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How To Clip Your Dog’s Nails

May 30th, 2020

Step by Step

Nail clipping is one of the many things that dog owners have had to have a go at for the first time during lockdown. Do you know how to clip your dog’s nails?

You see, just like our nails, a dog’s nails constantly grow. Unlike their ancestors whose claws were worn down by running, hunting and keeping busy, most of today’s dogs don’t move that much. Even when they do it’s on much softer surfaces such as indoor carpets or lawns and sadly these don’t have the same effect 😂. You might also think that because you often walk your dog in fields, meadows and woods (like me) that his/her nails will be fine but there’s no chance the nails will wear down and stay short, unfortunately.

Your puppy & nail clipping.

It’s a good idea to get into the habit of clipping your dog’s nails from an early age. You’ll be surprised how long and sharp the nails of a 3-4-week-old puppy are! Between the age of 3 and 4 weeks, it’s very easy to start cutting their nails as puppies don’t protest because they are so small. The hook of the nail is also easily visible and sometimes even the quick. For those of you who don’t know, the quick is the middle section of the nail where the nerve and blood vessels are. This part of the nail must be avoided with nail clippers because cutting it will cause your dog pain and bleeding.

The fear of nail clipping, the fear of cutting the quick.

The fear of cutting the quick puts a lot of dog owners off of clipping their dog’s nails, which is fully understandable, however, sometimes we have to do things we aren’t comfortable with. You have to think about it differently… you’re actually helping your dog! Long nails put pressure on the nail bed which causes your dog discomfort and even pain – I’d imagine it feels like wearing very tight shoes all the time. Over time, the pressure on the joints can cause changes in them and make the foot look flat. With all this in mind, you can see that by cutting your dog’s nails you’re not only protecting your wooden floor and furniture but you’re also maintaining your dog’s healthy feet.

How to clip your dog’s nails

How do you know your dog’s nails need clipping ?

  • Look at your dog while he or she is standing on a flat surface. If the nails are touching the floor, your dog’s nails need clipping.
  • Another good indicator is when your dog is moving around your house on a wooden, laminated or tiled floor and you hear that click clack click clack sound.

What do you need to get before you start clipping your dog’s nails?

  • Nail clippers – there are two basics styles namely scissors and guillotine… it’s all about personal preference. Personally, I prefer the scissors type. Some of them even have a safety stop that limits the amount of nail trim.
  • Calming Floral Spray – to keep you and your dog calm during the process.
  • Soothing Antiseptic Spray – This spray will help if an accident occurs and you cut the nail too short. Soothing Antiseptic spray is an astringent, meaning that it contracts, tightens and binds tissues.

Nail clipping – step by step:

  • Hold your dog’s  foot at front of you in a natural position.
  •  Hold dog’s toe between your thumb and finger gently but firmly.
  •  If you can see the quick, place the nail clipper at the point where the pink stops.
  •  If you can’t see the quick, tak the hook off the nail first.
  •  Check the end of the nail.
  •  If you see a black circle in the middle of the nail bed, it’s the blood vessel. But not the part that bleeds.
  •  Cut off another small section.
  •  Keep cutting until the darker circle covers most of the nail.
  •  When you see a small white dot in the middle, it is as far as you can cut without cutting into the quick. 

How do you feel about nail clipping? Did you give it a go?

Stay safe!

Love, Jitka xx

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What People Say...

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