How to Clip Dog Nails? Everything You Need to Know

Clipping nails are vital to dog grooming, and it determines your dog’s healthy and hygienic lifestyle. Nail clipping can trigger anxiety in your dog; hence you must handle your dog from a young age to cut down on the anxious behavior. Few dogs might sit on your lap or a table, whereas a few need some form of prevention.

Clipping Dog Nails

How Long Will It Take to Clip Dog Nails? 

If your dog is calm, it will not take more than 30 minutes to clip the nails. On the other hand, if your dog is aggressive, then it would take more time.  

Clipping nails is a weekly grooming activity. You need to clip your dog’s nail after every 7 to 8 days. 

Tools Needed to Clip Dog Nails 

The essential tools which you will need to clip your dog’s nails are: 

Dog nail clipper

Dog Nail Clipper
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Flashlight for dark nails 

Flashlight for dark nails
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Paw balsam (Optional) 

Paw balsam (Optional)
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Styptic powder 

Styptic Powder
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How to Determine if The Dog’s Nails are Long? 

If your dog’s nail touches any surface, it is then you know, his nails are long. So the correct size of the dog’s nail is that you can slip a sheet of paper in between the nails and the surface ground.  

Steps To Clip Dog Nails 

Steps you can follow to clip your dog’s nail are: 

Make your dog comfortable 

Have treats ready while you try making your dog comfortable with nail clipping. Take a week for the process, as being gradual will help your dog to process the concept of clipping and getting habituated with the tools.  

  • Day 1: Introduce your dog to the tools; let him sniff. Praise and give his favorite treat.  
  • Day 2: Gently touch your dog’s paw with the tools. Lavish with praise and offer the best treat.  
  • Day 3: Touch the nail clipper to each paw, and squeeze it for the sound. Allow the nail grinder to vibrate. In this process, do not try to clip the nails. Praise your dog with treats and love.  
  • Day 4: Repeat the process of Day 2! 
  • Day 5: Trim a tiny part of one nail tip, praise and give him a treat if he lets you. If he doesn’t, be patient and praise him. Try repeating this step for 10 minutes continuously. Keep up with the treats.  
  • Day 6: Clip only 2 nails. Praise your dog generously with treats.  
  • Day 7: By now, your dog is habituated with the tools and the clipping. Clip all the nail tips around the clock. Practice this session every day, even if the clipping is not necessary. Praise with treats and love.  

Locate the Quick 

Before you start the entire procedure, locate the quick, which runs below the nail and is of pink color. 

Define the Clipping Range 

The clipping range ends before the area of blood supply. Therefore, always clip nails parallel to the surface. If your dog’s nails are dark-colored, use a flashlight to check for the blood supply area.  

Dog Nail Clipping 

After you have defined the clipping range, it is time you trim them carefully. Trim the nails slowly to avoid accidents. First, make your dog stay calm, reward, and then begin the procedure. You can use paw balsam to soften the skin in and around the nails.  

Smoothen the Edges 

The edges of the nails after clipping will be rough. Therefore, it is necessary to smoothen the edges to avoid accidents. Use a regular dog nail filer.  

Pro tips: 

  • If your dog’s nails are brittle, clipping might splinter the nail. It is best to file the nail from the back of the nail to its tip.  
  • Clip a little nail each day to avoid accidents.  
  • Get clippers according to the size of your dog.  

What If Your Dog’s Nail Ends Start Bleeding? 

Accidents might occur, and without panicking, you will have to take a step to avoid the severe issues. If you, by any chance, clip through the quick, the dog’s paws will start to bleed. Apply the Styptic Powder to stop the blood. It will take a few minutes to calm your dog.  

Consequences Of Long Nails 

Some effects of dog’s long nails: 

  • Longer toe nails will result in painful paws.  
  • Longer toe nails touch the surface and push the nails upwards, resulting in the scrapping of the nail from the nail bed.  
  • Long toe nails result in painful joints leading to arthritis.  

Dog Nails Causing Pain – Signs 

Signs that will help you determine you need to clip your dog’s nail are: 

  • Too long nails 
  • Whimpering 
  • Whining 
  • Tik-Tok sound while your dog walks 
  • Licking and biting the paw area 
  • Barking 
  • Tail tucking 
  • Aggressive reaction if unwanted objects touch the paw 
  • Swelling near the nails 

Final Thoughts

Clipping dog nails are essential to avoid accidents and diseases. It is best to cut the dog nails each day in a small amount. You will have to keep your dog calm before you plan to fix his nails. Pay attention while trimming them. Cutting down the quick can be painful. Look after your dog’s hygiene to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

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