If you’re like most pet parents, you know that trimming your dog’s nails can be a difficult experience. Although trimming a dog’s nails is an important part of care and can help your dog live a healthier and more comfortable life, many pet parents dread the routine.
Fortunately, trimming your pup’s nails can be a lot easier. Follow these simple tips to make your next home "peticure" session a quick and easy experience.
Things to Remember
Most dogs and pet parents hate nail trimming because they fear it. Pet parents are afraid of trimming the nail too short and harming their dog and dogs are afraid of being hurt. With this in mind, the most important thing you can do to transform your nail trimming experience is to take some of the fear out.
Pet parents should purchase over-the-counter coagulating powder to stop bleeding quickly in the event that they cut a nail too short. Dogs can be taught to associate nail trims with positive, fun experiences. As long as each nail trim you and your dog undertake is taken slowly and not rushed, you’ll both be on the right track.
How to Trim Nails Successfully
Get a Great Trimmer: When it’s time to trim your pup’s nails, having the right tools is important. Don’t ever try to cut a dog’s nails with household scissors or human nail clippers, as these are too dull and small and may result in ragged or torn nails. Instead, head to your nearest pet supply store and purchase a set of specially designed nail trimmers. You can choose from guillotine-style trimmers or special scissor-style trimmers.
Prepare Your Pet: Before you begin actually cutting your dog’s nails, pick up her feet a few times and touch the toes. Provide plenty of treats and positive reinforcement while you do this in order to promote positive associations.
Trim the Nails: Once your dog is comfortable having her feet touched, take the dog outside and pick up her foot. Press gently on the dog’s toe to expose the full length of the nail and clip just the sharp tip of the nail. In dogs with clear or pink nails, you should be able to see the quick (the blood vessel and nerve that runs down the nail) and avoid cutting it. In dogs with dark nails, trim the nail very gradually to avoid hitting the quick. Be sure to provide plenty of positive reinforcement during this stage. If your dog becomes stressed or anxious, stop for a few moments and resume the nail clipping when the dog has relaxed.
What To Do If You Hit The Quick
If you make a mistake and clip the dog’s blood vessel, do not panic. Although the quick will bleed, it can be easily treated with the over-the-counter clotting powder. Give the dog plenty of treats and praise and call off the nail trimming session until the dog’s nail has healed (which should happen within a few days) and the dog is calmer.
Trimming a dog’s nails is an important part of routine care. Follow these simple tips to increase the odds that it becomes a painless process for both dogs and people.