Nail Trimming Do’s And Don’ts
Nail Trimming Do’s and Don’ts
Nail trimming should be a quick, simple procedure. Unfortunately, this basic grooming task often turns into a stressful experience for people and pets alike. Whether you’re concerned about hurting your pet or aren’t sure which tools to use, these tips may help make nail trimming much more pleasant for both you and your pet.
Set the Mood
Your pet may not require candles and soft music for nail trimming, but picking the right time and place is important. Choose a quiet room away from the action and choose a time when things are relatively peaceful at your house. Your pet is much more likely to react positively to nail trimming if you’re relaxed and patient.
Don’t Forget to Practice
If you’ll be cutting your pet’s nails for the first time, it’s a good idea to begin the process slowly. Begin by simply holding your pet’s paw in your hand for the first week or two. If you have a cat, use gentle pressure to expose the nail. Offer your pet a treat at the end of these sessions.
The sound of the clippers can be disconcerting to some pets. While you hold your pet’s paw with one hand, use the other hand to open and close the clippers a few times. Once your pet becomes accustomed to this step, you can move on to the actual trimming.
Use the Best Angle
Avoid the Quick
Don’t Rush It
Use an Assistant
Ask for Help
Do you need a little help trimming your pet’s nails? Contact us to schedule a quick, convenient appointment.
Bringing You Peace of Mind
Old Dogs Or Deformed Nails
Older dogs tend to end up with long quicks, elongated nails and often extremely hard nails. Nails can also grow back a bit deformed if there has been some sort of trauma to the nail bed, such as when the dew claw has been caught in something and torn.
Clipping after bathing can help with the hardness issue, as they nails will be softer. Ensuring you just take the tips off the nails or cut them so they sit just above the floor when your dog is standing can help to ensure you dont cut deformed nails too short.
Alternatively, if you gradually take the tips off, you can often make the quick recede a little over time, but you will need to be patient. So long as your dogs nails are not touching the ground, getting caught in anything and causing the toes to splay out or bend, there is no need to worry too much about keeping them extremely short.
Whenever you trim your dogs nails remember to make the whole experience rewarding by having treats at the ready and always take a little bit at a time if you cant clearly see the quick beneath the nail. And if you have a very patient dog, why not paint those nails!
When It Comes To Sedation Are There Any Risks To Your Dog
It is possible that tranquillizers used on animals will have unforeseen consequences. Airlines and pet transportation firms, on the other hand, strictly prohibit the use of sedatives on pets due to the increased health and safety hazards. Animals that have been sedated lose their ability to control their muscles and balance.
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How Can I Make Nail Trims Less Stressful For My Dog
While it is perfect natural for dogs to resist having their feet handled, most dogs can be trained to tolerate and even enjoy nail trims. In most cases, the way to a dogs heart is through his stomach. Giving your dog treats during nail trims can help make the experience more pleasant for both you and your dog. If you have a helper holding your dog, they can also give small, frequent treats throughout the nail trim. In some cases, smearing a small amount of peanut butter on a wall or door is all that it takes to convince your dog to stand still while you trim his nails solo.
Although this approach may seem time-consuming, it will actually save you time in the long run. After a month or two of consistent daily effort, your dogs nail trims should remain relatively easy and low-stress for the rest of your dogs lifespan.
This Is The Only Nail Trimmer I Use
My go-to nail trimmer is Millers Forge Large Dog Nail Clipper. They are a standard nail trimmer with an open clipping partnot a closed circle or guillotine style. This makes them easy to use and hold, plus theyre made of surgical stainless steel and are sharp, so they cut efficiently. For cats, I like the Miller Forge Pet Nail Clipper, theyre similar but smaller.
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Why Do Dogs Hate Getting Their Nails Clipped
Pain is the main reason that dogs hate nail trims. If your dog has ever been cut too close, even once, he will remember it. Nature provides pain as a protection and if something hurts, an animal must learn to avoid, and even fight it. This is a survival instinct.
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What Can I Give My Dog To Calm Him Down To Cut His Nails
When choosing a sedative for your dog, there are a number of options available. Some products like Benadryl or Melatonin, are available over the counter, but others, like Acepromazine, will require a prescription. Be aware that anytime you sedate a dog, you must seek advice from a professional to avoid dangerous consequences.
As youll see below, sedating your dog is not so easy and can be quite dangerous. If you prefer a more risk free alternative, please check this guide.
