How to Safely Trim your Dog’s Nails

Dogs are descended from wolves but as a domesticated animal, they don’t have a chance to trim their nails naturally as wolves do in the wild. Neglecting your dog’s nails over a long period of time can cause foot and joint pain. They need a little help from humans. Trimming your dog’s nails (for most dogs) is not a difficult task and will save you the expense of going to the vet to get it done.

Here is a little trick I learned from a groomer to make nail trimming easier. Use some old or buy some inexpensive knee high hose and put your dog’s foot into them. Pop their nails through the hose. This way, you can trim away and not have to worry about catching any of their coat while trimming. Hold the dog’s foot in your hand with the pad facing up toward you to get a good look at the underside of the nail. You will be able to
see where the tip of the nail has a small, hollow ridge. When you start to see pale pink tissue near the top of the cut edge, stop trimming. If it’s necessary, file the rough end of the nail.

If your dog has black nails or you cannot see this, try to cut just above where the nail starts to curve. Cut dark coloured claws in several small cuts to reduce the chance of cutting into the quick. If you cut the quick of the nail and it starts to bleed, use Quick Stop or other measures to stop the bleeding (corn starch, powder, cotton etc. It is not a huge catastrophe if you cut the quick and your dog bleeds a little. Even without treating the nail at all, it should stop bleeding within 5 to 10 minutes.

Take it slow and easy so that nail trimming doesn’t become a stressful chore for you or your dog.

Do you have any good tips to share about nail trimming? We would love to hear them. Contact us here.

See you next time.



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