Trimming the dog nails is something that dog owners often fear doing because they either think they can’t do it or are afraid that they might ‘do it wrong’.
Many dog owners think that trimming the dogs’ nails is something that needs training or some kind of special equipment, but this is not the case here. Many also avoid it because the dog makes a big fuss about it and makes them feel bad.
It doesn’t have to be dramatic
Cutting and Trimming your dog’s nails don’t have to be a dramatic experience for either you or the dog, and we are going to show you how you can do it very smoothly.
Do their nails really need trimming?
Yes, unless you have a very active dog who is running around all day on various surfaces and getting their nails worn out naturally, your dog’s nails need cutting.
Can I Use Scissors?
The ones you have lying around the house? No! Of course not. I'm not even going to discuss why not and all the dangers of doing that!
Instead, you need to use a dedicated pet nail scissors. Something like these superb nail scissors which works for all pets; dogs, cats, birds, and even rabbits.
These are good if you have a couple of pets and don't want to have to deal with having a different tool for each one.
However, these are not my personal choice, but I'm going to talk about the tool I really love and why later in this article, but let's ask a couple of important questions first.
What happens if you don’t do it?
Painful feet happen. Every time your dog’s nail will touch the hard ground, such as your house’s floor, their nails will be pushed back up into the nail bed and it will hurt them.
With time, these toes become very sore and even arthritis. Do you know what does this mean? The longer you ignore cutting their nails, the more painful it will be to them!
Humans haven’t been trimming dog’s nails before, why do it now?
That is technically true. We’ve known and befriended dogs for thousands and thousands of years and yet we don’t hear about how the ancient man trimmed their dog’s nails. That’s because they didn’t have to.
Owning a pet and having them live comfortably in our own houses is a relatively new thing. Humans have owned and cared for animals for one reason; food. We either eat the animals and their products like cows and chicken, milk them like cows or get useful things from them like leather and glue (also like cows – man, Cows are amazing!).
Dogs, on the other hand, helped us hunt, which means they were running constantly, chasing animals and locating prey, which means their nails were often worn out.
The dogs of the modern world, in comparison to their ancestors, are lazy – much like their humans, to be frank. So, their nails need to be trimmed regularly.
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Trim Dog Nails - How often should you do it?
It really depends on your dog and how active they are. As a rule of thumb, cut it when it needs cutting. Check their nails every two or three weeks to see if it needs cutting.
What tools to use?
- Choose the right clippers
It’s preferable to use scissor-type clippers instead of Guillotine-type clippers. Guillotine type clippers are painful as they crush the toe, instead, the scissor-type clippers are more efficient and harmless to the pet.
- Choose the right size
For most dogs, small-sized clippers are suitable. Only really big dogs need large ones, and if you own one, you probably know that already.
- Keep the tool ready
Always make sure your tools are clean and sharp. You don’t want to start the grooming session to find out that you can’t complete it because you forgot to replace the clippers. It’s preferable to trim the nails as part of the grooming routine, so your dog is more comfortable.
Get Quality Clippers
The Clippers can make the experience great or terrible for the dog. Invest in quality clippers that make the process easier and smoother for you.
We recommend these excellent Nail Clippers with sensors because they allow you to see the nails very clearly with the LED lights, and they’re very effective.
These are also incredibly useful when cutting dog's nails that are black, as these are much harder to trim.
How to Trim Dog Nails
Before you begin:
- Get the dog ready
Take them for a quick walk or play with them for a while to get them de-stressed as the grooming session itself can be quite stressful for the dog.
- Use Praise and treats
Use praise and delicious treats to let the dog know that they are doing well.
- Hold the paw
Start by holding the dog’s paws firmly but gently. Don’t press it too hard, but keep a firm grip on it to keep it from moving and hurting the dog while cutting.
- Cut one small piece at a time
Place the nail below the quick at an angle of 45 degrees and take it slowly, cutting one small piece at a time. This is why we recommend using these LED Nail clippers as the magnification and visibility provided mean you can cut right to the guide but not an inch closer.
- Trim carefully
Trim carefully until you see the white inside the nail with a small black dot in the center. You can keep cutting very small amounts until you see this white, otherwise, you risk cutting the quick which is very harmful to the dog.
- End it on good terms
If your dog has been a good boy during the process, give them treats and lots of praise so they can be excited the next time you need to cut their nails. This is part of training them to like the grooming sessions, which we will discuss in detail later on.
Help! I’ve cut the Quick
If the unfortunate happens and you do cut the quick, use cornstarch quickly to staunch the bleeding. Keep a small container of cornstarch close for just such occasions.
- NEVER cut across the finger, always keep the
- Always be mindful to not squeeze the toes
- Separate the toes with your fingers for the clipping
- If you happen to cut the quick, after applying starch, give them delicious treats and lots of praise
- If you want to keep their nails short always, cut them every week
- Trimming nails outside gives you the advantage of natural light, use it when possible
Well, that’s it. Now you are ready to clip your dog’s nails easily and efficiently. If you have any questions or comments, let us know by leaving a comment below or by contacting us.