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Trim Your Dog Or Cat’s Nails At Home With These Clippers That Pros Recommend
While all veterinary offices, pet spas, and even some doggie daycare centers offer nail trimming services for your dog or cat, paying top dollar for a professional trim isnt always in the budget. Luckily, this is a task you can complete in the comfort of your own home with the purchase of one essential tool: a nail trimmer. Seren Lanza, DVM at VCA Darien Animal Hospital in Connecticut offers expert advice on how to easily and properly trim your pets nails with her go-to nail trimmers. Is pet hair a problem in your home? Check out these 13 pet hair removers that actually work.
How To Give Your Dog More Traction
Regardless of the length of your dog’s nails, some dogs just have a harder time getting traction on certain surfaces, like tile, linoleum, and hardwood. This is especially true for a dog with arthritis or poor muscling .
For dogs with traction problems that can’t be solved by just nail trimming alone, there are several solutions you may consider. Each solution has its pros and cons. Trying the one that you feel your dog will tolerate the most, is the best place to start. Trial and error is, unfortunately, part of the process, but below are some of our recommended choices, as many of our team members and my patients in the past have used them.
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Dog Claw Trimming Tips And Tricks
- Remember to trim your dogs dew claw nail, which is located on the inside of the leg. If left untrimmed, these nails grow into the soft tissue, a bit like an ingrown toenail for us.
- If youre still a little daunted, dont worry. The more often you trim them the easier it becomes.
- Teach your pet dog nail trimming from an early age to get him used to having his paws handled its also a fun game for both of you. Play ‘pretend trimming’ by touching your dogs paws feet then rewarding him dog with a favourite treat.
- Remember to always reward your dog after nail trimming to make it a positive experience.
- Need another method for older or younger dogs? Use a normal nail file to file the soft toenails of puppies or older dogs with brittle nails, which is less likely to cause pain or bleeding.
- When you check your dogs nails, also check his paw pads for any cuts or foreign bodies. .
- Also check between his toes for any signs of soreness, and as always contact your vet if you find anything unusual.
Cutting your dogs claws isnt easy, so dont feel guilty if you cant do it. If in doubt, or for further reassurance, consult your vet or vet nurse theyll be happy to give you a hand.
How Much Does It Cost To Clip A Puppys Nails
In general, its best to trim your puppys nails a little bit every week. Another important reason to trim your puppys toenails weekly: it trains them to tolerate having their feet touched. The more you get your paw on their claws when theyre little, the easier it will be to trim their nails when theyre grown up.
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What Type Of Nail Clippers Should I Use For My Cat
Pet nail clippers come in several varieties. One common type of nail clippers is the guillotine style, with a hole through which you put the nail and a blade that slides up when you squeeze the handles closed. The other style of nail clippers is called a scissors style two blades come together, like a pair of scissors. Either of these can be safely used with cats. In fact, you can even use human nail clippers on cats.
You may need to experiment with several clipper styles to find the one that works best for you. Many people prefer small, scissors-style clippers that are designed specifically for cats.
How Often Should I Trim My Dogs Nails
Most dogs need to have their nails trimmed approximately once monthly. Dogs that are frequently walked on pavement or concrete may be able to go a bit longer between nail trims, because walking on a hard, rough surface can help file the nail. Dogs that are inactive or do not spend any time on hard surfaces may even need nail trims a bit more frequently, such as every three weeks.
The best way to determine whether your dog is due for a nail trim is to closely examine your dogs nails. Get down low on the ground and look to see whether your dogs nails touch the ground. If they do, they are too long and should be trimmed. If you can hear your dogs nails clicking on your wood or tile floors when he walks, this is also a clear indicator that the nails are too long.
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Do Long Nails Hurt Dogs
Leaving your dogs nails untrimmed can do a lot of damage,some of which can be irreversible.
When pups put their feet on the ground and hit it with theirnails, it puts force on their feet and legs.
Long nails can take a healthy paw and make it into a splayedfoot that has less traction. It can also injure tendons and deform their feet.
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My Dog Is Already Scared Of Having Her Nails Trimmed Is It Too Late
Although it is easier to teach a pup, old dogs can learn new tricks. Be prepared to spend extra time training your older dog to tolerate nail trims because the steps outlined above for puppies are not quite enough for older dogs that already have a paw aversion. Adult dogs may be fearful of the clippers and the sound they make, especially if they had a previous bad experience .
