Nail trimming is one of the most important parts of any Cavapoo’s grooming routine. Unfortunately, it also tends to be the most anxiety-provoking, and often ends with a yelp and a sprint under the nearest table.
But nail trimming doesn’t have to end in disaster for you and your Cavapoo. Here, we’ll walk you through all you need to know to keep your dog’s nails in great condition. They may never love getting their nails trimmed, but they will learn to tolerate it, making your job much easier.
You won’t need much to get the job done—just a good pair of trimmers and some styptic powder in case you cut too deep and cause a bleed. You may also want some paper towels or pads.
One of the most important parts of a successful nail trimming is to keeping your dog comfortable. Try to pick a place where your dog is relaxed. Since Cavapoos are fairly small, you may be able to hold your dog in your lap as you trim their nails. And make sure have good lighting. You may also want to have someone else with you as you trim, to help keep your dog calm and prevent them from moving around.
Find the quick of your dog’s nails. Do this by pushing back the pad on their paws. You should see a pink area, which is the place where the quick usually ends. Make sure you stop trimming well before this point, or you could cut into their nerves or blood supply.
Make sure you are using a nail trimmer that is designed nails the size of your Cavapoo’s. If they are too small and you won’t be able to get them around the nail, and if they are too big you’ll risk cutting off too much nail.
Cut at an angle so that the nails still maintain their shape. It is important that you take your time, cutting off small pieces of nail bit by bit. This may take a while, but it will reduce the chances that you cut the quick and cause a bleed. It also makes keeping the nails shape easier.
Once you begin to see a black dot appear in the middle of the nail, stop trimming- this is the quick. Over repeated trimmings, the quick usually begins to sink further into the nail, which means you will be able to cut the nails shorter.
If your Cavapoo has long tails, trimming may splinter them. In that case, take a file and slowly work your way up from the base of the nail, smoothing any rough surfaces. Don’t file the nail down too much, as you could cause discomfort and make them too sharp.
Trimming can be a time consuming process. But it’s much better to take your time than to try to rush it. Consider taking breaks between paws. Give your Cavapoo a treat and comfort them, and allow them to run around a bit before you continue trimming.
When you’re first starting, you may also consider doing one paw per day. This will allow your dog to get used to the process. The worst thing you can do is try to push it, make your dog anxious, and cause a bleed.
Bleeds will happen when you are trimming your Cavapoo’s nails. Even the most cautious owner is going to eventually cut the quick. In most cases, this isn’t too much of a cause for concern. Just make sure you have some styptic powder on hand to stop the bleeding. If the bleeding doesn’t stop, try to keep the paw bandaged and prevent your dog from running around too much. Let them rest and the cut should heal quickly.
And if you do cause a bleed, take a break or wait until the next day to begin trimming again. If you try to finish trimming, your dog will likely be anxious, increasing the chances that they move around and that you cause another bleed.
One of the biggest reasons owners end up causing bleeds is that they let the nails grow out too long. As the nail grows, the quick does too, and you’re at greater risk of causing a bleed when you trim your dog’s nails. And with long nails, owners are often tempted to cut off large pieces at once, which increases the risk of a bleed.
The best way to make trimming easy is to do it often. Try to trim your Cavapoo’s nails at least once a week. This may seem like a lot, but remember, these trimmings are meant to be small. You’re not taking large chunks of nail off, but removing a few bits at a time to maintain the shape of the nails and keep them from growing too long.
Make sure that you trim your Cavapoo’s nails so that they don’t touch the floor. This will not only protect your floors, but help prevent your dog’s nails from cracking.
Some dogs really do not like having their nails trimmed. In these cases, you may have to work your way up slowly to a fully trimming. Begin by simply grabbing their paw and pulling back the quick. Hold it for a while, then let them go, maybe giving them a treat. Then, trim just one nail, slowly working your way up to a paw. By giving your dog time to adjust, they’ll come to see that nail trimmings don’t have to be a source of distress.
A proper nail trimming is just one part of a healthy grooming routine for your Cavapoo. But it goes a long way to ensuring that they can run around and play without any pain.