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Nail Trimming Tricks

Although it can seem very intimidating, cutting your dog’s nails is actually easier than you may think. Knowing the best steps to take is key for getting comfortable enough to take on this routine grooming task. You should also have the right tools for a safe and proper job. While you can always bring your dog into our office at 5 Points Animal Hospital to have us cut his nails for you, it can be more convenient for you to do this at home. This is especially true if you have a breed that requires a weekly cut. Here are some helpful tips and tricks to make trimming your dog’s nails easier for you and for your pet.

Never underestimate the importance of a good trimmer.

You need to find a sturdy trimmer that you find easy to use. After you have practiced using the trimmer enough to feel comfortable, PetMD recommends getting your dog used to the trimmer. You can do this by holding it close by his feet and giving your dog treats and praise. Do this again the next day, but also squeeze the trimmer so it makes a noise. Do this another day, and your dog should be used to the sight and sound of the trimmer.

Cut from underneath.

You should always cut the nail from underneath and not from the top downward like you would trim your own nails. Stay in the whitish part of the nail and away from the pink area, which is the quick. The quick has blood vessels throughout its part of the nail, which is why a dog bleeds so heavily if his nail is cut too deeply.

Check carefully for the quick if your dog has black hair and nails.

Look at the end of the nail, and you should see that the dead area is whitish or grayish. As you cut deeper, the nail gets darker, and that is where the quick begins. You can also look for a triangular shape with two outer “walls” on the underside of the nail at the tip. This is safe to cut off as there should be no quick in that triangle.

Have some tissue paper handy.

If you should accidentally cut your dog’s nail too short, place a small piece of tissue paper against the bleeding part of the nail. You can also use clotting powder, or even just let it bleed as it should stop within five to seven minutes. If it bleeds longer than that, call us at 5 Points Animal Hospital.

If you would like to get a lesson from our staff on how to cut your dog’s nails, contact us at 5 Points Animal Hospital. We are more than happy to help you be able to do this grooming task without fear.

The Importance of Keeping Your Dog’s Nails Trimmed

Trimmed Dog Nails If you are like many dog owners, you dread trimming his nails, but your dog’s health depends on you doing this grooming task regularly. Fortunately, you do have other options to make sure your dog’s nails are kept short. You can always take your dog to your favorite groomer, or you can stop by 5 Points Animal Hospital to have one of our techs do this job. We can also show you the best way to trim your dog’s nails yourself to help you feel more comfortable doing it yourself. We would like to answer some of the most frequently asked questions we get about trimming dog’s nails to let you know why this task is necessary.

Why is it so important to keep my dog’s nails trimmed?

If your dog spends a lot of time outside, his nails are kept short because they get worn down from running on hard surfaces, like concrete. However, if you have an indoor dog, he most likely does not get enough time on the right surfaces. According to The Whole Dog Journal, untrimmed nails can cause your dog harm. If the nails become so long that they touch the ground as your dog walks, they are forced back into the nail bed, which is very painful. This also puts pressure on the toe joint which, over time, can realign the joints of the foreleg. This compromises the distribution of weight and the natural alignment, which makes it easier for your dog to get injured. If the nails get too long, they can grow into the foot pad.

How short should I be cutting my dog’s nails?

You have trimmed the nails to the right length if the nails do not make contact with the ground when your dog is standing. If you can hear the nails clicking on the ground, you need to trim the nails shorter.

Should I trim my dog’s dewclaws?

Found on the inside of your dog’s leg, the dewclaw does need to be trimmed. Since this nail never touches the ground, it does not get worn down at all. The dewclaw tends to be much pointier than the other nails, and because of its loose attachment to the forelimb, your dog will probably not mind your trimming it as much as the other nails.

Make sure you are keeping your dog’s nails trimmed on a regular basis. Contact us at 5 Points Animal Hospital for any questions and help you may have about this important grooming routine.

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