How to trim your dog’s nails?

As a dog parent, it is good to know how to cut your puppy’s nails unless you take them to the groomer regularly. Similar to humans, regular nail trimming is important for dog’s hygiene along with other health reasons. Do you get stressed over the idea of cutting your dog’s nails? If yes, then this article will help you in understanding the nail trimming process.

Why is cutting your dog’s nails essential?

Long nails limit the movements of your dog and also lead to pain and several health issues. If the nails grow too long, the dog may develop spinal and posture issues. You may notice that they are sitting oddly or are regularly shifting their weight from one side to the other. Long nails for a prolonged period may lead to laminitis which is a disease affecting the feet bone wherein walking ability is impaired. Most dogs have four nails on each rear foot and five nails on each front foot. That extra nail on the front foot is dewclaw and requires regular trimming too. This nail has a tendency to grow circular which may lead to injury and infection.

The right time to trim your dog’s nails

Ideally you should trim your dog’s nails when it starts touching the ground while standing. The growth rate of nails is different for different breeds but usually, it’s good to trim every two weeks. Typically, It is recommended to trim your dog’s nails when they are young to get them accustomed to the biweekly process.

Steps to follow to trim your dog’s nails

Before you start, choose a comfortable place for both you and your dog and keep all the required equipment such as nail clipper, flashlight and towel ready. Having styptic powder (antiseptic clotting agent) handy is also recommended to handle any nicks or cuts. Styptic powder is easily available at pharmacies. 

Follow the below steps to trim your dog’s nail: 

  1. Pick up a paw, move the paw fur and trim
  2. Clip the nail tip only and avoid clipping beyond the nail curve as there are nerve endings present in that area which could cause pain and bleeding. 
  3. The lighter colored nails are easier to trim compared to the darker nails. For darker nails put a flashlight behind the nail to see a clear chalky white ring that has to be cut
  4. Lastly, dust some styptic powder lightly in case there are any minor cuts

It takes a little bit of time for the dog to adjust to the process but with regular love and care, it becomes easy.

Tips & Tricks to make your dog comfortable during the trimming process

It is important to keep your dog relaxed and comfortable throughout the process. Start the process by introducing the puppy to the tools and letting them sniff. Add treats to establish a pleasant connection. Touch the puppy’s claw with the trimmer and make clipping sounds. Do not actually trim the nails just yet. The idea is to make your pooch comfortable with the process.  Just make the clipping sound and offer treats for a positive response. One of the tricks  that pet parents use is to apply peanut butter on a saran (cling) wrap and wear it on their head. Your pet would love to lick the peanut butter and while they do so, you could trim their nails.  

Safety and comfort of our pets during any process is important and here at YoPets, we not only equip you with GPS Trackers but also invite animal behaviour experts and other pet lovers to write articles on relevant topics such as How to keep your dog cool in summer.