Have you ever noticed your dog approaching because you could “hear” him coming? Those clickety-clack nails need to be kept under control, or gotten back under control, whatever the case may be. Cutting your dog’s nails is a task that is necessary for his/her comfort, as well as their health, and one that you can do on your own with a little practice.
It is best to make sure that your dog is comfortable with the clippers before you begin to trim her nails. Begin by gently massaging her paws. When she seems all right with this you can lightly tap the nails with the clippers, but don’t cut them just yet. When she is used to this, the next step is usually to go ahead and cut her nails.
You can begin this process using these simple steps:
1. Hook the clipper over the nail.
2. Pull forward until the clipper hooks on the end of the nail.
3. Clip the tip off.
This will be fast and easy for both of you, sufficient for now, and she will have time to get familiar with the clippers. Always follow with lots of petting and praise.
Until the dog gets used to having her nails trimmed, it may help to have two people work together on this. The dog can be distracted with a treat while the other person snips her nails.
One reason that this should be initiated with your dog when she’s a puppy is that the process will become second nature, and there’s less chance that she’ll balk when you try to cut her nails. If you have patiently tried to get her used to the clippers and she still nips at you when you try to use them, go ahead and muzzle her. It will not hurt her, and if you take her to the vet, he will have to do the same thing.Before you begin, have on hand:
• Sharp nail clippers that are designed for pets
• Styptic powder, baby powder or flour
• Nail file
Here are a few basic guidelines to follow:
1. Get your pet into a comfortable spot for both of you.
2. Have her lie down on her back.
3. Carefully begin to clean under the nails of one paw.
4. Find the “quick” of the nail. This is the vein that travels under her nail. It is very important to avoid cutting the quick. It is the live part of the nail, and has veins running through it. Needless to say, if it gets cut it will hurt and will bleed easily.
5. If the quick does get cut put some styptic powder, baby powder or flour on it to help with clotting.
6. Cut the front of the nail off with your clippers. The cutting should be done from underneath the nail. Keep clipping a little bit at a time. When you can see a little moisture, stop cutting.
7. File the sharp and rough edges down.
8. Repeat this with all of the nails on that paw.
9. Remember to cut the dewclaw located on the inside of the leg.
10. Be sure to praise your dog and reward her with a treat.
It is recommended that nails be trimmed about once a month. If you do not trim them often enough, the quick will grow longer. When the dog’s nails get too long bacterial or fungal infections can occur, as well as ingrown nails.