4 min read (Articles narrated by Mabel)
Humans typically trim their own nails often, but many of them forget about their dog’s nails. Sure, our nail look different than human’s, but we still need ours trimmed regularly too! Most dogs are not a fan of getting their nails trimmed, but it is something that you should get in the habit of doing.
What Should You Know About Dog Nails?
Like human nails, dog nail can only be trimmed to a certain length without hurting your dog. A dog nail is made out of a hard outer shell that grows like a human’s would. Then, they have a pink inside part that is made of blood vessels and nerves, which is called a quick.
When trimming your dog’s nails, you need to make sure that you don’t cut to close to the quick. With light colored nails, you can easily see the quick, but with dark-colored nails, you need to be a lot more careful.
If your dog’s nails get too long, then this can actually be harmful for them. I have even seen dogs that have nails so long that they grow into their paws! That sounds very painful! Trimming their nails can help you to avoid issues like this.
Most dogs don’t like their paws being handled, so nail trimming is their least favorite part of grooming. I can admit that this is true for me as well. However, even if your dog hates getting their nails trimmed, it is a care requirement that should be done regularly.
How Often Should You Trim Your Dog’s Nails?
Most groomers recommend that dogs get their nails trimmed every month or so. However, if their nails have not been trimmed in a while, it is possible that their quicks have grown too long. If that is the case, you will need to trim them every two weeks until their quicks grow back to a healthy length.
If you get your dog groomed by a groomer regularly, nail trimming is usually included with that. Therefore, you shouldn’t really have to worry about trimming their nails if you keep up with their grooming. If your dog ever needs to come in more often for nail trims though, your groomer should let you know.
How to Trim Your Dog’s Nails
Many dog parents trim their dog’s nails at home, but there are also many that don’t feel comfortable with it. Molly takes Taco and I to a groomer to get our nails trimmed because she feels safer that way.
Plus, I can put up quite a fit for my nails, so Molly feels more comfortable letting a professional trim my nails. Just make sure you find a groomer that you trust to handle your dog for regular nail trims.
If you’d prefer to trim your dog’s nails on your own, that’s perfectly fine too! Just make sure that you slowly introduce them to the concept before just trimming their nails right away.
Some dogs don’t like their paws being touched at all, so slowly get them used to having someone touch their paws. Then, allow them to sniff the tool you’ll be using to trim their nails. They will likely still be scared of getting their nails trimmed, but slow introductions can certainly help a bit.
Nail grinders (also known as dremels) and nail clippers are the two most common tools to use when trimming your dog’s nails. Nail clippers are typically best only for long nails because if their nails are shorter, you could accidentally clip them too short.
A lot of groomers and parents prefer grinders, preferably ones that don’t make too much sound. You can be more careful with a grinder, and the trimming is more gradual than just clipping off the nail. The sound of the grinder often scares dogs, but it is typically the safer option.
If you are new to trimming your dog’s nails, you should ask a trusted vet or groomer to show you how to properly trim their nails first. You want to make sure you feel confident in doing it before you start trimming your dog’s nails on your own.
What to Do if Their Nail Gets Cut Too Short
Unfortunately, accidents do happen, so it is important to know what to do if your dog’s nail accidentally gets cut too short. If this happens, the nail will probably start bleeding, so you will need to stop the bleeding as quickly as possible.
The best way to stop a dog’s nails from bleeding is to use styptic powder. If you plan to trim your dog’s nails yourself, you should always have some styptic powder on hand just to be safe. You can simply apply it to your dog’s nails with moderate pressure to quickly stop the bleeding.
If your dog’s nail is still bleeding after applying styptic powder for 30 seconds, reapply the powder again.
Getting nails trimmed too short is a scary experience for a dog. If a dog is extremely afraid of getting their nails trimmed, it is likely that someone trimmed their nails too short in the past. It is a painful experience that is difficult to forget.
If you accidentally cut your dog’s nails too short and they won’t cooperate for nail trimmings after that, then you might have to take them to a professional. If they are even too scared to go to the groomer, a vet can trim their nails if needed.
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