If you do not know how to cut a dog’s nails, there are some guidelines to keep in mind. We show you step by step so you can do it with confidence and without harming it.
More than for aesthetic reasons, cutting a dog’s nails is essential for his health. This way you will avoid the appearance of wounds on your legs apart from other problems. Your friend may get nervous when visiting a vet, so we show you the way to do it quietly at home with the help of a specific nail clipper for dogs.
In addition to the comfort, you can save yourself the costs of taking a specialist for this purpose. However, do not forget to take him to his routine visits to keep his health in perfect condition.
Why should I cut my dog’s nails
All dogs have pads on the soles of their feet that support their weight when walking. Well, your nails should not exceed these pads, otherwise, they will prevent you from walking correctly, causing your fingers to twist trying to make correct support. Besides, you can adopt inappropriate postures that will end up causing problems. Also, another drawback you might encounter is the appearance of wounds on the fifth finger. This is because the nail grows curled and could penetrate the skin.
However, if you maintain the basic care of your dog’s nails you will avoid complications. There is no specific age to start cutting your dog’s nails. It is recommended that you do it as soon as possible, that is when you see that they exceed the recommended limit that we have mentioned above. A sign that tells you the right time is when the nails begin to hinder their movements.
If you start cutting your dog’s nails when he is a puppy, the only thing you should take into account during that stage is that the nail clipper is adapted to the size of his nails. It is also recommended to take him to the vet and that he be the one who makes the first cuts of your puppy’s nails.
Regarding the time that has to pass between one nail cut and the next, it will depend on the breed of the dog. Each breed has a specific growth rate. It will also depend on the exercise you do and what goes outside since your nails file themselves naturally. Dog nails never stop growing and small breeds have a much faster rate of growth than medium or large breeds.
It is recommended that you do not buy low quality scissors or nail clippers for dogs and take into account the size of your dog to choose them.
How to cut a dog’s nails step by step
Inside the nails of the dogs, there is a living tissue that we should not cut to avoid hurting our pets. Therefore, the first thing you should do is identify this tissue. You will be able to detect it because it is a pink line on the inside of the nail.
Here are the guidelines for trimming your furry friend’s nails safely and effectively.
- Prepare a relaxed environment so that the animal is calm. Touch her nails and paws daily so she doesn’t panic when we need to fix them.
- Your dog must be standing to observe the excess piece of nail and know where exactly you should cut. Ideally, the nail should be level with the ground but not touching it.
- Next, and if it is the first time that you cut your nails, take one of its legs and run the scissors or the nail clipper over them. Then offer him a prize for associating the tool with positive encouragement. You should repeat this step until you consider that your dog is completely calm.
- Place the scissors at the ideal height and apply slight pressure, just enough to make the cut clean and fast. The proper position is one that shows a straight or slightly downward cut, avoiding cutting the nails diagonally upward.
- Once you have finished with the nails of the first leg, congratulate him and reward him again with a treat before moving on to the next.
- You may run into problems if instead of being transparent or semi-transparent, they are completely black since the living tissue will not be visible to the naked eye and could cause damage.
To avoid this, you can use one of these options:
- Gradually cut the nail starting at the tip and look inside. If it is completely white, you can cut a few more millimeters, but if you see a black dot, you must stop, since right after it is the living tissue.
- Cut the nail at ground level as we have explained, without raising the dog’s paw, thus you will observe the part that you must cut.
What do I do if I have cut them too much
If your dog has moved at the last minute and you have cut the nail badly, it will start to bleed. Stay calm, take a gauze pad, and moisten it with hydrogen peroxide, clean the nail to disinfect the cut, and cut the bleeding. If you have chlorhexidine digluconate at home, it is better, as it disinfects without irritating your pet‘s skin. Silver nitrate powder or a dog styptic powder will also help you stop bleeding.
If you want to avoid any problem when cutting your dog’s nails, visit a veterinarian or dog groomer, they are professionals and they will do it perfectly.