Whether you’ve recently purchased your very first dog, or your dog hasn’t been allowing the groomer to trim their nails, then one of the biggest responsibilities that you’re likely to have as a pet owner is to make sure that you are safely trimming your dog’s nails to prevent discomfort.
Take it from us, we’ll be the first to admit that talking about trimming your dog’s nails and actually trimming them are two different things!
Besides being one of the most anxiety-inducing maintenance tasks required of a dog owner, if the proper technique is not followed then trimming nails can result in injury, but this is where we come in to lend a helping hand.
In this article, we are going to be providing you with everything you need to know about trimming your dog’s nails.
From what to use, what to be aware of, and how to use the proper technique – we’ve made sure to cover all bases so that you will be able to trim your dog’s nails safely and correctly. So, whenever you’re ready – let’s jump right in!
When Should You Trim Your Dog’s Nails?
First things first, before we get any further, we are first going to be taking a few moments to talk you through when you should trim your dog’s nails – as it can sometimes be difficult to figure out when the right time to trim your dog’s nails are, especially if you don’t have much experience in dog’s nails, to begin with!
Well, as a general rule of thumb, you should always be sure to trim your dog’s nails when you can visibly see that your dog’s nails are touching the ground.
It is very important that you make sure to regularly trim your dog’s nails as if they are allowed to grow too long, then it could potentially not only cause discomfort and pain to your dog but could also cause injuries as they will typically begin to grow in wayward, curled shapes if left unattended.
For the most part, you will more than likely find that your dog’s nails will be kept at the right length from regular walks and everyday playtime sessions.
However, there will be some instances throughout your dog’s life where you find that their nails may begin to overgrow, which is why it’s a good idea to make sure that you know how to spot the signs that nails are in need of trimming, as like we have already mentioned above, trimming correctly will help to prevent injury and pain.
As a side note, one of the biggest signs that your dog is in need of their nails being trimmed is the sound of their nails tapping on the floor while they walk!
Where Should You Trim Your Dog’s Nails?
So, now that you know when you should trim your dog’s nails, we are now going to be talking about where you should trim your dog’s nails!
As we’re sure you’re already well aware, there is a vein inside a dog’s nail that is referred to as the “quick” and is the root of many dog owners’ anxiety when undertaking the task of trimming their dog’s nails themselves!
It’s extremely important that you make sure that you do not cut your dog’s quick, as the quick is a live blood supply, which means that if it is cut during the process of nail trimming, then it can cause instant bleeding and a lot of pain to your dog.
If you’re one of the lucky ones, then your dog will have white or slightly translucent nails that will allow you to visibly see where the quick is.
However, more often than not, the majority of dog’s nails will typically be a shade of black, which will make refraining from accidentally cutting the quick a lot more difficult.
Luckily enough, though, with the proper technique, you should find that you are able to cut your dog’s nails successfully and safely – and this brings us to our next point.
As a side note, it is important to make sure that your dog’s nails are regularly trimmed or kept to a short length, as if your dog’s nails are allowed to overgrow, then there is a strong chance that the quick will grow with your dog’s nails.
While we’re sure that this will never be the case for you and your dog, it is still important to mention, as allowing the quick to grow will only lead to your dog having to experience bleeding and pain later down the road when the nails need to be cut.
How Do You Trim Your Dog’s Nails?
Now that you know when and where to trim your dog’s nails, we are now going to be talking you through how you should trim your dog’s nails. Let’s check the instructions below:
- Prepare your dog: First things first, you are going to want to take a few moments to prepare your dog for the nail clipping session. Begin by taking your dog to an environment that you know they feel safe and comfortable in, and then spend a few minutes smoothing your dog and talking to them. When you’re ready, introduce the clippers to your dog and allow them to sniff and explore them.
- Take your clippers: Once your dog is comfortable, you can begin the clipping process. If you have a little to a medium sized dog, then you should sit your dog on your lap, however, if you have a larger dog, then you might want to encourage your dog to lie down so that they are optimally relaxed and positoed.
- Trim slowly: Regardless of the color of your dog’s nails, you should trim slowly to prevent accidentally catching the quick. All the while, make sure that you are reassuring your dog and using positive reinforcement.
- File the nail: This is optional, but after you have trimmed your dog’s nails, you could then go in with a nail file to get as close to the quick as possible, Even though this is an optional step, it will allow you to get as close to the quick as possible, and this will prevent it from growing.