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Should You Cut Your Pet's Nails or Get a Professional?

Posted by Awesome Doggies

Wondering if you can trim your dog's or cat's nails at home? The answer is, "yes" you can do this -- if you have time, don't mind taking the time to perform the chore, and will learn to do it properly.  You can also have a vet or pet groomer do it for you. Your pet's paws are just as important to them as your feet are to you --  they stand on them all day long, and all of their body weight is supported on them. So it's important to keep their paws and claws in good shape. Here's a quick primer on how to trim your dog's nails yourself. If you will do the job yourself, that's probably best, but if you won't keep up with it, then be sure to have your pet see a professional, rather than avoiding the task altogether.

Do It Yourself Pet Nail Trims

There are several reasons that pet owners choose to cut their pet's nails at home. Probably the most cited reason is cost. As with most things, doing doing the job yourself is more economical than hiring somebody else. Check out our article in the GSDBA Connection's magazine giving tips on how to trim dog nails yourself.

Comfort for your pets is another reason to do this at home. Your pets know you best. They're apt to be most comfortable when you trim their nails. If your dog or cat is skittish around other animals or people, you're better off keeping them at home.

Convenience might be one of the best reasons to trim your dog or cat's claws at home. The time involved in an appointment with either a vet's office or a professional pet groomer doesn't make a lot of sense, unless you can combine a nail trim with other professional services that your pet also needs.

Using A Pet Groomer or Vet

Using a groomer is a great way to go if you don't have the time or are too squeamish to do the job yourself. Groomers are trained to deal with all types of dogs and cats. Even animals that are skittish and those that do outright battle to avoid having their nails trimmed can generally be handled by a professional pet groomer. Many owners have accidentally caused their pet pain by cutting the nails too short. When this happens, you learn the hard way that the nail quick has blood rich veins. If cut too short, nails will bleed. Although pets are prone to moving at just the wrong time, groomers are well trained to take precautionary measures, and have the best chance of avoiding clipping into the quick.

Active animals can be hard for the pet owner to handle when trying to trim the nails. Even two people might not be enough to hold a wiggly dog or cat. Groomers have purpose-made tables with leashes and safe restraint systems, and are familiar with techniques to calm an excited or fearful dog. Groomers will also work with you over time to get a fearful dog over his issues and cooperating with nail trims again. At Awesome Doggies, this is one of our specialties.

It's rare to need to see a vet for sedation to aid a nail trim, but in extreme cases or if the nails have gotten so long they are growing into the pads, a vet visit will be necessary.  Most vet offices are also happy to do routine nail trims, and if you have another reason to visit the vet, by all means ask to have the nails checked and trimmed if necessary while you are there. It just takes a minute.

Using a professional can be a great way to go if you don't have the time or inclination to take care of nail trimming yourself.

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