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How to Cut Your Dog's Nails

  • By Moby Gnaws
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Cutting Your Dog's Nails Can Be Daunting

Trimming your dog's nails is an essential part of grooming. Trimmed nails are also a clear sign that your dog is healthy and hygienic. However, many dog owners feel squeamish about trimming their dog's nails. They often prefer to hire a professional dog groomer for the job.

You should cut your dog's nails when the dog is comfortable. Look for a conducive environment, extend the dog’s nails, and trim your dog’s nails carefully and gently. Besides, with the right tools you can make the nail trimming process stress-free for both you and your canine friend.

You should cut your dog's nails regularly to avoid overgrowth. However, some dogs can find the nail trimming process to be an angsty experience. That's why it is important to know the right procedure when learning how to cut a dog's nails.

Keep reading for a detailed step-by-step process of how to cut a dog's nails.

Prepare Your Dog for the Nail Cutting Process

One of the most efficient ways you can get your dog to let you cut its nails is by making the process fun.

  • - You can give them treats like peanut butter or cheese while handling their nails.
  • - We also recommend playing with your dog's feet regularly to make them more comfortable.
  • - Next, you should teach your furry friend to get comfortable with clippers.
  • - If possible, "shower them with treats" every time you pick up clippers from the drawer.
  • - You can also condition your dog to always expect a reward every time he approaches clippers.
  • - Get him used to the sound of clippers by clipping something hard and crunchy in his presence. Then reward him again.

Check to make sure that your dog is comfortable in the environment where you will be cutting the nails. It should also allow for a stable grip of your dog's feet.

Knowing how to trim a dog's nails is one thing. You must also remember that every dog is different. Therefore, you want to start off slowly. You can start by trimming just one nail a day to get your dog used to the process.

How to Trim Your Dog's Nails

As aforementioned, you want to make your dog nail trimming a positive experience to allow your dog to get comfortable. Therefore, whether you are introducing your dog to the clippers or picking the right environment, you want everything to be a really positive experience.

Here are some important steps to follow when cutting your dog's nails-related health problems and a shorter lifespan.


1. Select the Right Nail Clippers   

You should only use dog nail clippers and trimmers designed for pet use. You will find many different options that you can use, such as Safari - Guillotine Dog Nail Trimmer and Nail Trimmer for Anxiety Sensitive Dog, both found on Amazon.

Some dog nail clippers even have a guard to prevent you from accidentally cutting the nail too short.

NOTE: Failing to trim your dog's long nails can cause them to press into your dog's toe pad, causing pain and potentially leading to infections. The same also applies when you use the wrong clippers or use the nail clippers wrongly

2. Get Your Dog Used to Nail Cutting

Get your furry friends used to having their paws handled by holding them in your hands gently. Older dogs can benefit from this technique too, especially if they have had bad experiences when having their nails cut. 

You also want to show enthusiasm while your dog inspects the clipper. Give him treats to reduce the fear period whenever he sees the tools come out.

3. Choose the Right Environment

Next, you should find the right environment that your dog is comfortable with and allows you to cut his nail easily. Remember, even with lots of preparation, your dog might still not be open to the idea of having his nails clipped. 

Position your upper body over your dog and use your forearm to prevent him from lifting his head until you're done. Sometimes, it is best to have a helper around to help you with the nail cutting process.

4. Extend Your Dog's Nails

Make sure you extend your dog's nail by lifting its paw and placing your finger on its toepad gently. With your forefinger, gently pull the skin up and backward above the dog's nail. This will reveal the full length of your dog's nail, allowing you to know the right length to clip.

5. Trim the Tip of the Toenail

You want to trim the very end of the nail while avoiding cutting in the quick. If you have a Nail Grooming & Grinding Tool, grind the bottom of the nail and smooth any rough edges. If you are not sure how short to cut a dog's nails, start by trimming the claw to about 2mm of the quick. All this time, you must monitor your dog to ensure he is comfortable. Stop any trimming when you notice your dog is in distress. You can always continue later.

How Often Do I Trim My Dog’s Nails?

Many factors can affect how quickly your dog's nails grow. That is why you won't find a more precise response for how often to cut their nails. On average, many dogs need to have their nails cut every 1-2 months.  

Some of the main factors that may determine how often you may need to trim your dog's nails include:

- The type of surface the dog spends most of its time on - How much time your dog's feet spend on the ground    - What your dog eats                                                                           - Age of the dog                                                                                     - Certain health conditions like claw disease, tumors, and other nail bed infections 

A good rule of thumb is to trim your dog's nails as regularly as required to prevent their nails from overgrowing  

What Happens If You Fail to Cut Your Dog's Nails?

If you thought not knowing how to cut black dog nails was bad, nail neglect can be disastrous. Unhealthy nails can cause immense pain to your dog whenever they stand on them. In rare instances, overgrown nails may trigger irreversible damage to your dog. 

Long nails can turn healthy dog paws into a splayed foot, thereby reducing traction. In more extreme cases, long nails may cause deformed feet and injure the nerves and tendons in the quick.

Get Started on Cutting Your Dog’s Nails!

Knowing how to cut your dog's nails can be more cost-effective and convenient than hiring a dog groomer for the job. Overgrown nails can expose your dog to various health complications.  So, it is important to trim their nails regularly.

The nail trimming method you use also varies depending on you and your pooch's personal preference. Above all else, be patient with your dog and leave room for you and your dog to learn and get used to the process

 This article was made pawssible by Esther Rebecca.

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