Dogs Shears for cutting the nails of the dog

Published on August 9th, 2013 | by Debbie Martin


Tips for Cutting Your Dogs Nails Safely

If you can hear your dog’s nails clattering on the hardwood floor or linoleum when he is walking around, it might be time to give them a little trim. Cutting your dogs nails is important so that they will not break off, become ingrown or get caught on things. Also, when your dog’s nails are too long they will not be able to get the traction that their feet need when they are walking. If the nails continue to grow too ling, they will start to curve sideways and this can damage the bones, ligaments and tendons in the paws.

However, many dog owners find this task of canine maintenance intimidating. You might be worried about cutting your dog’s nails too close and drawing blood or hurting your dog.

Tips for Cutting Your Dogs Nails

Here are some tips to keep in mind for ensuring that you do not hurt your dog when cutting their nails.

  • If your dog is standing up and their nails reach all the way down to the floor, you will know that they are long enough to need clipping.
  • Remember that there is a small bit of flesh within the base of each nail called the ‘quick’. It is important to be careful not to cut this, as this will cause pain and bleeding for your dog.
  • If your dog’s nails are seriously long and you haven’t trimmed them in a long time, you should clip them back a tiny bit every few days over the course of a few weeks. This will allow the ‘quick’ to regress so that you can cut the nail safely without hurting your dog.
  • If your dog is very nervous about having their nails clipped, you might want to have a friend to help you with the process. Your assistant can hold the dog and calm it down, holding it steady while you perform the clipping procedure.
  • If your dog has clear nails, you can see the pink tissue of the quick. Clip slightly above it and then smooth the edge with a nail file.
  • If your dog has black nails, you will have to clip tiny slivers at a time until you start to get close to the quick.
  • You will need special nail clippers for the task that are designed for dogs, not human nail clippers. Ask your vet to recommend the right trimmers to use for your pet.
  • It is a good idea to clip your dog’s nails after bathing, as the quick will be more visible and the nails will be softer.

Trim your dog’s nails once or twice per month following this technique, as it is important to the health of your furry friend.

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About the Author

Debbie Martin has worked at Beeston Animal Health for over five years, having previously worked as a nurse in equine and small animal practice. Although generally involved with aspects of marketing these days and putting her psychology degree to good use, she still has a great depth of up to date knowledge in all creatures great and small. Debbie lives at home with her partner and two children and spends much of her spare time looking after her horses, dogs and cats or at the home farm with the cows, sheep and turkeys.

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