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How to cut your dog’s nails

Photo courtesy of Latteda

Avoid starting a battle of wills at grooming time

Why should you cut your dog’s nails?

The most important reason is for your dog’s overall comfort.

When your dogs nails are too long, it can cause irritating, unnecessary pain. Every time your dog’s nails make contact on hard ground -- like concrete, wood, or tile -- the surface pushes the nail back into your pup’s nail bed. Feeling this constant discomfort makes it difficult to walk.

The pain builds as pressure from their long nails causes soreness in toe joints as well.

To keep your pup feeling their best, make sure you trim your dog’s nails regularly.

When it comes to cutting dog’s nails at home, you have plenty of nail cutter options to choose from.

Additionally, we offer some tips in getting your dog familiar with nail cutters as well as what to do if you cut into the quick of a nail.

Types of nail cutters

Scissors

Pro: these work much like scissors and tend to work well for smaller dogs.

Con: you need to hold your dog securely as you need to keep the blades straight. Make sure your dog is calm and OK with this type of handling!

Guillotine

Pro: perfect for smaller dogs, this is the most common type of nail cutter (even if the name sounds a little scary). You insert the nail into the small metal hole of the cutter and squeeze the handle. Like a guillotine, the blade slides across the hole, trimming off the excess nail.

Con: you need to sharpen and/or replace the blade regularly.

Pliers

Pro: style liked plier, this option allows you to cut your dog’s nail much like you would with a pair of scissors. You just squeeze the handles together to trim the nail. Preferable for large dogs, whose bigger, thicker nails need a little extra force.

Con: you need to keep the cutters straight to get the best result. And with a bigger dog, you might need help, making this a two person job.

Grinder

Pro: using a rotating pad, this type of nail cutter doesn’t actually cut the nails. It grinds or files them down. This option is great to safely shorten your dog’s nails.

Con: grinders cost more than the other options and your dog may not like the noise or sensation.

How to cut dog nails

Great! You’ve decided which nail cutters to choose.

What’s next?

Dogs Naturally suggests using these three, simple steps to perform the right nail cutting experience for everyone involved:

Step 1: Introduce your dog to the cutters

Make sure to handle your dog’s paws beforehand so they get used to you just holding their paws. Using lots of praise, get your dog familiar with the cutters before trying to trim their nails. If your dog seems nervous or unhappy, repeat this step a few times before going forward.

Step 2: Be firm and gentle

Once your dog appears comfortable, holding a paw firmly but gently, cut your dog’s nail below the quick (the blood vessel of the nail) at a 45° angle. Take small amounts off at a time.

Step 3: Stop at the white

Remember, you don’t need to take off much to get the right nail length. Trim your dog’s nail until you notice the white inside the nail with a small dot of black in the centre. Cutting too much can cut the quick, resulting in bleeding and pain.

When bleeding occurs, Love That Pet suggests using a clean bar of soap and running it under the damaged nail. The soap will plug the vessel and stop the bleeding. Usually, if you have made your dog bleed, they will be a bit nervous next time, so make sure you have lots of treats at the ready and take it slow

Want an easier experience? Pamper them at Nose to Tail

For a quick and relaxing alternative to cutting your dog’s nails, bring them into our store. For just $10 we can groom your dog’s nails for better comfort. No need to struggle if your pup hasn’t taken well to the process or you’re worrying quite a bit about hurting your fur baby by cutting into the quick.

Want more information about your dog nail cutters choices? Want some treats to shower them with after the during and after nail cutting? Or perhaps you would like us to cut your dog’s nails? Just pop into our store or feel free to give us a bell 09 448 2227