Unless your dog spends a lot of time outside or walks for several miles a day on concrete or asphalt, your dog’s nails will most likely need to be clipped on a regular basis.
For many dog owners, this can be a nerve-wracking experience.
Fidgety canines, sloppy equipment, and the dread of cutting too close to the quick and injuring yourself are all classic reasons for putting off this task.
Don’t be discouraged.
We’ll show you how to clip dog nail, why it’s vital, and how often you should do it. So, let’s get this party started.
How do you trim your dog’s excessive nails at home?
Trim a little section of nail at a time with your favorite clippers.
Cut across the tip of the nail at a little slant, following its natural contour.
Look for the little black dot that tells you when to stop after each cut on the freshly-cut tip of the nail.
Why Should You Trim Your Dog’s Nails?
The purpose of a dog’s nails is multifaceted.
They utilize them to gain traction on difficult terrain, dig, and claw at predators and prey.
Most domestic dogs don’t have to navigate hills and mountains, and they don’t have to use their claws to fight predators or hold their food as they shred it apart.
Yes, they still dig, but not nearly enough to keep their nails manageable.
It’s crucial to have your dog’s nails trimmed for their health and comfort.
Longer nail raise the front of the footpad or push the nail back up into the nail bed.
Both of these outcomes place undue strain on the foot, causing soreness, edema, and arthritis.
It can also result in an irregular gait, which might result in hip issues.
When a dog’s nails grow too long, their pads may not be able to touch the ground, making walking on smoother surfaces like hardwood problematic.
Those nails prevent the pads from fully resting down on the floor, resulting in slippage, sprawling, and even falls.
If left unattended, a dog’s nails will curl inward and beneath the paw, sometimes burying themselves in the pad.
This is uncomfortable not only when sitting or lying down, but it can also be terrible when walking.
So now you know why you should cut your dog’s nails.
Let’s see how frequently you’ll need to get the tools out to complete the job.
How Often Should You Trim Your Dog’s Nail?
Every dog’s interval between nail trimming will be different.
You’ll also notice that the front and back nails don’t always need to be clipped at the same time.
Even if the other nails do not need to be trimmed, dew claws rarely contact the ground and require trimming.
Dew claws are seen on the front paws of most dogs, and some have them on the back paws as well.
Because these are the nails that most commonly grow into the foot, be especially cautious.
Dogs who live in the city or suburbs and walk on hard surfaces on a daily basis may only require a trim on rare occasions.
Indoor dogs who don’t do much more than go outdoors to potty will need to be groomed on a regular basis.
Country dogs who spend a lot of time outside but not on hard surfaces will need more frequent grooming or nail cutting.
Less active dogs, on average, require a trim at least once a month.
Make it a routine to examine your nails at the beginning of each month.
Trimming a Dog’s Nails
Because you’ll be handling your dog’s paw when trimming their nails, it’s a good idea to get them used to it.
Start nail clipping training when the dogs are still puppies if at all possible.
Puppies are more receptive of new experiences, and they will learn that trimming their nails is natural.
The majority of dogs dislike having their paws stroked or held.
Make an effort to get your dog used to you touching the pad if you have one like this.
Maybe you can teach them to “shake,” or pet the tops of their paws and hold them for a second or two when they’re on your lap and being caressed.
This behavior will make them more receptive of having their paws stroked, making dog nail clipping a little easier.
Then you’ll need the appropriate tool.
Clippers come in a range of forms, from electric dremel-style instruments to scissor and guillotine models.
It is not necessary to purchase an electric dremel nail grinder for overgrown dog nails.
It’s more expensive than the other options, and the loudness may be off-putting to your dog, who is already apprehensive about the treatment.
The scissor or plier style nail clippers are preferred by most veterinarians and dog groomers over the guillotine style nail clippers, as the latter can crush a nail if it isn’t sharp enough.
So get yourself an excellent nail trimmer.
Choose a moment when your dog is comfortable and calm.
If you’re inside, place a towel on your lap and place the dog on top of it.
It’s easiest if someone else holds the dog on their lap while gently holding it still, but you can do it yourself.
Make sure you have good illumination so you can see exactly how far you need to cut.
You can do it on the lawn or in a chaise lounge outside.
Now, here’s how to clip dog nails:
Begin with the hind paws, which are less delicate than the front ones.
Take the dog’s paw in your palm and hold it firmly.
Cut the end of the nail using dog nail clippers at a 45-degree angle, just below the quick.
You can make a series of little incisions or a single larger cut, but be careful not to go too deep.
Trim the overgrown nails until you see a small black dot in the center surrounded by white.
Look for the quick in white nails which it is usually pink in colors if you’re not sure how far to trim back.
After that, trim the black nails or dark nails to the same length.
Start at the ends if all of your nails are black.
You may only get one or two nails done on your dogs toenails the first few times you try this.
Don’t let yourself down. Return the following day and try to complete a couple more.
Just make sure you don’t wait too long between applications, since uneven nails can be a pain.
You will notice blood if you cut too far and nick the quick, and your dog will not be pleased.
Fill the end of the nail with styptic powder or cornstarch and try to keep your dog still.
This powder will aid in the sealing of the wound and the halting of bleeding.
Also, make certain they receive a treat soon away.
When it comes to goodies, don’t forget to reward your dog after you’ve finished dog nail trimming.
Positive reinforcement goes a long way in making things easier for you the next time.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What to do if my dog won’t let me cut his nails?
There are ways to make nail trimming less difficult.
Use a different model of nail clipper or a Dremel instead of a clipper to desensitize your dog to it.
If a dog is highly aggressive and you’re scared they’ll bite you, the best place to start is with your primary veterinarian.
Is it better to grind or clip dog nails?
A grinding tool, rather than a clipper, can give a smoother finish to the nail and works well on thick nails. Working with black-nail dogs reduces the risk of hitting the quick because owners believe they have more control over the cutting procedure.
How long does it take for a dog’s nail quick to recede?
According to The Everything Puppy Book: Choosing, Raising, and Training Our Littlest Best, after clipping a little section of an overgrown nail, the quick should have receded sufficiently to allow you to trim off another small portion of nail within seven days.