How to Trim Your Dogs Nails

Nail cutting or trimming is probably the least popular pet care task we need to do. We fear we will hurt our dog, and unfortunately, 9 times out of 10, the dog really dislikes it. It may take a while until your dog is comfortable getting his nails trimmed but with consistency, they will learn to tolerate it fairly well.

Exercise Your Dog Before Starting the Trimming

We recommend taking your dog on a walk or some other type of fun exercise before you start. That way he is tired and will be less likely to squirm. Before the nail trim, talk softly to him and pet him to help him relax. You may want to caress his paws… get him used to the idea that you are going to be touching his feet.

Gather All of Your Supplies

First of all, you will need a nail clipper specifically for dogs. Human clippers are generally not strong enough unless you have a tiny dog with tiny nails! There are a few types of nail clippers on the market. Generally, you’ll find the scissor or guillotine nail clippers in various sizes and strengths. You may have to try a few before finding the one right for you. You’ll also want to have some Styptic powder on hand. Styptic powder helps to stop the bleeding if you mistakenly nick your dog’s quick. And it doesn’t hurt to have some yummy treats on hand too!

Now you’re ready to begin!

How to Clip Dog Nails that Are White

Hold your dog so that you are able to see the underside of his nails. Dog nails should always be clipped underneath, rather than on the top of the nail. It is obviously much easier to trim a white – or “clear” – nail than a black one, so that’s where we’ll start. On a white nail, you should be able to see a pink streak inside the nail – that is the ‘quick’ – or the ‘live’ part of the nail. You will cut only the white part of the nail in front of the pink. If you cut the pink, it will bleed. This could happen by accident, so don’t panic if it does. Simply press some Styptic powder into the nail, and console your pup because it does sting.

How to Clip Dog Nails that Are Black

Black nails are more intimidating because you are unable to see the quick or the ‘pink’. To determine where the live part of the nail is, examine the tip of the nail from underneath. The dead part of the nail looks like a whiteish powder in the very center of the nail tip. Start trimming by taking very tiny ‘snips’ from the tip of the nail. As the white part goes away, you will start to see a dark area. The dark area or dark circle in the center of the nail is where the live part of the nail begins. Stop trimming when you reach the dark area.

Trim Their Nails Every 2-6 Weeks

Each dog is different, but generally a dog will need his nails trimmed anywhere from every 2 – 6 weeks. Still feeling uncomfortable trimming your dog’s nails? We understand, and we’re here to help! Stop by Holiday Barn Pet Resorts any time during business hours and we’ll be happy to do it for you.

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