San Diego Mobile Pet Grooming Blog
How to Trim Dog Nails
Making sure that your dog's nails are trimmed properly is an important part of dog ownership. If nails become too long it can be difficult, painful, and even dangerous to your pet. As important as it is to trim nails, it is not always an easy task, and many dogs do not like the process. This can cause many pet owners to put off the job, or to become very nervous while clipping. Follow these steps and you can be successful in getting the job done-- without much worry on your part, or distress for your dog.
1. Get your dog used to having their paws handled. Start by holding each paw as if you would be trimming the nails and tapping each nail with a trimmer or metal spoon. Be sure to praise and offer plenty of treats during the process. Do this frequently, even after your pet is used to having a pedicure.
2. Choose a time when your dog is most relaxed for trimming, such as after a a long walk or extended time of exercise.
3. Have your tools and supplies ready. You will need a nail trimmer, styptic powder, and plenty of treats.
4. Place your dog in a comfortable position, but one that gives you control of their movement. Some place the dog on a table and lean on the dog to apply a small amount of pressure. Others sit on the floor and place the dog in their lap. The important thing is to have some control of movement and a good line of sight to the paw as you work. In some cases, you may need an assistant to help in restraining the dog.
5. Next, hold the paw firmly in your hand with your thumb on the underside of the paw on the pad and pointer finger above, holding the nail to be cut firmly so it is stable. Grasp the nail trimmer in your other hand.
6. Locate the nail's quick. On clear or light colored nails you can see the quick easily. It looks like a pink tube inside the nail's center center. With black and dark nails, you can't see the quick so you just have to be careful not to cut too much of the nail. If you cut into the quick, it hurts, just like clipping your own nails too short.
7. Begin by tipping the nails, or cutting off the tip at a 45 degree angle. Tipping the nails will cause the quick to recede a bit each time and make cutting the nails later, easier and safer for your dog.
8. File the clipped nail until smooth.
If you accidentally cut the quick, use the styptic powder to stop the bleeding. Even without the powder, the bleeding should stop within 5 minutes.
Not everyone is comfortable cutting their dog's nails and not every dog makes the job easy. If you are worried that you can't cut the nail properly, don't worry- just call in the professionals. Dogs with darker nails, or people who are unsure of the process often need the assurance of a skilled groomer to get the job done swiftly and safely. For more tips, or to schedule a grooming, call Awesome Doggies today, or check out our previous blog posts.
For even more information, check out some of our past blog posts along with these websites!
Trimming Your Dog's Nails l ASPCA
How to Trim Your Dog's Nails l Dog Grooming Tips Revealed
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