Best Way To Clip Your Dog’s Nails
Clipping your own dog’s nails at home can be very beneficial to you and your pet. It is friendly to your wallet and can be a lot less stressful for your dog. In order for it to be less stressful, you as the owner need to be educated and able to clip them correctly. Here are a few tips that I like to give pet owners.
Start young (if possible)
It’s less scary if it has always been a part of their routine. As soon as a puppy comes home start playing with their feet! You can bring your young to a groomer or vet and they can show you how to clip their nails properly at a visit.
Treats! Treats! Treats!
Make this a positive experience for your dog. In the beginning, treat him or her after each nail is cut.
Stay calm and try not to be nervous. Dogs can read your energy very well and if you are nervous they will be nervous.
Ask for help!
If someone is around to help they can keep the pet still and comfort the animal by petting or rubbing their ears.
Have Styptic Powder Handy.
Just trim a little at a time. Cutting them to short can cut into the vein that is in their nail called the quick. This is will make for a bad experience and cause bleeding.
Accidents do happen, so if the nail is cut to short and begins to bleed, wipe the nail with a towel and place a small amount of styptic powder onto the nail using a cotton ball. You can use a moist cotton ball so the powder will stick to it, then apply it to the nail. Be sure to put a little pressure and hold it there for about a minute. Using flour can work to stop the nail from bleeding too if you don’t have Styptic Powder available.
Use the Right Tools.
For a normal pet owner a set of nail clippers will last you years, so it is good to invest in a well-made set. I personally prefer the pliers-style nail clippers vs. the guillotine-style clippers because the guillotine nail clippers can only cut one way and they can make it hard to see where you are cutting.
The brand I prefer is Millers Forge, in the pliers style, with red handles. I prefer these because they work for any dog in any stage, except for very large dogs with extremely thick nails. They are very sharp, so they cut easier and more quietly – which is a lot less troublesome on your dog.
Check Your Dog’s Nails Frequently.
On average I would recommend checking your dog’s nails every 2 weeks. Clipping your dog’s nails frequently will prevent the quick or vein of the nail from growing out with nail. When their nails are not clipped and they grow out very long it can start to affect the bone structure in the dog’s foot. Every dog is different and their nails can grow at different paces. For example an older dog that sleeps most of the day will need its nails done more frequently than a young energetic dog. The energetic dog is more likely to wear their nails down themselves from just walking, running and jumping, especially on pavement.
Watch our 5 minute video for a how-to demonstration on clipping dog nails a couple times before attempting to cut. The more you know and understand about the nail, where the vein is and the entire nail trimming process, the calmer and more confident you will be. Confidence puts your dog at ease.
Cut your dogs nails by folding the paw back and looking at the bottom of the nail. This allows you to see where the quick is even on black nails. If the nail is long I recommend clipping little by little. You’ll know you are near the quick when the inside of the nail gets darker in color.
Good luck and again if your dog is getting stressed out and you are finding this process difficult please bring them to a professional.