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How to Cut Dog Nails – Step by Step Guide

Like humans, dogs do grow nails and need cutting or clipping regularly. Trimming your dog’s nails is an essential task to mark in your calendar unless your dog runs on rough surfaces that help keep its toenails short.  

Cut or clip your dog’s nails about once a week if you hear them clicking on a hard surface. Professional groomers can execute the task for nervous owners, but dog nail trimming is easy if done correctly.  

Cutting your dog’s nails can be highly stressful for many dogs, so start handling your puppy’s feet and trimming their nails when they’re young, so they become habitual to the process. By doing so, they get used to it after few weeks and will sit in your lap or on a fine table while you trim their nails, while others may require some form of restraint. Try offering your dog a yummy treat and praise them after the trimming session. 

How To Cut Your Dog’s Nails: Step-By-Step Instructions 

Step 1: Prepare the tools and your dog too 

  • When you are ready with tools like Dog nail clippers/scissors/grinder, get your dog comfortable, and you’re good to proceed. If your dog is nervous, calm them with cuddles and treats, giving them a sense of security while you begin cutting. 

Step 2: Define the cutting range

Be very careful when choosing where to cut, as dog nails are filled with blood. An unexpected clip in the wrong spot could lead to a lot of pain. It’s easier to find the proper range for dogs with clear or light-colored nails, while it can be a bit more complicated with dark nails. Fortunately, a torch or flashlight can help you see the blood supply area. 

Make sure you assume these steps before clipping: 

  • The ideal cutting range ends right before the blood supply. 
  • It would be best if you always cut parallel to the bottom.  
  • The front paws are more likely to get overgrown nails. 

Step 3: Get to trimming 

Have you fixed the cutting range? Good! Start with small steps at a time, and use treats to keep your dog comfortable if necessary. If there’s no blood and your dog behaves as nothing has happened at the end of the whole process, you’ve done everything perfectly! 

Moreover, once you’ve finished cutting, you can soften the skin around the nails with some paw balsam. It’s not mandatory but can be soothing for your pup. Trim the hair between the paws for better results. 

Step 4: Reward them

Finally, don’t forget to reward your dog. By doing this way, your dog will associate the “unpleasant” experience of nail trimming with something positive and reduce their fear.  

Hence, these steps help your dog’s nail cutting process smoother and easier. If you plan to use a nail grinder rather than clippers, follow the same process — hold your dog’s foot, turn the grinder on, and grind a little of each nail. 

How To Stop A Dog’s Nail From Bleeding 

It is quite natural to make mistakes, even after being cautious. So, the golden rule is not to panic if you see a little bit of blood on your dog’s nail. Try to stop the blood flow and restrict any dirt from getting in contact with the wound, which will prevent it from getting infected. If the blood flow continues even after 30 minutes, contact your vet. 

And if you can’t contact your vet and need to act fast, use a styptic powder or pencil on the wound. If you don’t have any of them and can’t go to the pharmacy, you can try applying some ice cubes to prevent a dog’s nail from bleeding. 

What Happens If You Fail to Cut Your Dogs Nails? 

If you leave your dog’s nail without trimming, it will start causing them pain, and in few instances, injure the dog.  

Dog’s nails consist of the living pink quick and the rigid outer material called the shell. The living pink quick supplies blood to the nail and goes through its core. Nerves in the quick are the cause of bleeding and discomfort when improperly cut. Regular trimming your dog’s nails will cause the quick to recede from the end. Short quicks are important for the dog’s well-being and effortless maintenance. 

Long nails can also turn a good paw into a splayed foot and reduce traction, and they can cause malformed feet and injure the tendons when left to grow for weeks. As the long nail strikes the ground, the pressure puts force on the foot and leg structure.

Few dogs have their nails down and won’t need to have them clipped as often. 

Dog Nails Grooming Tools 

  1. ConairPRO Dog and Cat™ Small/Large Nail Clipper 

Buy online at Chewy: Buy ConairPRO Dog and Cat™ Small/Large Nail Clipper 

  1. ConairPRO Dog and Cat™ Professional Corded Nail Grinder 

Buy online at Chewy: Buy ConairPRO Dog and Cat™ Professional Corded Nail Grinder 

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