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How To Trim Your Dog’s Nails with Less Headache

How To Trim Your Dog’s Nails with Less Headache

Most dog owners have had an unpleasant experience trying to trim their pup’s nails.

It can be an excruciating process if done poorly, and one that your dog may not forget. Many owners may figure that it’s just not worth the trouble and pain it causes their dog.

However, proper nail trimming is crucial to a dog’s overall health. If you never trim your dog’s nails, they may break, causing immense pain and discomfort for your pup. The nails may also start to grow back into the dog’s paws, which can make walking difficult, affecting mobility.

Fortunately, nail trimming doesn’t have to be a nightmare. If done right, it can be be a relatively painless process, both for you and your pup.

Here, we’ll show you how to properly and safely trim your dog’s nails. Your dog may never love it, but if done right, they won’t run away every time you break out the clippers.

Getting Ready To Trim Nails

The first thing you’ll need is a great pair of clippers. These tools aren’t expensive, but you should opt for a pair that is well made. You’ll also want styptic powder or pads, in case there is any bleeding throughout the process.

Try to pick a place where your dog feels calm. Depending on the size of your dog, you may choose to sit on the floor, put them in your lap, or lay them down on a table. It may be easier if you have some assistance as well, to keep your dog still and calm. And make sure you have plenty of treats on hand to keep your pup calm and reward them for their patience.

Once your pup is well situated, push up their foot pad to reach the nails. You’ll want to locate where the quick ends. This is where the nerves and blood supply begin, and where you can begin to do some serious damage to your dog if you’re not careful. The area where the quick ends is usually pink colored.

Make Sure Your Trimmer Is For Dogs

You’ll want to use a trimmer that’s designed for dogs, and preferably for the right sized dog. Trim at around a 45 degree angle, pointing toward your dog’s paw. You may be tempted to get it over with by using one big cut for each nail.

But this is ill-advised, especially when you are first getting used to trimming your dog’s nails. Instead, try to make as many small cuts as possible, slowly working your way down the nail. This will give the nail a better shape, as well as protecting the nerves in the paw.

Keep an eye out for a black dot in the center of the nail. This is the quick, and once it’s visible, you should stop trimming, otherwise you may cut a nerve or blood vessel.

File Away

With many nails, especially long, brittle ones, trimming can cause cracks. If so, you may want to use a nail file. Slowly work your way along the nail, starting at the base, smoothing the surface.

You may have to repeat the process a few times to get a smooth nail.

Take Your Time

Nail trimming can be stressful for your dog, and they may get anxious. You may be in a rush to get it over with, but this will just increase the chance that you accidentally clip a nerve or cause a bleed. Take it a nail at a time, giving your pup treats throughout. The calmer they are, the easier it will be for you to work without injuring them.

You may also consider doing one paw, and then stopping for the day. Don’t be in a hurry. Even the calmest dogs may have some issues adjusting to nail trimming. The worst thing you can do is try to take too much nail, hurting and scaring your dog. This will also make future trimmings much more difficult.

Don’t Forget The Dewclaws

These nails are a few inches up the foot, and may be easy to miss if you’re not paying attention. But if you forget to trim them, they can grow into the foot, causing some serious discomfort. They can be tough to trim, so be careful, and make sure you are making small cuts.

Have Styptic Powder On Hand In Case Of Bleeding

Even the most careful dog owner will occasionally trim too far and cause a bleed. That’s why you should make sure you always have styptic powder on hand to stop the bleed. Unless you cut very deep, these bleeds won’t be an issue.

More Advice To Get A Perfect Trim

It will be much easier for you and your pooch if you make nail trimming a regular part of their grooming. You’ll be able to take off just a small amount of nail each time, reducing the chances that you cause any discomfort. And by more frequently and painlessly trimming, your pup will get more comfortable with the whole process, making it much easier down the road.

As you trim, you want to make sure that you’re cutting the nail enough that it’s not touching the floor as your dog walks. This will protect your dog, as well as your floor.

Trimming can cause a lot of anxiety for dogs. That’s why you should start by doing small, quick trims. This will allow your dog to slowly adjust to the process. As you trim, make sure you are giving your dog good feedback, and rewarding them properly. You want to show them that trimming doesn’t have to be scary.

Keeping Your Dog Healthy And Happy

Trimming, in addition to bathing and brushing, is part of a proper grooming routine for your dog. It goes a long way to ensuring that they can run, jump, and play without any discomfort, and keeps your floors from getting scratched up.

Don’t have a puppy to groom yet? Then head over to our puppy finder, where you’ll find your dream dog.

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