Cutting your dog’s nails is crucial to your dog. If you are wondering why, here is the thing: overgrown nails are harmful for dogs as they alter the weight distribution, which gradually damages the legs and the joints. Thus, dogs need regular nail-cutting sessions. So what are the best ways to cut their nails? Here are some tips for you:
Walk on hard surfaces:
Walking on hard surfaces such as stones or streets will trim your dog nails in a natural way. When you walk your dog on a regular basis on these surfaces, it does help with the trimming. However, if your dog mostly just runs around and plays on the grass, you will need to do nail trimming more often. Soft surfaces such as the grass or indoor places do not help much with the nails.
Don’t forget to learn about your dog nails
Dog nails are made of two parts: the nail (the part that you can cut without injuring your dog), and the quick (the part where blood vessels reside to supply blood to the nails). If you just randomly trim the nails without knowing this anatomy, high chance is that you’ll cut into the quick, causing bleeding immediately. With this anatomy, one tip is to cut at a 45-degree angle, so that you will not cut into the quick. For nail trimming, it is suggested that you cut a little at a time, and once you reach a spongy soft part, stop right there as you have reached the quick.
Use the right tools
For nail cutting, you can use a dog nail clipper for home use to cut your dog nails at home. There are many kinds of clippers in the market, so if you are unsure, it is always wise to consult your vet before making any purchase. Choosing a clipper not only depends on you but also on your dog: his size and his preference. For instance, bigger dogs will need bigger types of clippers, while smaller dogs will need smaller ones. In addition, you can also use a grinder to grind the nails instead of cutting.
Cutting, if not careful, can be difficult for the first few times. If you feel that you are quite clumsy and probably will mess things up with a clipper, try using the grinder instead! With the grinder, you can grind slowly inwards, and whenever you are reaching the quick, your dog will definitely react and let you know. This is more beneficial for dogs because if you suddenly cut into your dog’s quick and injure his leg, there is no way back. It’s been cut anyways. However, the grinder is completely different.
Visit a professional groomer:
Although we wholeheartedly understand that dog grooming at home is just as effective and is more economical, it is still recommended that you take your dog to a professional groomer once in a while. A professional groomer can work on things we cannot perform at home (or not knowing how to do them at home), including nail-trimming. If your dog does not enjoy nail trimming at home, you can try bringing him to a professional groomer. Usually they have better tools and know how to calm your dog down. You can watch and learn, or even ask for tips for the next time.
Do nail trimming after a bath:
This can be beneficial because the water will soften the nails, which makes them easier to cut. Additionally, bathing can be very relaxing to some dogs, so nail trimming after a bath is more tolerable for dogs.
Make sure that your dog is well-prepared:
Before cutting his nails for the first time, make sure that you take some time to introduce the tools, as well as the sounds and the movements, to your dog first. Do not perform nail-trimming out of a sudden because dogs are anxious when it comes to uncertainty. Not knowing what is going to happen to them infuriates them. Go slow, and watch for your dog’s reaction along the way. Sometimes it takes time for dogs to get used to new tools such as the nail clipper.
Do not forget the treats!
Treats work as a bridge between your dog and the object that you want him to get used to. Dogs like treats, and thus they tend to positively associate the object with the treat if they appear together. This is what we want to do. By giving them treats while introducing the tools or nail-trimming, dogs start to have a positive association. Overtime, the clipper no longer appears to be a threat to them anymore. So does the sound of the clipper. Eventually, he’ll get used to the way to hold his paws and trim his nails, and things go on smoothly in a cycle.
Know how to deal with the injury if you accidentally cut the quick:
No one wants to cut the quick, but sometimes it is an unavoidable accident, especially if you are new to this. However, it does make a difference if you know how to deal with it. First, do not panic. Your dog will be fine. When you cut the quick, it will bleed, but you can definitely stop it by covering it up and with a clean piece of cloth or tissue. You can also use styptic pens to stop the bleeding. At all times, do not let your dog lick his own wound because that can cause serious infections later on.
So those are the tips that you can use to make nail-trimming easier. Sincerely saying, it is difficult to define the best way to cut your dog nails because it depends on your dog. Every dog is different, which is why we only provide you helpful tips that you can apply on your own case. Remember, if your dog is new to this (and to you), it would take some time to get things in order. If necessary, bring your dog to a professional groomer for the first few times. Most importantly, be patient, and you can nail this.