Today I’ve got an answer for another one of the grooming questions you guys ask via YouTube comments, Instagram, and Twitter. This time it’s about nail trimming.
I’ve been trimming my dog’s nails at home since I was a kid, and I remember the first time I interned at a vet’s office, being shocked to learn that some people make a trek to the vet or groomer just to get their dog’s nails done! This can be not only costly but it’s also just more of a hassle than it needs to be.
If you have the right tool and you know what you’re looking for, you can safely trim your dog’s nails at home easily.
Why is it necessary to give my doggie a manicure?
Trimming your dog’s nails isn’t just so they can feel fabulous. When dogs nails get too long, it affects the way they walk and carry their weight and can end up causing long term alignment problems.
Too long nails also are easily split or torn and can catch on furniture or carpeting. Also for the safety of your home, short nails are nicer because they won’t scratch your floor or couch!
Before You Trim
First of all, most dogs do not *like* to have their nails trimmed. If they’ve ever had a bad experience with it (or even if they haven’t!) they may be very wiggly which can make your job much harder. It’s important not to jump right in but make sure your dog has time to relax. If your dog likes being brushed, this can be a good positive way to have them be very calm and lead them in to their nail trimming.
For this all you need is a good pair of nail clippers, your dog, and maybe some treats!
K9 Warehouse sent us these, and they are the most comfortable I’ve ever tried. The handle is ergonomic, and it also has a spring inside of it so you don’t have to pause to open the clippers every time. It may sound like a small thing but when you’re holding your dog in one hand and the clippers in the other, it’s hard to stop and re-open the clippers with both hands! It also comes with a nail file and I’ll show you why that’s useful as you read on.
Safely Clipping Your Dog’s Nails
Look at your pup’s nail and evaluate how long it is. The part that is white is the part that is safe to trim. Where you see the pink, that is the “quick” of the dog’s nail. Just like if you trim your nail too short into the nail bed, it will hurt your dog (and bleed like the dickens) if you cut this part so don’t do it!
Hold your pet’s paw in one hand and the clippers in the other. Make sure the nail guard is shut to help make sure you don’t cut the nail too short. Don’t only trust the nail guard, though, as some nails don’t need this much taken off. When you’re ready to trim, squeeze the clippers strongly (don’t be afraid!) to make one smooth cut.
When Do I Clip, and When do I File?
If you see a nail that is all pink with no white tip, this nail has little to nothing to trim. However, if you don’t trim it a tiny bit, the quick will continue growing out to the tip of the dog’s nail and you won’t be able to cut them without hurting your dog. This is where the nail file comes in! Just file the tip of your dog’s nail gently. This will help the quick to recede.
Give your pup a delicious treat and you are finished! Congratulate yourself and your dog on a job well done!