Many dog owners will look at their pet’s nails and wonder how they got such long nails so soon. Often, the answer is that we didn’t take the time to maintain them and clip them. It is important to stay on top of this grooming process so our pet’s feet remain comfortable and healthy. This is easier said than done for some inexperienced dog owners. So, how can we learn to trim overgrown nails in an effective, safe manner?
Where to start?
Getting started with cutting dog nails isn’t as simple as picking up the nearest pair of nail clippers and getting to work on the tip of the nail. There are lots of factors to take into consideration before you can maintain a good trimming result – and before you can keep your dog calm to get the dog s nails trimmed. You need to:
- Find the best tool for the trimming job.
- Make sure that you consider the health and safety implications (see the vet).
- Ensure that your pet is calm and happy to proceed with the nails trim
- Understand the optimal way to get desired results without bleeding
Finding the best tool for the job
There are two different types of nail trimming tools that you can use to cut your pet’s nails down to the right size. They are a dog s nails clipper and a dog nail grinder. Dog nails clippers are often popular at first because they have a familiar action and don’t produce much noise even when dealing with overgrown dog nails.
The basic idea is that we line up the nail in the clipper, push down and cut the nail in the right place. The problem is that cautious dog owners can struggle to get a clean cut in the right place. You may also need to file the edges afterward.
Dog grinders may seem scarier at first, but the gradual grinding process is far more advantageous for a smooth result at just the right dog s nails size. There are lots of products out there with great safety features, ergonomic designs, and other helpful elements. Many of the best dog s nails grinders are also low-vibration and low noise models to keep your dog less nervous.
Think about health and safety
Once you have the right tool, you need to be sure that you proceed safely. The worst thing that you can do is rush the job of dog trimming. You may risk injuring your pet or cause nail damage. It is important to be aware of where the quick of the nail is and to finish grinding below that point – look at the nails carefully first to know where it is. If you hit the quick you could hurt the animal and cause bleeding. Accidents can happen, so make sure to have some styptic powder on hand to stem the bleeding in case you do trim the quick. It can also help to trim the hair around the paws, so the hair doesn’t stick in the grinder during the dog s nails cutting. Always keep styptic powder around to stop the blood vessels from pouring, and to contain the bleeding.
Make sure your pet is calm and happy
The calmer and happier the dog, the better the chance that you can have a clean, uneventful grooming session with clippers. It helps to train dogs from an early age to have their paws handled for grooming sessions. If you have a rescue dog, make sure that you are patient with them and set them up with a favorite blanket, cuddly toy, or a tasty treat. If they want to stop – stop! Also, give them lots of praise and treats for good behavior – a treat goes a long way.
Cut the nails to the right length in a slow, step-by-step manner
A safe sign that of the overgrown dog nails is if they extend beyond the paw pad and scratch at the floor when they touch the ground. But, it is possible to cut them too short too – nails can be quick to recede, so do the nail trimming weekly. If the nails start to recede, you should trim your dog s nails right away. Don’t overcompensate because you think it will buy you some time before you have to cut the dog s nails again. This is where you can risk injury if you cut the quick and cause pain when dealing with long nails. It’s better to keep your dog trimmed and do the trimming little by little, once every week or two. Pick one day of the week when you need to get the dog s nails trimmed to stop them from becoming overgrown, long nails.
Check the underside of the nail to see where the hollow part of the nails end and the quick starts. Work slowly to grind the nail so that it is just shorter than the pad. Be extra careful when working with black colored nails because it is harder to see the quick during nail clipping – especially when dealing with overgrown nails.
It also helps to make sure that you do each dog s paw at a time, and each dog s nail at a time. Make sure each nail is the right length and look at the nail to make sure that it is smooth before moving on to the next dog nail. This methodical process means that you can maintain quality control when you trim dog nails, but it is also better for the dog. You don’t want to confuse them by getting them to shift back between paws too often during nail trimming. Do it slowly, step by step, and cut off a little bit each time. Trimming your dog’s overgrown nails shouldn’t be quick, take your time during nail trims. It’s worth noting once again that the nail trims should be regular to keep the dog nails from becoming overgrown.
Don’t forget that regular dog grooming will reduce the risk of overgrown dog nails altogether.
It is one thing to handle overgrown dog nails in a beneficial, safe manner. It is another thing entirely to stop the dog s nails from becoming overgrown nails in the first place. Some dog owners put off these grooming processes because they don’t want the hassle, or feel that they don’t have the time. These owners will not trim dog nails until it’s essential -when the nails are overgrown. However, small consistent efforts are a better idea than nail trimming overgrown dog nails every time.
Try and trim your dog each week for a great grooming session and trim with your pet to avoid trimming your dog when nails are too long. This approach can have all sorts of benefits for the pair of you. Regular nail cleaning and nail cutting, coat brushing, and other tasks can stop the dog from developing painful conditions or health problems. A shorter touch up each week doesn’t mean that you need to clear your schedule for an afternoon to keep the dog s nails trimmed. Finally, there is a bonding experience with the dogs, which the dogs like, as well as the owners. Grooming is a chance to spend quality time with your animal while cutting their nails short. You can gain their trust even more, and the dogs could like you more after a satisfying trim. If your dogs like you – this could be crucial if there are ever further problems with dogs’ long nails. Dogs can become anxious when you’re cutting overgrown nails, and if they experience pain when you’re using the nail clippers during the trim, they will become upset. If that happens often, the dog will hate the trim much more and might even avoid the trim altogether.
Take your time to create a great schedule with the right tools for dogs nail trimming
Dog s nail trimming doesn’t have to be difficult with the right tools and approaches. But, it always pays to be prepared for problems and to run through the same process each time. Create a schedule your dog can become familiar with. Get them used to the process each week and work to ensure that the dog doesn’t get overgrown nails because trimming can result in bleeding then. In case that happens, use much of the styptic powder to keep back the blood! Most importantly, never rush the dog grooming process or see it as a chore. Make use of trimming your dog, grind each dog s nail properly – one at a time, and know that you and your pet have bonded and that you like each other more.