Guest Post by Josh S.
No matter how active your furry friend might be outdoors, nail trimming is one of the most vital grooming needs of every dog. Although most dogs will wear down their nails naturally, they need a little help from you sometimes.
Every dog owner can learn how to properly trim their dog’s nails and every dog can be trained on how to tolerate the process. When the dog gets used to the entire process from a tender age, things get comfortable for both of you after some time.
You can try that big hug, yummy treat or the magical ‘who’s a good boy’ phrase before, during and after trimming his nails. Every pooch will appreciate this kind of attention as it is quite reassuring and sets a happy mood before you get started.
All in all, you may need a little help from the vet or groomer for you to be able to make the trims like a pro. You don’t have to hurt your pooch! Here’s all you need to know for you to do the nail trimming like an expert.
How do you trim the nails?
Before getting started on the nail trimming process, there are a few basics that you need to observe. The first step is to get some treats for your furry friend. The whole idea here is to make the experience positive and your dog will get comfortable in no time.
Also, you need to understand that you’re not obliged to trim all the nails at once. Nail trimming is a crucial thing and it needs some level of patience if you want to do it right.
From a tender age, train your dog to get accustomed to the handling of their ankles and toes. This way, the puppy will be acclimated early hence making her find nail trimming less intrusive later in life.
One technique that helps with nail trimming is holding the clippers against the dog’s toe pad then cutting across the nail. This way there will be lesser chances of cutting the nails too short or rupturing a blood vessel.
Keep these basics in mind:
- One of the most common mistakes is not using a sharp, good quality nail trimmer. A dull trimmer can bend and crack the nails and it could hurt your dog.
- When cutting nails, be aware of the “quick.” The quick is a blood vessel in the nail. It appears like a thin dark line running through the nail, but it is harder to see on black nails. If you are unsure where the quick ends, cut the nail in small increments and leave it a little longer. If you do cut the quick, the nail will bleed and your dog may yelp. You can stop the bleeding with styptic powder available at most pet stores.
- Cutting nails after a bath is not essential, but it is helpful since the water softens the nails and makes them easier to cut.
Reasons why you need to trim your dog’s nails
Just like the human nails, the dog’s nails are constantly growing. Although some of the dogs wear down their nails naturally when they spend a lot of time walking on concrete, gravel and pavements, this is not always the case with dogs that reside in the suburbs and spend most of the time indoors.
The long nails do not always dig into the footpad but the length tends to make it a little hard for the dog to walk on slick surfaces especially. In other cases, the long nails may get caught up on split ends hence exposing them to a higher risk of being torn.
This is a very painful experience for your dog and may even require sedation from the vet for treatment to be administered. Therefore, trim those nails unapologetically. It’s all for the good of your pooch.
How often should you trim your dog’s nails?
The intervals needed between every nail trimming session majorly depends on the dog breed among other factors. This is basically because the rate of nail growth, as well as the natural wear of nails, varies from one dog to another. If you need to know when is the right time, the rule of thumb is to trim your dog’s nails as soon as you see them touching the floor when she is standing.
Nail trimming is a loving long-term service for your dog. Therefore, you need to remain reassuring and confident about the whole process.
I have a friend, May, who is a die-hard dog lover and lives nearby the Carolina Mountains. To her, nail trimming and clipping is never a favorite shared activity. One day, she went camping with her dog Jack. Due to his long nails, he damaged the tent floor. In the end, both May and Jack didn’t have a good night sleep. That is why it is important to always keep dogs’ nails short and tidy.
Josh S. is the blog owner of kyrapets.com. On the site, he will share information helping dog owners. He has a Staffordshire Bull Terrier whom he loves very dearly.