Tips to trim your nails to a dog at home

Keeping a dog’s nails in perfect condition goes beyond aesthetics, it is a health issue that can prevent the appearance of wounds on their paws and other problems derived from excessive length. If we use the right utensils, we can carry out the task of cutting them ourselves, in the comfort of home, to save some money and rid the animal of such a dreaded visit to the vet. But it is important that the dog go to mandatory periodic visits, to stay healthy and strong for many years.

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At YourCatCareguide we want to help you take care of the dog’s nails through simple advice and so in this article we will explain how to cut a dog’s nails at home .

It may also interest you: Cut the nails to a cat

Why should you trim your dog’s nails?

If you have already checked your dog’s paws, you should have noticed that on the leg floor they have cushions on which they support their full weight when walking. The dog’s nails should never overtake these cushions because when they do, they prevent them from walking properly, causing the fingers to twist to try to support the cushions on the floor. In addition, little by little they will adopt strange postures that can develop serious problems in their paws .

In addition to causing health problems by not being able to support the paws correctly, the fact of not cutting the nails to a dog also can suppose the appearance of wounds in the fifth finger, since when growing it will eventually penetrate the skin. Therefore, cutting your dog’s nails regularly is one of the basic cares .

At what age can a dog’s nails be cut?

Many are wondering when they can start trimming your puppy’s nails, and the answer is quite simple: as soon as possible. There is no specific age to do this, you can begin to do this when you see that your dog’s fingernails overlap and begin to disrupt his movements. In fact, it is highly beneficial to start trimming the puppy’s nails because it helps us normalize activity, get it habit-free, and see it as part of your routine. During the puppy phase you should use a type of scissor adapted to your nail which you probably can not use once you reach adulthood. In this regard, we recommend consulting the veterinarian to be the one to make the first cuts.

How often should you trim your nails?

Once you know the importance of maintaining the health of your nails and knowing when to start, you may wonder about the frequency of cuts to prevent previous problems from appearing on your dog. But the truth is that there is no specific period, since each breed of dog has a specific growth rate. Likewise, depending on the type of exercise the dog performs the nails are naturally sanding and therefore do not need to be cut so regularly.

In general, toy and small dog breeds have a much higher growth rate than that of medium, large and giant dog breeds. If your furry companion is a Chihuahua or a Yorkshire, for example, you probably have to cut your nails every two to three weeks or so, while enjoying the company of a Boxer once a month will suffice. What should be clear is that the dogs’ nails never stop growing , so you should check them every week and cut them when you notice that it is time to do so.

What do I need to cut my dog’s nails?

To be able to cut the nails to a dog at home without hurting it, it is indispensable to use the appropriate utensils. In this way, we recommend that you do not skimp on this aspect and escape from low quality products, remember that the health of your furry companion is at stake.

There is a wide variety of scissors to cut your dog’s nails in different shapes and sizes. However, the most used are as follows:

Common scissors

This type of nail clippers has a similar shape to the scissors for humans, but adapts the blades to the nails of these animals. In addition, some models incorporate a small space to facilitate movement. To use them you should only hold the nail by the appropriate area and exert the necessary force to cut it quickly and cleanly.

When choosing this type of scissors should check the size of the same and choose the one that best suits the size of your dog. Although it can be achieved for all breeds, common scissors are usually best suited for toy or small puppies , as it is not necessary to exert a high degree of strength when cutting the dog’s nails.

Guillotine shears

This type of dog scissors has a hole to make it easier to cut the dog’s nails. To use it, you have to insert the nail into the hole and place the scissors at the proper cutting height. The advantage of this scissors compared to the previous one is that it allows us to exert a greater degree of force when cutting without any type of difficulty. In this way, it is most recommended to cut the nails of large dogs , or with the thicker nails.

Cut my dog’s nails step by step

Now that you know the scissors you should use to cut your nails to a dog, let’s see how you should do it. But before that, it is essential to clarify how the dog’s nail is, because inside it is living tissue that we should not cut if we do not want to hurt our furry companion. In this way, the first advice we give you is to examine your dog’s nails and identify that tissue, which will show up as a pink line on the inside. Once found, you should carry out the following steps:

  1. Create a relaxed and, above all, calm environment for the animal. In this sense, we recommend that you practice your puppy from this small practice to be normal and part of your routine. To do this, besides cutting your nails regularly, touch your paws and nails gently daily. Although it may seem insignificant to you, this will help the dog not be alarmed or alarmed when we need to cut our nails or the fur that lies between the cushions.
  2. Put your dog on his feet to observe the remaining piece of nail and know exactly where to cut it. Remember that the ideal measure is that which is at ground level but without touching it.
  3. Then take one of your paws and, if it is the first time you will cut your dog’s nails, pass the scissors through them and reward it with a treat, to associate the tool with a positive stimulus. Repeat this step until you notice that your dog is completely calm.
  4. To cut the nail simply place the scissors at the proper height and exert the necessary pressure to make a quick and clean cut. The proper position is one that shows a straight or slightly downward cut . In this way, avoid cutting your dog’s nails diagonally upwards. Check the image
  5. When you have cut the nails of the first leg, congratulate him and offer him a treat before moving on to the next.

How to Cut a Dog’s Black Nails

When the dog’s nails are transparent, or semi-transparent, it is easy to identify the part that is left over and cut without touching the living tissue. However, when the nails are completely black, it is impossible to identify such tissue. Therefore, to avoid cutting and injuring the animal, you have two options:

  1. Cut the nail bit by bit . Begin by cutting only the tip of your dog’s nail and look inside, if it is white, it may cut a few millimeters, while if you see a black spot, you should stop because the fabric is found soon after.
  2. Cut the nail at ground level . With the dog standing, place yourself so that you can cut your nail without the need to raise your paw. In this way, you will be able to observe the remaining part that you must cut and proceed to cut.

He cut more than he should, what to do?

Sometimes it can happen that your dog even moves at the time of the cut, or because his nail is black, we cut more than we should and began to bleed. If this happens, the first thing you should do is stay calm. Then, the quickest and most effective way is to pick up a clean gauze, moisten it with hydrogen peroxide and clean the nail, both to disinfect the wound and to stop the bleeding. If you have chlorhexidine gluconate at home, it is best to choose to use it because you can disinfect without irritating the animal’s skin.

Ideally, you should have disinfectant products at hand before you start cutting the dog’s nails so you can act as soon as possible in case of an accident. You can also go to the veterinarian before and ask for special antiseptic powder for dogs , since it is much more effective than hydrogen peroxide when it comes to stopping the bleeding.

And if it is impossible for you to cut your dog’s nails, consult the veterinarian or canine hairdresser to be a specialist to carry out this task. Especially those adopted dogs being adults have problems when performing activities like cutting the nails, because they already have a series of acquired habits and, between them, it is not found, or because the lived experiences were so traumatic that they can not avoid the fear nor feel insecure.

If you want to read more articles similar to Tips to cut your nails to a dog at home , we recommend you to join our section Care of nails .

Emily Harris

Hi Guys, Girls, and Cats:-p I am Emily Harris, and you can see in above pic. She loves me I swear. I saved her from a dumpster a few weeks back.

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