Desensitizing older dogs to nail trimming takes patience. The process cannot be rushed. Monitor your dogs response as you follow these steps below and repeat steps if your dog has difficulty along the way.
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Dealing With An Animals Fear Of Getting The Toenails Clipped
While some people choose to do this at the vet or with the help of groomers, there are certainly other ways of easing your pups fear of the clippers , or eliminating, the anxiety and the freaking out involved in this terrifying experience, at the comfort of your home.
The most obvious way is to eliminate the need for trimming at all by using other methods to clip the toenails.
Enough exercise may lead to the wear and have the same result as if you were to clip the nails, so they will require no trimming. Running on asphalt is a good example of a workout routine.
Some folks use motion sickness pills, but remember to consult someone before drugging your dog. Even an innocent pill could be dangerous.
You can even try the nail trimming process while your dog is sleeping. Try to approach your sleepy pup with the toenail clippers. Grab the toenail and do one nail at a time. Remember to keep these clipping sessions short.
You could also try using rough floor mats specially designed to wear down long dogs nails . Or teach a behavior such as scratching or running the paw over a sandpaper covered board.
The latter will involve multiple training sessions, but will allow you to escape the trauma when you start to trim the nail .
Another stress free alternative is to use a special harness to restrain your pooch.
Others even use tools like a dremel sanding drum !
You may want to get a styptic powder or quick stop in case a bleeding happens during the trimming.
How Do I Safely Trim My Dogs Nails
In most cases, it will be easier to trim your dogs nails if you have someone who can help by restraining your dog.Keeping your dog still and minimizing wiggles will reduce the likelihood of you accidentally cutting a nail too short and damaging the quick.
First, take your dogs paw in your hand and examine the nails. If your dog has light-colored nails, you should be able to see the quick within the nail. Your goal is to cut approximately 2-3 mm away from the quick, to avoid causing your dog pain. If your dog has dark nails, you may not be able to see the quick. In this case, trim just the very tip off of the nail. Through a series of small clips, removing 1-2 mm of nail with each clip, you can gradually work the nail back to a shorter length while minimizing the likelihood of significantly damaging the quick. Aim to make your final cut at or near the point where the nail begins to curve, but stop sooner if you encounter the quick. In some dogs, especially those who have not received regular nail trims, the quick may be grown out almost to the end of the nail.
If your dog has dewclaws , do not forget to trim them. Dewclaws do not come in contact with the ground therefore, they often become overgrown and can even curve around until they are growing into the paw pad.
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How Do I Immobilize My Dog To Cut His Nails
Do overgrown nails hurt dogs? Overgrown Nails Cause Accidents Dogs use their nails for traction and balance when walking or running. Nails that are too long can cause a dog to slip and fall more easily. Long nails cause a dog to place their feet differently, in a plantigrade position.
Should I soak my dogs nails before cutting?
Bathe Your Dog First
Try to coordinate your dogs nail clipping with her bath time. Bathing your dog before trimming her nails softens the nails so that they are easier to clip and less likely to splinter. The massaging motion of cleaning your pets fur can relax your dog so that shes more docile for a nail clipping.
How long does it take for a dogs nail quick to recede? After trimming a small portion of an overgrown nail, generally, within seven days, the quick should have receded enough to allow you to trim off another little bit of nail again, according to The Everything Puppy Book: Choosing, Raising, and Training Our Littlest Best.
What To Do If You Cut Your Dog’s Nail Too Short
Aim to take enough off of each nail to keep it short, yet not so much that you cut the quick or the nerve endings that extend just beyond the leading edge of the quick. You might hear this referred to as “quicking” your dog’s nails. This happens when you cut the blood vessel and it happens more frequently with dogs that squirm a lot during nail trims, as well as with dogs with black nails because it is easier to see the quick in dogs with clear nails.
Should you ever cut your dogs nails too short which many people, including professionals, have done you’ll want to have something on hand to stop the bleeding. Always keep something on hand to stop the bleeding, including a towel, and have it beside you when you’re trimming, as the quick can bleed quite a lot when cut.
Trimming slowly and vertically on both the top and bottom of the nail as well as the sides a bit, allows you to avoid the quick by visualizing it sooner. It’s important to go slowly and give your dog lots of praise and positive rewards throughout the process.
NOTE: Remember to wipe off the nail “remnants as you slowly trim so you can visualize the quick and see how much you’ve taken off more easily.
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