Some dog grooming basics are easier, like combing and bathing, but then, there are the harder tasks, such as tooth brushing, ear and face cleaning, and toenail trimming. These need to be done periodically, but you can make them easier on yourself and your pet. It's essential to be aware of the proper way to go about grooming your dog, especially when it comes to nail trimming. Your dog won't forget if you hurt them, and you'll still have to continue the maintenance, which could end up worsening your relationship with your pet over time.
The following will focus on the guidelines you should follow when the time comes for you to clip your dog's nails, and how you can make the experience more bearable for both you and your furry friend. Learn what you'll need to be prepared for the process, how to approach it, and tips to ensure it's an okay experience for the both of you. These seven tips should help you avoid major disasters.
1Know When You Should Trim
If your dog isn't spending a lot of time on the pavement to wear the nails down, you need to trim it regularly since it will rapidly grow. Clicking on a hard surface tells you that it is time. But this is a delicate procedure that many owners and their pets hate to do, especially if it's been a bad experience in the past.
2Start A Nail Trimming Routine
Your dog may never love having nails trimmed even though you try your hardest to make it a pleasant experience because dogs are sensitive regarding nails. It helps to know that you can make choices. You can do them all at one time or clip in stages. Just keep up with it so that the nails don't get out of control.
Weekly would be ideal for trimming a dog's nails because then you prevent other problems and establish a routine. Some dogs like grinders better than clippers so use this rotary tool if you need to. You can also hire a professional groomer or vet to do the trimming.
3Make The Trimming Easier For Your Dog
When trimming toenails on your dog, try these tips. Make sure your dog is used to you touching their feet because a lot of them hate that. Get your pet used in tolerating it, and it will be easier to do a manicure each week. You can start with the help of a vet or a groomer who can show you what to do the first time, and then you can take care of them yourself periodically.
Do just one paw at a time if you have a fussy dog. Trim one and then give the dog a rest period before you go on to do another. Then give the dog a treat, a hug, and an exclamation of praise, along with a nice scratch behind the ears.
4Be Sure To Prepare Everything You Need
Be sure to get all your tools together before picking up your nail clippers so that the procedure goes smoothly. You will need special nail cutters - the best choices are either the scissor or guillotine styles. You also need a product to stop bleeding if you accidentally nick your dog's veins (the best products are either styptic powder, in which case also grab cotton balls, or a nail-cauterizing tool). Prepare a damp towel to clean up any mess and a nail file to smooth the trimmed nail. Don't forget a favorite treat to reward your dog!
5Watch Out For The Quick
There's a nail and a quick in every canine toenail, the quick being pink if you can see it. That's where the blood supply to the nail is, so try not to cut this sensitive part that will bleed easily. You can see the quick if your pet has white nails, but often they are darker than that and you can not find the quick. That means you must snip quite cautiously and keep looking closely.
Stop right away if there's a sponginess to the nail and be careful rather than be sorry later. If you clip the quick, your pet will not be a happy camper, and there'll be a lot of blood. Use a nail cauterizer or styptic powder right away to stem the blood. This hurts the dog and will usually be remembered by your pet for a long time.
6How To Trim Your Dog's Nail
For trimming your dog's nails, here are the steps. First, hold its foot gently but steadily and firmly; next, snip a little at the end of all the toenails. Put a little bit of it in, at a time. The dog should probably be lying down for this procedure. Do what works best for you and your canine.
You might want to use a nail grinder instead of a clipper, but it's the same kind of procedure. Hold the foot and grind some off every nail. Do it when needed, but before a bath is excellent so that if the dog is "quicked," the blood can be washed off.
7Don't Forget The Dewclaws
Dogs have an additional claw called the "dewclaw," which functions as a sort of "thumb." This claw is located at the top of the dog's foot, on the inside of the leg. While the majority of dewclaws are located on the front of their leg, a few dogs have dewclaws on the rear. Not all dogs have dewclaws, however.
For dogs who do have dewclaws, the groomer needs to pay careful attention when trimming these claws. Because the dewclaw is rarely placed on the ground, these claws tend to grow longer than other claws. Trimming these dewclaws is essential to keep them from growing into your dog's foot, a painful condition.
Grooming is a significant part of being a pet owner, regardless of whether you're interested in doing it. Toenail trimming can be especially tedious, but with the above tips, you should be able to get through trimming your dog's nails pretty painlessly. Establish a pattern with your dog so that they know to expect this part of grooming, as it isn't one that you can slack on.
Jackie Wing is an Alaska native, who enjoys snowboarding more than is probably socially acceptable. She lives in Anchorage with her two dogs Reese and Peanut, or as she likes to call them "Thing 1" and "Thing 2."