Just like their human counterparts, dog’s nails grow continuously and sometimes at an alarming rate. And all pooch lovers understand that cutting their dogs nails is an essential part of doggy maintenance and hygiene.
It’s important to know that most dogs don’t enjoy this type of activity but there are steps you can take to make it a bit easier for them – and for you! If your pals’ nails get too long, it can lead to lots of pain for them. Ouch.
This leads to the all-important question – should you trim your dog’s claws yourself or take them to the vet each time the subject comes up?
Doing it yourself
You can trim your dog’s claws yourself and should aim to do so once every month. And if you do decide to make the cut yourself, this can be relatively straightforward, as long as your pooch possesses clear or light-coloured nails. This brings you to the crucial part of the process. Finding out where the quick is. What’s the quick, you say? It’s a good question and one that’s important for DIY nail cutting.
The quick is a cuticle, complete with a combination of nerves and blood vessels. Being able to spot the quick will help you with cutting because you’ll need to make sure you do so above that point. Guidelines states you should cut roughly 2mm away from the quick. Although it can be hard to spot this if your pal has black or dark claws. In this situation, it might be best to get your vet to cut them instead. You could also try a nail file to smooth out their claws.
So, you’ve made the decision to cut your dog’s claws yourself. What tools should you be using?
- Purchase “scissor” style clippers for your dog. If you opt for the guillotine type, you could run the risk of crushing your pooch’s toe, which is not going to be comfortable for them.
- Most dog owners will only need to use clippers in a small size. The benefits of which give you greater control – perfect for more unruly pups! If you have a dog of a giant breed, then you can consider opting for large size clippers.
- Make sure to never put the whole nail inside the clipper. You could run the risk of cutting the nail too short, which could lead to bleeding of the quick.
- Make sure your pooch’s tools are kept sharp and clean. You can invest in more expensive clippers for long-term use or buy new clippers once the old ones have become too blunt.
- Once you’ve successfully cut your dog’s nails, you can smooth them out with a rotating nail file. Make sure to only file the part of the nail around the quick.
When it comes to the process itself, The Kennel Club offers up some helpful advice, or alternatively, you can speak to your vet or dog groomer to learn the best way to do it yourself.
The vet’s part
If you do decide to take Fido to the vet for the all-important event, it’s absolutely fine to do so. Your dog may not allow you to do it yourself! And whilst no animal owner wants to hurt their dog, no dog wants to be hurt by such a routine event either.
Cutting a nail too short or “quicking” is not something you want to happen as it can lead to pain and lots of bleeding. So, if you’re particularly worried about this for your pooch, or have had a bad experience in the past, book your pal in with the vet. You may even be able to get a discount if this coincides with a health check or you do so regularly.
You can also ask your vet to show you how to carefully cut Fido’s claws, and over time you can build up the confidence to do it yourself.