101 Dog Care Tips – Dog Nail Care – Tip 2

Many people have severe anxiety about cutting their pooches nails, but it might be easier than you think. Have a groomer or your veterinarian show you how to do it. Most pet stores sell a special dog nail clipper. In addition, there is a new tool out called the “Pedi-Paw” which is supposed to gently file your pups nails down over time.  We have tried the tool and found that the noise from the tool itself puts our boys on edge, so we just went back to the traditional method of clipping with clippers.  It is important to try a few things out and figure out which one works best for you and your pooch!

The blood supply to the dog’s nail is called the “quick”. If your dog’s nails are too long and you immediately cut to the length you think they should be, you will cut into the quick and cause your dog’s nail to bleed. Although this is not a serious problem, it can be painful for your pooch and can make for a royal mess around the house.  Most people keep some styptic powder or quick gel on hand to cauterize the bleeding if necessary.

The trick to trimming dog toenails is to train the quick to retreat backward. Remember, simply cutting a large chunk of the dog’s nail is risky and can cause the nail to bleed. Instead, use the following method to avoid cutting the quick.

Cut or file the dog’s nails only a little bit every couple of days. This will cause the blood supply to get shorter at the same time as the nail is being shortened. Many also recommend regular walks, which encourages the quick to retreat and will mean that you will have less of a chance of nipping it.  When you get the nail to the length you would like to maintain, clip every few weeks or as often as necessary to maintain that length. This will prevent the quick from growing too long and prevent the nail from bleeding.

Nail clipping can be a stressful for event your pooch so make sure to give them a reward like a dog treat or dog chew to encourage them.