How to trim your dogs nails

Trimming your dogs nails can be an intimidating and frustrating experience for some people, but it doesn't have to be. Watch the video below for some quick tips on how to trim your dogs nails, even the really long ones!

This is where you stop cutting shorter and it is now time to cut the sides away. As soon as you see pink or white where there was previously black its time to stop cutting the nail shorter. On this nail the quick is quite large and healthy, but nails that have been left to grow out and need to be pushed back will have a much narrower quick (more photo's below). Because longer nails have a narrower quick they don't get as good of a blood supply as shorter nails which makes them brittle and is one of many factors that contributes to longer nails being more prone to injury

This is what the nail should look like once the trim is complete. You won't be able to see the quick that clearly on dogs with long thin quicks, but the nail tip should still be rounded off with no distinct edges

You can see in this picture I took a little too much and there's a tiny bit of blood. At some point you will likely quick your dog, probably much worse than this at some point. While it's not ideal, it happens sometimes especially while you are still learning and that's ok. Your dog might not be very happy with you but they'll be find, and probably get revenge by getting blood all over your carpet. Hydrogen peroxide or club soda works great for removing blood stains that haven't set. Before trying to trim your dogs nails, buy yourself a jar of a styptic powder, commonly called "kwik stop". If you do take too much and your dog start bleeding, but a bit of the powder on the end of your finger and press your finger against the source of the bleeding for a few seconds. 

This dogs nails were left way too long for the first few years of her life and even when her nails started getting trimmed regularly, they absolutely would not get any shorter. Her nails have been getting trimmed with this technique for about a year now and the nail has become significantly shorter and healthier in that time. This photo shows about 2 weeks worth of growth since her last trim

This is where you would stop cutting the nail shorter and start trimming the sides. Notice how the quick is substantially thinner than it is on the other dog. This is significant improvement from what it looked like when she first started getting trimmed with this technique, so your dogs may be even thinner and harder to see. Remember to take small pieces and pay attention to what your dog is telling you if they start to resist you.

This is what her nail looks like when finished. If your dogs nails are particularly long it can take anywhere from a few months to a year to get to this stage, so be patient and just keep at it. Its never too late to start trimming your dogs nails with this technique and the long term benefits are well worth it! It might be tricky at first and seem to take forever, but just stick with it and that will change with practice! If you are still confused or have questions please email me.

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Nanton, AB

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