How to Cut Dogs’ Nails (Guidance on a Delicate Process)
There’s something comforting about hearing the clickety-clack of your dog's nails as he walks through your home. But when you have to cut these nails, you may be worried that your dog's nervous yelping may fill the air. However, nail cutting doesn't have to be a rough ordeal.
The Importance of Trimmed Nails
It’s essential that a dog’s nails remained trimmed to a manageable length. If your dog’s nails become too long, they could become ingrown, which could cause your pooch discomfort. Lengthy nails can also get snagged on foreign or immovable objects like a piece of furniture, which could cause your dog to get trapped.
Ideally, you should trim your dog’s nails when they touch the ground. The interval of time in which this occurs depends on the size and lifestyle of your pooch. A smaller, indoor breed may need to have a trim much more frequently than a larger dog that enjoys oodles of rugged, outdoor activity.
The Steps You Should Take When You Trim Your Dog’s Nails
It's imperative that you take the time to prepare properly to trim your pooch's nails right. For instance, you should take the type of nail trimmer you buy into careful consideration. A proper trimmer will be sharp, concave at its cutting edge, and specifically designed to treat the appropriately sized dog.
Properly trimming your dogs nails should never be a fast process. You should always trim the nail gradually and carefully, as being too aggressive may lead you to cut it too deeply. It's also a good idea to gently press your dog's paw before trimming so he can get used to the feeling of getting the nails cut.
Also, be prepared to provide positive reinforcement with your dog at the end of each nail trim. Don’t wait until the entire process is complete, as this may cause your dog to be a little extra squirmy. Constant praise will do wonders to calm him down, which will naturally make the process much more pleasant.
Avoiding the Quick: The Most Important Aspect of Nail Trimming
It's no secret that the biggest reason trimming your dog's nails can be so difficult is due to the quick. This hidden part of the nail contains the nerve and the blood that provides proper nail nourishment. Nicking this part of the nail could cause bleeding, discomfort, and a frightened pooch that may end up being extremely uncooperative the next time the need for nail trimming manifests.
If you are getting a little too close to the quick, your dog could very well let you know. If he starts to growl, don't take this as a sign of anger - take it as a clear signal that you are getting to close to his nail's danger zone. An increase in the level of squirming is also a prime indicator that you may be a little too far up on the nail.
If you do cut to the quick, you will see quite a bit of blood. Don’t be too alarmed - that’s perfectly normal when the quick is nicked. You should always have a styptic pencil or styptic powder nearby just in this happens, as the substance will allow the blood to coagulate with greater efficiency.
Don’t Underestimate the Power of Your Vet
Of course, if you are still a bit nervous about trimming your dog’s nails, you can always take your pooch to your vet to get the job done. While it will cost you a little extra money and time by going this route, this may be a small price to pay in exchange for the peace of mind you may obtain. Besides, they tend to make it look rather easy.
Whether you choose to go the vet route or tackle this on your own, the important thing is that you take care of your dog’s nails. Allowing them to become too unruly would cause your pooch to experience some pretty nasty discomfort, which would ultimately be cruel and unfair to him. By keeping his nails trim, you’ll have a happier dog to share your time with, which should be enough of an incentive to carry out the process in the first place.