The most dreaded pet-grooming task is cutting down dog’s nails. For many dog owners, it’s the feeling of trepidation. But if you allow your pet’s nails to grow, it will make his toes spread unevenly which in turn can put stress on his ankle joints and can hurt them.
No matter what temperament each dog has, be it docile, devilish, wiggly or the monster type, they need to have polished, trimmed nails.
Why should you trim your pet’s nails?
Ideally, your pet’s nails don’t touch the ground when they are walking. If this happens, then it’s time to clip them.
Keeping long nails for a canine is very painful as it easily gets trapped in clothes or soft surfaces. So it’s important that your pet should have small and clean nails. At first, you might be apprehensive about cutting your dog’s nails but the sooner you start, the better and easy it will become.
Dog’s nails grow just like human nails, but some dogs wear down them by running or walking on rough surfaces. In most scenarios, dogs living indoors (especially small dogs like miniature Dachshunds and Chihuahuas) are more likely to have grown-up nails as compared to the big ones.
What is the basic equipment you should have?
The relation between you and your pet is very trustful; however inappropriate nail clipping can ruin it. So before holding your dog’s paw, you should know the best equipment.
While there are many different nail trimmers available in the market, choosing the one with good quality and sharp blades is important. A clipper should be concave so that there won’t be any nail crushing, but if you choose bluntly shaped trimmers, they might split your dog’s nails.
The three core trimmer types
● Pliers style: These trimmers are very popular among professional vets. They work just like scissors but need more force to cut down the nail. From appearance, they are the look-alike of garden pruners with a spring inside them. You can choose from small to medium-sized, as per your dog needs. However, the large-sized trimmers work best on all nails and are very handy and easy to use.
● Scissors-style: They are almost similar to normal scissors. The only difference is that they feature curved blades rather than the flat ones. They are most apt for small nails and are not good for the dogs with longer nails.
● Guillotine style: This kind of trimmers features internal blades and a hole to line up the nail. They are very easy to use; all you need is to squeeze the handle to trim, the blade will then automatically come up to trim down the nail.
In addition, if your dog’s nails aren’t that long, you can use a pumice stone to file them. It’s much softer than clipping and won’t hurt your dog’s feet.
So now you are well aware of the Clippers you should own, it’s time to position your pet in a comfortable manner. Some dog owners prefer to sit on floors while others like to take their baby on a couch or a bed. Once you are good with position, make sure that your entire clipper kit is in your reach.
How to clip nails
- Spread each of your dog’s feet and remove all the debris and dirt from them.
- Begin by firmly holding your dog’s toe in one hand and trimmer in another. Position your clipper upside down so as to cut the nail from top to bottom. Remember not to cut from side to side.
- Cut down a little bit of nail.
- Once it’s done, use scraper to smooth out rough corners.
How to trim black nails
You should be extra careful while cutting down dark coloured nails. Make sure to cut only a small amount (2mm minimum). Also, the broader part of the nail should be cut with extra care. If you find any problem trimming them, stop right away; of course, you don’t want to hurt your pet.
Another good way that you can try to trim down your pooch’s nails is to keep him occupied. You can treat him with something good to keep him busy; a steak, hamburger or any chew toy will serve the purpose.
What if your dog’s nails start bleeding?
Accidents can happen, and if you have accidentally cut your dog’s nails too short, don’t panic, calm your pet, caress him and apply some antiseptic if it’s bleeding too much. You can use styptic powder or can simply clean the wound with soap. The soap will plug the vessel and will stop the bleeding.
Also while cutting, if your dog yelps in pain and the nail starts bleeding, it means you have cut down the blood vessel along with the nail. In this case, cut out your dog’s nail immediately and apply some corn-starch or flour with a cotton pad.
Note: You should take extra care that this doesn’t happen often, otherwise your pooch will become nervous.
How to cut nails of an aggressive/fearful dog?
Many dogs object to nail cutting and become aggressive. This might be because someone in the past had trimmed their nails too short or had hurt them. However, in some scenarios, it is very common. If a dog is drooling, freezing, growling, snarling or snapping, then he’s unable to get over the fear. And if this is happening to your dog, stop the session and don’t force them.
Does your dog need professional clipping?
In worst scenarios of trimming sessions, your dog can bite or can injure you or himself. If this happens, let the professional take the situation in his hand. Some dogs behave in a proper way when surrounded by professionals, while some become more aggressive that the vets have to give them sedation.
Also, you can take your dog to some groomer to trim his nails properly.
Although it’s hard to hit the target, slowly you can achieve. Simply prepare yourself and your dog. Plus, make the whole clipping session rewarding and treat him after every nail clipping. Good luck!