the sound out when he or she is walking through the home. It’s also good for their health:
- When a pets nails are long, he or she cannot balance properly while walking. This causes uneven weight distribution. And, that leads to difficult with spinal alignment.
- It isn’t comfortable for the animal to walk with long nails. Over time, it can become painful.
- Longer nails can dig into the animal’s foot pads. When this happens, it can cause a dangerous infection that can be life-threatening to the pet.
- The nails will begin to turn inward. This curve is even more painful for the pet. And, just touching the nail or the paw can be painful for the animal.
You know it is important, so how do you properly trim them, then? Here’s what you need to know.
Gather the Right Tools
Don’t use a pair of scissors. Obtain a dog nail trimming kit or grooming clippers for pets. This is important because it will provide the animal with the proper type of cut. It’s not necessarily expensive to buy, but it does make the process of trimming the animal’s nails easier on both of you. Choose appropriately sized clippers. Smaller versions are easier for you to control, but shouldn’t be used on larger dogs because they may not create the right, straight cut.
Understand the Canine Toenail Quick
One of the most important components of dog nail care is avoiding the quick. Within the dog’s nail is a nerve. This nerve and the vein with it is called the quick. It is very easy to cut this, and that’s not good. Nicking it with the chippers will cause pain and bleeding. Your goal is to avoid this. If you do cut it, you’ll need to cleanse the area properly and use powders that can help to stop the bleeding. Cornstarch can work to stop the bleeding, too.
Look for the short, pink line that runs through the pet’s nails. Your goal is to trim the nail just under this. It can be somewhat of a struggle, so be prepared with the proper products to cleanse the nails should it happen.
Tips for Nail Cutting Success
And 10 minutes later, #nevapup is a little more comfortable with the clippers. She isn’t happy about them – I can see her pressing the claws of her other paw down into the rug when I bring the clippers, but she isn’t running off or pulling her paw away – so, progress? She’s also noticeably less stressed now that she knows what the heck I’m doing. We will practice this daily for as long as it takes (several weeks?) until we can clip and file her nails. Oh puppy! [part 2/2] #dogtraining #coloradomountaindog #blacklab #labradorretriever #labsofinstagram #treatincentive #dognailclipping #evilnailclippers
Here’s the process to follow for each nail:
- Be sure your pet is comfortable with you touching his or her paw. Hold their paw often to get them to this point.
- Be sure your clippers are sharp and ready to go. Don?t worry about the mess.
- Hold the pet’s paw firmly but without squeezing. Then, cut the nail below the quick at a 45-degree angle. Some clippers provide a guide on them to get the right angle.
- Trim a small amount at a time. Trim until you see the white inside the nail has a black dot on it.
- Take a small amount off at a time, and go slow.
Learn how to properly trim your dog?s nails in this video from ZimmVet:
Though it may be frustrating and even hard to do the first time, trimming a dog’s nails gets easier with the more practice you get. Dog nail care can be done at a groomer or your vet, too, but doing it at home may help your pet to relax and be more comfortable.
Do you have some dog nail care tips to share? Please let us know your thoughts by leaving your comments below.