A Stress-Free Guide to Trimming Your Dog’s Toenails

Dogs are highly affectionate and friendly, but when it comes to trimming their nails, some of them might put up quite a fight. Many dog owners are scared of trimming nails of their furry friends and do not want to hurt their beloved pet. Trimming your dog’s toenails is important for their overall health and well-being.

Importance of Nail Trimming

Not trimming your pet’s nails can result in severe long-term consequences, such as arthritis. When a pooch’s toenails are long and start to make contact with hard surfaces, such as pavements and wooden floors, the hard surface creates a force and pushes the overgrown nail back into the nail bed, causing pain and problems with mobility. The excess pressure affects the toe joints and may even cause the toes to twist to the side, which may cause inflammation. Additionally, long nails can become ingrown and may begin to snag as your dog starts to walk.

Creating a Relaxing Environment For Trimming Your Dog’s Nails

Create a comfortable and relaxing environment for your pet prior to the grooming session. Start by giving your pet a nice warm bath. Bathing softens the dog’s toenails and makes it easier for you to clip them off.  If your dog seems agitated or nervous, gradually get them used to handle their feet. Spend a few minutes with your dog, gently rubbing and massaging their feet. Once your pet is comfortable with you touching their feet, move on to the clippers.

Assemble the Right Supplies for Trimming Your Dog’s Nails

There are different types of nail clippers available in the market. Choose one according to your dog’s size and breed. While guillotine-style clippers work best for smaller breeds, pilers are well suited for larger dogs. Apart from nail clippers, you need styptic powder in case of accidents. Accidents occur no matter how much you try to avoid them, hence it is best to be prepared with the proper emergency supplies. By having the proper supplies within reach, you can quickly come into action to stop the bleeding and relieve the pain for your pooch. This reduces the risk of nail infection.

However, styptic powder will initially cause stinging, so you have got to be prepared to hold onto your dog firmly yet gently before applying it. Finally, offer your dog treats for cooperating. This will help them remain calm in the future sessions.

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Trimming Your Dog’s Nails

Lay your dog down on a comfortable spot or on a cushion. Hold onto their toe firmly, yet gently. Start by identifying which nail needs to be cut first. The “Quick” is a pink area within each nail that consists of various blood vessels and nerves. Cutting the Quick can be painful; hence never cut the nails too short. Work the nail clipper and gently clip off the tip of the nail. You should be wary of where the actual blade is before cutting the nail.

Some nail clippers slightly hide the blade. This causes the dog owner to trim more than wanted. While cutting the nail, keep the nail clipper at a perpendicular angle, avoiding extreme positions. If your dog has declaws, clip them too. These nails are located higher up on the inside of the legs. Unlike regular nails, declaws have to be trimmed frequently because they do not make contact with the floor when the dog walks. In the end, use a filler to make the nails smooth.

Dealing with Accidents While Trimming Your Dog’s Nails

Accidents can happen, hence remain calm. If you clip the Quick, stop right away but not before applying styptic powder to the injured toenail. Gently apply pressure on the toenail as you press the powder. The styptic powder may sting a little; thereafore, you may want to ask someone to hold your dog down and help him stay calm. Talk to your dog throughout the process. This might help them remain calm. If the bleeding does not stop within a couple of minutes, take your dog to the vet immediately to prevent nail infection.

Trimming your dog’s nails is not an uphill task. With the right supplies and techniques, you will find clipping your dog’s nails as easy as clipping your own.

Note: Watch out for signs of distress, such as whining, shivering, panting, and growling. If your dog is showing any of these signs and is not able to get over the fear of having their nails trimmed, do not force them to submit and take them to a professional groomer instead.


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