Dog nail trimming or cutting dogs nails can seem daunting especially for new dog owners. Unlike humans, dogs are not are not particular fans of nail trimming sessions. Many times, the trim process can be more of growls, struggles and even attempts to bite. Some pet parents opt to defer the trims to a vet or professional trimmer.
Cutting Dogs Nails
Cutting your dog’s nail should not be that difficult. You need to start by teaching your dog to relax during nail trimming sessions while still young. Don’t worry thou if your dog is older as it’s not too late to train to enjoy the process. Like all other grooming methods, the first trick is to associate the nail trims with fun and lots of love.
If you are dealing with an adult pet that already fears the trimming process, try not to restrain him, touch his paws, or use a noisy clipper. Below are some dog nail trimming tips that will make the process less of a struggle and more of a bonding session.
Train your dog in a separate session to allow you to touch his paws. Start slow and keep your dog relaxed. You can incorporate treats as a reward for each successful relaxation stage. Start by rubbing his shoulders then progress down to the paws with light touches. Once you can hold its paws in your hands while he stays relaxed, you can proceed to make light strokes on his paw pads under his toes. If you can be able to touch the nails with light pressure while he is still relaxed, you are ready to go to work.
Inspect your dog’s feet
Look for debris and dirt on the paw and between toes. The paw inspection is also an opportunity to check if there are any infections, bruises or pests such as ticks.
Cut a small bit at a time
Once you have archived relaxation, just trim one toe and see how it all goes. Start by cutting small pieces at a time to avoid cutting to low. It’s ok if it takes several days to finish the whole process, especially for first timers.
Watch out for the quick
Perhaps this is the most important tips I am going to share today about cutting dogs nails. In fact, for most pet parents, this is what determines whether they should do it on their own to seek the help of a professional groomer. Dogs have a vein in the nail known as a quick, if you cut it, your dog will bleed. If your dog has light coloured nails, you can see this vein as a pink area through the nail. It can be a little tricky to see this vein in dark coloured nails, so you will need to avoid cutting too low by all means.
Keep styptic powder on hand
This powder will come in handy when you accidentally hit the quick. I have done this a few times while cutting dogs nails, so don’t panic, it happens even to professional groomers, just apply the powder with light pressure to stop bleeding. If you don’t have the styptic powder, you can place a tiny piece of clothing or tissue paper against the end of the nail with a little pressure and hold for a few minutes.
The procedure of cutting dog’s nails is an experience to both you and your dog. I am positive that if you observe all the above dog nail trimming tips, your nail cutting sessions should be fun and friendly. However, if you are not sure you can pull this off, or if your pet is very fidgety and terrified of nail trimming, you should consider taking your pet to a professional groomer.