Grooming is one of the responsibilities of a dog owner. Aside from taking care of the coat or fur, you need to regularly trim your dog’s nails. Your vet can do it for you, but with a few tools and a lot of patience you can do it at home. Here are some important tips on how to do this delicate procedure without hurting your dog (or being scratched in the process).
It also helps to put your dog on a table, where there is a non-slip mat. That way he can’t run off, and he won’ t slide or slip off if he squirms.
What tools should I use to trim my dog’s nails?
You will need a nail trimmer, ideally a guillotine type. If you have a big dog breed with thicker nails, choose one with a strong claw. A nail file can help smooth down any jagged tips, or just take your dog for a walk along a concrete pavement. For emergencies, you will need a styptic pen.
How often should I cut my dog’s nails?
If your dog likes to walk and play on a hard surface, then the constant corrosion will help keep nails short. This means you can wait longer between nail trimming. However, if your dog plays on soft surfaces like grass and soil, then you will need to trim his nails more often.
What do I do if my dog hates getting his nails trimmed?
It’s easier if you get your puppy used to nail trimming—after a while he will take it as a matter of course, and offer little to no resistance. Calm him down by gently stroking his paws and speaking to him in a friendly, soothing voice. Then, hold the paw in place by applying very light pressure. Give him a reward (like a favorite dog treat) for staying still.
Avoid traumatizing your dog. One experience of pain can make him cower the moment he sees the nail clippers. So, it’s better to lightly trim the tips of the nails (a few at a time) every few days than to wait for several weeks.
How much should I cut?
Avoid cutting into the pinkish part of the nail, where there are blood vessels and nerve endings. I your dog has black nails, just trim off a bit at a time, checking the trimmings. Once you see a dark spot or a pale inner circle in the middle you know you are reaching the sensitive part. Stop the minute you see this.
Photo from all-about-bichon-frises.com