Cleaner Paws is a mother-daughter run blog. Together we have over 40+ years of professional pet grooming experience and we hope to pass some of that on to our readers throughout our in-depth and non-bias reviews and buyers guides.
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This review guide was updated in November 2018.
There’s no doubt about it, dogs are indeed man’s best friend.
In fact, to most people, dogs are more than friends; they are part of the family.
Because of this, dog lovers see to it that their dogs are lways agiven the best treatment. Hence, the rise of establishments offering luxurious services for pets, like pet hospitals, spas, and even doggy themed hotels.
However, even with this level of luxury there are dog grooming chores that an owner must, sometimes, do themselves.
This can be the case when it comes to trimming your pets nails.
Just like human finger nails, dog nails grow quite fast and owners who have carried out the process many times before will know there is a particular art to trimming a dog’s nails.
Not only this but you also run the risk of exposing your dog to certain infections, espeically if they become so long they begin to break.
However, the reason we said there is an art to cutting your dog’s nails is because if you cut your dog’s claws too short, they’re likely to bleed.
The following post offers ome remedies in the event of dog nail bleeding and how you can prevent the dilemma in the first place.
Why should I trim my dog’s nails?
Dog nail trimming is an essential part of dog grooming.
Aside from the reasons above, long nails can cause injury and pain to your dog.
Long nails are likely to hurt your dog when they stand up and will also affect the way they walk or run.
Long nails also tend to curl into the skin which can be very painful for athe dog.
The frequency of nail trimming differs for every dog. Dogs that play on softer surfaces may need to have their nails cut more regularly.
Softer surfaces like carpet, dirt paths, and grass, do not provide the necessary friction to file down the nails naturally.
How do I trim my dog’s nails?
Most pets will be very uneasy and may act out while their nails are being trimmed.
Some dogs may even yelp, squirm and cry during the process.
Veterinarians recommend that owners should start trimming the nails of their dog while it is still a puppy to acclimatize them to the process. In doing so, you lessen their fear of it and make it much easier for the task to be carried out.
Here’s how to do so:
First, establish a routine with your dog.
Some dogs will obligingly lie down on the table or sit down on your lap to have their nails clipped while some will put up a fight.
If this is the case with your dog some form of restraint may need to applied, just enough to keep them still.
To do this you can lay your dog on top of the table and drape your arms over the dog’s body. This position works like a hug and also makes your beloved pet feel much safer.
Another option is to lay your pet down on their side. Place your less dominant hand and upper body on your dog to keep them from getting up. You can then trim your dog’s claws using your other hand.
If you have someone to help you, allow them to hold your pet instead, so you have full use of both your hands. This should make the process much quicker and easier to manage.
As for the cutting instrument, you have two options when it comes to dog clippers: the scissors-type and the guillotine type.
The scissors clipper, as its name suggests, it works much like a traditional pair of scissors.
This style is considered best for dogs with thicker and bigger nails.
A guillotine clipper, on the other hand, has a stationary ring and a blade right at its tip. The nail is placed into the opening, and the blade used to cut it.
This type of clipper is made for dogs with thin to medium thick nails.
Aside from the cutting tools above, some dog owners chose to use a Dremel instead. A Dremel is an electronic tool which works much like a nail file. It sands down the nails using a rotating grit.
TIP: Cut the claw around 2 millimeters from the quick.
Note the difference in the color of the nail and the quick.
For dogs with light colored nails, the quick is rather easy to distinguish from the nail. The quick will look lighter and more pinkish than the rest of the nail.
If your dog seems to be agitated, stop the trimming and resume after an hour or so. This is to avoid stressing them out.
When cutting dark-colored nails, it is better only to cut the sharp-pointed tip part.
The broader parts of the nail should be cut with caution as these may already be a part of the quick. With each cut, take a look at the cross-section of the nail.
As you get closer to the quick, the center will turn into a light gray and fleshy white color. If you have any doubts, stop trimming and turn to a professional instead.
What happens if I cut my dog’s nails too short?
A dog’s nail anatomy is a bit more complicated than human nails.
A dog’s nail comprises an outer hard shell, and a soft cuticle made up of blood vessels and nerves. The cuticle is also known as the “quick” which was explored quickly in the section above.
You will know you have cut into the quick if the nail starts to bleed or your dog yelps in pain.
If nail bleeding does not accompany the sudden crying or yelping of the dog, this could mean that the cut was made close to the quick.
If the bleeding does not stop within 20 to 30 minutes or if the injury gets infected, contact your veterinarian immediately. Any swelling or continuous bleeding or limping are tell-tale signs that the wound might be infected.
Clipping your dog’s nails can be a tricky business. However, it is an vital part of dog grooming.
The next time you trim your dog’s nails, take note of the tips provided here.
By learning how to do this yourself, not only will you be able to save money, you’ll also create a bonding experience for you and your beloved pet.
Just remember to be careful and should something happen, apply one of the first aid remedies we have provided here.
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