How to Cut Your Dog’s Nails!

How to Cut Your Dog’s Nails!

Posted by John on Jul 10th 2017

Sometimes there comes a point where the clacking of your dog’s nails on your floor is becoming too much. With good reason too, as nails that are too long can cause joint pain and other paw problems in dogs. This is where trimming your dog’s nails comes into play. Most pet owners dread the task of cutting nails, for fear of cutting the quick (the blood vessel in their nail) or discomforting their dog. But fear not, there is a way!

Things you will need

First and foremost you are going to need a nail trimmer. These come in two main styles. The guillotine style , which has a ring that you put the nail through and a rounded blade that rises up to cut it, or the scissor style, which works how you’d expect scissors to work. The guillotine style has the advantage of being easier to control, but many groomers do not recommend them for larger dogs, as it has a harder time cutting large nails and is prone to crush the nail which can be very painful. The scissor style is much less prone to crushing the nail and is a better option for larger dogs. A nail file is also important for rounding off the edges after cutting the nail itself.

We also recommend bringing treats and styptic powder (cornstarch works if you do not have this). The treats are to give to your dog along the way, as nail cutting can be a scary experience for the pet and you want to make this a positive experience rather than a negative one. The styptic powder is simply for the chance that you do hit the quick when cutting. This isn’t an uncommon occurrence and even professional groomers do this occasionally. If you do happen to hit the quick, apply the powder to the wound and comfort your dog with treats and love.

Cutting time!

First thing you want to do is get your dog comfortable with the tool itself. You can do this the week before by showing him the tool while touching his or her paws and showing it in motion while giving your dog treats. This creates a positive connection to the tool. Once you have done that, cut a very small amount of the nail off while praising and giving treats to your dog. When the dog is used to the idea of the tool cutting their nails, you can get down to business. Firmly hold your pet’s paw and apply the tool. Dogs with light nails are easier to groom because you can actually see the quick from the outside of the nail (it appears as a light pink coloration). Dogs with dark nails are unfortunately more difficult. The strategy for cutting dark nailed dogs is simply to cut small amounts at a time. Once you have completed the trimming process, remember to shower your dog with praise and treats! In case you happen to hit the quick, dip the dog’s paw into the styptic powder to without wiping the blood away as it will help with the coagulation. The styptic powder will have an initial sting to it, so be ready to hold the dog.

We love our pets and want the best for them without having any discomfort. Grooming your dog can be a pleasant experience and we hope that the tips provided can ease the process!