How to Care For Your Dog’s Nails

Much like us, dogs also have nails that may need to be trimmed. Taking care of them requires a bit of experience and deep knowledge about your dog, hence why we’ve put together this article. Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as saying “trim them every month” because every dog is different.

Different dog breeds require their nails to be trimmed at different times. Their lifestyles can also affect when they need their nails to be trimmed. Some dogs need to have their nails trimmed every month while others don’t need to have theirs trimmed at all. It can be a bit difficult judging how often you need to trim your dog’s nails. However, there are a couple of signs to look out for.

When to Trim Your Dog’s Nails

A good way to tell if your dog’s nails need to be trimmed is to listen to the sound of them walking around. If you hear a tapping or clicking noise, it’s likely because their nails are too long. Your dog’s nails shouldn’t be touching the surface they are walking on. If they walk over something like wood floors and you hear them tapping, then it’s likely because they’re too long.

Before You Trim: Understanding the Quick

Cutting your dog’s nails at home is perfectly acceptable. However, you do need to watching for the quick, the blood vessels and nerves that supply the nail. With light nails, it’s easy to see where the quick is. However, it can be really hard to determine where the quick is if they have dark nails.

If you trim the quick by accident, it can cause bleeding and your dog may yelp. In this case, apply pressure to stop the bleeding. If it’s difficult to see where the quick is, you may need to ask your veterinarian or a more experienced dog owner to help you. Longer nails are also problematic as the quick is longer as well, so you may want to speak to a veterinarian if you’re worried about cutting it by accident.

Cutting Your Dog’s Nails

You want to purchase a trimmer that is made specifically to cut your dog’s nails. They each have different designs and some are more suitable for smaller breeds while others are perfect for larger dogs. You’ll need to judge with your eyes depending on how big the clipper is compared to the nail.

Make sure you read the instructions for your clippers before using them so that you can get a general idea of how they should be used. Be careful when trimming so that you do not cut into the quick (more information above) and you should also use a file to smooth the nail if it’s particularly rough or sharp.

Cutting your dog’s nails isn’t particularly hard, but you should take note of how long they grow and how often you need to trim them. You should also try to remember where the quick is located so that you don’t accidentally trim it again if you do cause it to bleed a little.

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