Grooming your pet is something all dog owners must go through. Some pets require much more attention when it comes to dog grooming, while others are so low-maintenance you hardly ever have to worry about them at all. But regardless of how big or small, furry or bald, young or old your pup may be, a time will come when you must give some attention to cutting his nails.
Cutting your dog’s nails can seem incredibly intimidating if you have not done it before. Many owners are nervous about accidentally hurting their pet by clipping their nails too short. For this reason, knowing how to cut your dog’s nails at home the right way, will help to alleviate any fear you might have about performing this task in the future.
What You Will Need
Find yourself a good, quality pair of nail clippers. Make sure that you are using scissor-like clippers, as opposed to Guillotine style clippers which can crush the toe and be very painful. Also, remember NEVER to put the whole nail in a clipper. This will keep you from cutting the nail too short and potentially breaking the skin or bone.
If your dog is a smaller or medium-sized breed, the standard small clippers will work best. The only time you would need to consider using a large pair of clippers is for especially large breeds which will require a heftier tool to get the job done. Also, make sure that you are keeping the blade of your clippers sterile and sharp. This will help to avoid putting your dog through any unnecessary pain or discomfort from trimming with a dirty or dull pair of clippers.
Tips For Cutting Your Dog’s Nails
When it comes to knowing how to cut your dog’s nails, be patient! This process will take some getting used to for both you and your dog as you become more comfortable handling the tools and working with your dog.
First things first, try to make sure your pet is as relaxed as possible. Dogs are very intuitive when it comes to our physical cues and are able to pick up on any nerves or fear we might be subconsciously putting off. So before getting started, give your dog a good belly rub or head scratch to help him feel relaxed and comfortable. You can also try introducing the clippers to your dog in a setting that is calm and stress-free. Show your dog what the clippers look like, hold them near his feet and nails and praise him with treats in order to help him associate the clippers with a reward rather than a punishment.
If your pet is especially fearful, try this over a span of several days. Do the same process, except try squeezing the clippers to make the cutting sound and again, praising him with treats to reassure him that everything is going to be ok. This will help your dog be much more comfortable when the time finally does come for you to bust out the clippers and get down to business.
When it comes to handling the clippers, make sure you have a firm grip which will make the whole process easier. If you are not sure if you are doing this correctly, pay a visit to your local vet tech for a simple lesson on how to handle your clippers. It’s important for you to feel confident in what you’re doing in order to safely and effectively trim your dog’s nails, otherwise, you could end up hurting him by accident.
How To Cut Your Dog’s Nails
First, Make sure you and your pet are in a comfortable space, preferably outside or in a well-lit room where you can easily see what you are doing. Going outside is also a good idea to avoid finding nail clippings in your carpet or around the house.
To get started, first use your fingers to separate your pet’s toes. Then, when you’re ready to cut the nail, be decisive and make a smooth, quick squeeze on the handle while holding the clippers steady. The nail should be cut from underneath, not from the top downward, the way human nails are trimmed. Slide the opening of the clippers over the end of the nail while staying in the whitish or light area of the nail.
Make sure you do not clip the pink part of the nail. The pink area of the nail is the live part and has blood vessels throughout – called the “quick.” You do NOT want to trim past this point. And do not try to “pop” the end of the nail off; it will fall away naturally on its own.
If You Cut The Nail Too Short
So what do you do if you cut your dog’s nail too short? Grab a powder solution like flour or some type of clotting powder available and put a small amount up against the bleeding end of the nail. You can also use a small dish or cup your hand, pour the solution or powder into the hollow area, and dip your dog’s bleeding nail into the powder. This should work right away and alleviate the bleeding within about 5-to-7 minutes. If your dog is still bleeding, call your veterinarian for further advice.
As you can see, cutting your dog’s nails is not only a task for professionals. As long as you follow these instructions and have the right materials you will be able to cut your dog’s nails right in the comfort of your very own home whenever necessary!