Trimming your dog’s nails is not usually considered sharing “quality time” with your beloved pet. But when done often enough, with the proper technique, and rewards for your dog’s good behavior, it should be one of those regular grooming events that your dog will tolerate if not look forward to.
If not done often enough, with proper technique, and reward- training, it can be frightening and even painful for your dog. In this article are answers to many common dog nail clipping questions as well as tips on proper equipment and technique that will give you the advantage when you approach this simple home dog-grooming necessity.
Is dog nail trimming painful to my dog?
Dog nail trimming is not painful if you use a sharp nail trimmer and don’t clip the nails too short. A dull trimmer can put a lot of pressure on your dog’s toenail before it actually cuts through the nail. If this happens your dog may feel an uncomfortable pinching sensation. This is because the vein in the toenail is being squeezed. To avoid this always make sure that you’re using a sharp pet nail trimmer.
What tools do I need to trim my dog’s nails?
You will want to have a sharp clipper designed for dog nail trimming. Dogs come in all sizes so choose a nail trimmer that’s right for the size of your pet’s nails. The most common types of nail trimmers are the guillotine, pliers and scissor styles.
Guillotine style dog nail trimmers require that the dog’s nail be inserted through a hole in the top of the trimmer. As the handles are squeezed together the blade comes down and cuts through the nail. Many people find guillotine style clippers more difficult to use on large breed dogs. Thicker nails can be more difficult to insert into the guide hole in the clipper. These dog nail trimmers have a cutting blade that must be changed frequently to maintain a nice clean cut.
Pliers style dog nail trimmers work similar to pruning shears. The two notched blades surround and cut through the nail as the handles are squeezed together. Some people like this style because they can see exactly where the blade will cut through the nail. If you have a large dog this type of trimmer works great on thick nails.
Just make sure to select a heavy-duty clipper designed to cut through the thick toenails of your large breed dog. Pliers style trimmers are available for small, medium and large dogs. These dog nail trimmers don’t have blades that need to be replaced but they do need to be sharpened when they become dull.
Scissor style dog nail trimmers work just like a pair of scissors. The two scissor-like notched blades surround and cut through the nail as the handles are closed. These clippers are for light duty jobs only. These are not actually dog nail trimmers. They are best used for cats, birds and other small animals. Some people do use them on small dogs. They’re usually labeled as cat/bird claw clippers.
The style you choose for your dog nail trimming needs is a matter of personal preference. If the clipper is the correct size it will get the job done. Just remember to keep your nail trimmer sharp so that it makes a fast clean cut. A dull clipper can pinch the nail, which will result in discomfort to your dog.
In addition to good quality nail trimmers, it is also recommended to have a pet nail file. You’ll find that it is much easier to file down any rough edges with a nail file that has been designed for the shape of your dog’s nails.
Next on the list is styptic powder. It’s always a good idea to have it on hand for those occasional mishaps. A nail clipped just a little too short tends to bleed a lot. Applying some styptic powder will help stop the bleeding.
Finally, keep plenty of dog treats on hand to reward good behavior. You can also use dog treats to distract your pet during dog nail trimming. Treats work great to draw a dog’s attention away from a bleeding nail.
Why do my dog’s nails need to be trimmed regularly?
When a dog’s nails become too long they interfere with the dog’s gait and as the nails continue to grow, walking will become awkward and painful. Untrimmed nails can also split resulting in a great deal of pain, bleeding, and a trip to the veterinarian’s office. In severe cases a dog’s nails can curl under and grow into the pad of the dog’s paw causing a very serious and painful infection. These types of ingrown nail problems are most common on the dewclaws.
The dewclaws are the nails located on the inside of the paw. Many breeders have the dewclaws removed shortly after puppies are born, so not all dogs will have dewclaws. If your dog has them remember to include them in your dog nail trimming routine. These nails don’t touch the ground, so they don’t wear down as fast as the others as your dog walks on rough surfaces. Trimming your dog’s nails regularly will easily prevent these problems. sanare lab fenbendazole