When it comes to cutting your dog’s nails many people either don’t know how to do it or it becomes very stressful for both human and canine. The owner is worried about cutting the quick of the nail and hurting their dog. The dog picks up on this stress, and drama ensues.
It is important to keep your dog’s nails trim for many reasons. Among the most important is that long nails can be painful for your dog. When he walks on hard ground the nail pushes back into the nail bed. This puts pressure on the toe joints or can cause the toe to twist to the side. If his feet are painful, it will make it more difficult to trim his nails. Long nails can become dry and crack, creating other issues as well.
Dogs that are active and go on long daily walks tend to maintain their own nail length with natural trimming. If you are not able to walk your dog on a regular basis then trimming his nails every few weeks becomes even more important. If you can hear your dog’s nails clicking on the floor, then it is time to get out the trimmers.
- Use scissor type clippers. Guillotine style clippers crush the nail and can be painful. Never put the whole nail in a clipper. Small shallow cuts to start will keep your stress level down and make the process more pleasant.
- Use smaller scissors for better control. Giant breeds need larger scissors, but most breeds are fine with a smaller cut.
- Keeping your clippers sharp makes the cut easier. Either replace or sharpen your clippers regularly.
- Nail grinders are good to use on smaller breeds or to smooth the nail on larger breeds.
- If you cut the quick, use corn starch to stop the bleeding. Pack a small container with corn starch and dip the dog’s nail.
- Trim nails either outside or in a well-lit room so you can see the pigment of the quick. Darker nails will show a ring around the sensitive quick.
- Keep the scissor blades parallel to the nail, do not cut straight across.
- Start on the back feet. Nails on the hind feet tend be less sensitive than the front.
- Use your fingers to separate the toes and hold paw gently.
- Trim any excess fur between the toes with regular scissors.
- Use treats, a Kong stuffed with goodies and lots of happy, positive tones to make the nail trimming a good experience.
- Take your time. Start with one foot, or even one nail, a day.
If you keep to a regular schedule of trimming your dog’s nails, the quick will dry up and recede. This will allow you to keep the nails shorter, making your dog even happier.
Jeri Wagner is a canine behavioral therapist and master trainer. Jeri uses a natural training system leveraging the same communication methods – body language and voice control – that dogs follow as part of their instinctive pack mentality. Training takes place in the home where the problems generally occur. Jeri trains in western Montgomery County, northern Chester County and eastern Berks County. For more information, call 1-877-500 BARK (2275) or visit www.barkbusters.com.
© Copyright 2017 All Rights Reserved