You likely know that you need to trim your dog’s nails regularly, but it goes without saying that this can be a daunting task. It’s certainly not one that many people enjoy. Naturally, your dog is not going to be too excited about you grabbing a paw and snipping away, and you’re probably not thrilled at the prospect of being the bringer of “torture.”
To make the process less torturous for your dog and you, here are some tips to get the job done safely and effectively!
4 Tips To Care For Your Dog’s Nails
• Know when to clip
First, know that you should start trimming your dog’s toenails when they touch the ground. This is the general rule of thumb. If you hear them clipping across your tile or hardwood floors, it’s time for a trim.
• Know what clippers to use
If you’re prepared, you can clip your own dog’s toenails at home. There are basically two types of nail clippers. There’s the guillotine type and the scissors type. Both of them work well, so you can choose whatever you’re comfortable with and whatever your dog is comfortable with. Remember that there are different sizes of both of these types of nail clippers as well, so make sure to choose the correct size.
If your dog can simply not tolerate either type of clippers, there is also an electric “sander” tool that essentially stands your dog’s nails down. Dogs typically do not like the vibrations and sounds that come from this tool, but it is an effective method of clipping your dog’s nails if the other clipper tools are not options.
• Watch the quick
Even if you’ve never clipped your grown dogs nails before, you should still do it, but beware. Your dog probably won’t like it first of all, and you’ll need to take extra care not to clip the quick (the flesh just below the nail). If you do not clip your dog’s nails often, the quick often grows further toward the end of their nails, and when you clip them, you could accidentally knick the quick and draw blood.
Naturally, this does not feel good for your dog or you. To avoid this — whether or not you clip your dog’s nails often — always work slowly from the tip of the nail down. In other words, don’t just make one big snip.
• Seek assistance when needed
It can be difficult to clip your dog’s nails at home and by yourself, so in some cases, you may need to call for some help. Have a friend or family member hold your pup while you take a paw and start grooming. Make sure to use a calming, low speaking voice and praise your dog when they are calm and allow you to clip their nails. When the ordeal has finished, always give them a treat and a good rub-down for being so good.
Of course, this outcome does not always happen, and sometimes there’s simply no way for you by yourself or even you and a friend to get the job done at home. And in this case, you’ll need to ask a professional dog groomer or a vet if they might have better luck.
This is always an option, and just remember: you’re not trying to torture your dog when you clip their nails. It’s an important part of taking care of your dog’s health.
To learn more information on how to care for your dog’s nails, don’t hesitate to contact Pocopson Veterinary Station at (610) 793-3200!