We have known how important dog grooming is for dogs, and many owners for long have favored dog grooming at home so as to save money. In fact, dog grooming at home is actually fun, and is a great bonding time with our little friends. There are many things to do under grooming, and the concern is usually how to do it most comfortably for both us and our dog. In this article, we will explore how to cut dog nails at home.
What you’ll need
Before cutting your dog’s nails, of course you’ll need a nail clipper. Usually a scissor type works best since it’s easy to use compared to other types. The size of a nail clipper does matter. If you have a small dog, it is better to get a small clipper for better control. If you have bigger dogs, you can bigger ones. Nail clippers are available in various sizes, so you don’t have to worry about that.
Knowing your dog nails
There are two main parts in a dog’s nail: the nail and the quick. The quick is where the blood vessels reside to supply blood to the nail. So although trimming nails sounds easy, one must be really careful to avoid cutting the quick. This can be difficult sometimes since it is not usually easy to spot the quick right off the bat.
Follow the steps
- Introduce the clipper first: This is an important preparation step in order to get your dog familiar with the tools. Cutting his nails right away can cause anxiety for dogs, and some dogs may try to escape the cutting, which can potentially cause harm to you as well. When introducing the clipper to your dog, make sure that you give him praise and good treats. Treats help to create a positive association with the tool.
- Hold their paws: When holding your dog’s paws, it’s good to hold it firmly, but still gently. If possible, try to spread the paws so that it’s easier for you to cut the nails. The rule of thumb here is to go slowly and cut a bit at a time. At a 45-degree angle, trim off a bit of nail. We want to avoid cutting into the quick, so it is not recommended to cut a big chunk of nail at first.There are a few signs for you to know when it comes closer to the quick. One sign is the softness of the nail. If it starts to get spongy, stop right there because if you keep going, it is more likely that you are going to cut into the quick. Another sign is a white part inside the nails will start to appear as you come closer to the quick. If you have not yet seen the white, cut a bit more.
- What if you accidentally cut into the quick?: Although we never want that to happen, but if it does, stay calm. It is okay, as long as you know how to deal with the bleeding (because it will bleed). So how should you deal with it? First, your dog would be not so happy, for sure. You need to calm down your dog first by giving him treats or some tasty cookies for him to retrieve his good mood back. Then, now it’s time to stop the bleeding as soon as possible. You can use a nail cauterizer or apply some styptic powder on the wound (using a cotton swab is recommended). If you have a towel nearby, it would also be helpful to clean up blood as well as the powder if you use the styptic powder.
Good tips to know
Make sure that your nail clipper is sharp, because you want every cut to be precise. In addition, it would be uncomfortable for your dog when you try to hold his paws for too long, and with every cut the nail is not as trimmed as you want.
Another thing to keep in mind is the hair around your dog’s paws. These hair dulls the clipper quickly, so you can deal with them before trimming nails. You can use a scissors that is safe for children to trim the excess toe hair.
When holding your dog’s paw, remember that you should be gentle. Do not squeeze their toes if you cannot cut the nails. Dogs do memorize these experiences and they could feel not so excited for the next trimming session if you have any bad experience with it.
Last but not least…
So now you may get a better idea of how to cut your dog nails at home. First you’ll need a proper tool. It can be either a scissor-type nail clipper, or some other types of nail clippers. Be considerate when getting a clipper because you want to get one that suits your dog as well, especially in sizes. One most essential thing to remember about cutting dog’s nails is not to cut the quick, and if it happens, make sure you know how to work on it.
At last, do not forget that it is also a chance to bond and have fun with each other. If you find it difficult or your dog does not stay still, do spend some time to play with him or her. Playing makes them feel comfortable and more open for grooming.
We hope that you find this article helpful, and stay tuned for more topics coming up!