Cutting your dog’s nails is not a fun thing to do. It is an incredibly important aspect for their health and happiness though. Not cutting their nails can cause them too grow out too far and eventually curve back into their soft paw. That is obviously not a good thing. It will cause each step to hurt and limit their ability to move. It is still a daunting task though. Getting a little information should make it much easier.
The first thing you should know is when to cut their nails. The definite warning is when their nails make little clicking noises every time they walk. Dog nails should not reach below their paw. If you hear the clicking noise, get ready to trim them. You shouldn’t wait until this moment though. Your best method is to trim them regularly. Try to do it about once a week. The quick in the nail grows with the actual nail. If you trim the nail regularly, it will recede and stay at a reasonable level. This makes future trimming easier.
You should make sure you have the necessary tools. Buy a good pair of nail trimmers and prepare some form of styptic powder or pen in case you nick their quick. That’s the only real issue in grooming their nails. If you take a long forward cut, it will cut the quick and really hurt. It isn’t a big deal overall. If you do cause bleeding, just cleanse the area with some warm water and a cloth. Then use the styptic powder to stop the blood flow. It will heal in a little bit. The quick of the nail isn’t too hard to spot. If they have light nails, you will be able to see it. The quick is a bit darker and near the base of the nail. You should be able to spot it in most dogs. Of course, it is always better to take your dog to a professional dog grooming Altamonte Springs salon than doing it yourself.
If you can’t spot the quick, don’t fret. Just use careful, thin cuts on the nail. As you trim, keep an eye on the center of the nail. The dead center of the nail will get progressively darker as it nears the cut. Stop once you see the dark spot in the center.
How do you actually trim their nails? Well, it’s not too hard if they’ll cooperate. Just sit down in a comfortable spot and hold them. If they’re a small dog, you can put them on your lap. Otherwise just sit down and hold their paw comfortably, but in a firm manner. You can get someone else to hold them if you don’t think you can manage it with one hand. After they’re secure, just look at the nail and spot the quick as described above. Then slide the clippers up the nail and tilt them to a 45 degree angle. This will ensure that you don’t cut off too much with a flat cut. Take small, manageable cuts until the nail is no longer past their toe or until you reach the quick. It is possible that the nail may be too brittle for cutting easily. If it’s brittle, it may split or splinter a bit. If this happens, grab a nail file and smooth the edge to it’s normal shape.
If your dog doesn’t cooperate, then don’t force them. It shouldn’t be a torturous event for them. Just take a break and come back later once they’ve calmed down. Use petting to relax them if necessary.
These are the basics of cutting your dog’s nails. It isn’t a lot of fun, but it has to be done.