How To Steps for Clipping Your Animals Nails

June 21, 2015

Part of proper dog grooming is keeping their nails clipped.  This tends to be one of the most challenging tasks for dog owners, but it doesn’t have to be.  Think of clipping your dog’s nails as a part of the training process.

Getting started:

  • Touch and pet your dogs feet and toes often.  Rub their tummy, scratch their neck and work your way down to their feet, gently massaging and separating their toes.  Keep repeating if your dog is not comfortable with touching their feet.
  • Keep the hair trimmed around your dog’s toes, so when you start the nail grooming, you can see the nail clearly and what you’re clipping.
  • Use nail clippers that you’re most comfortable with;
    • scissor type – snips the tip of the nail
    • guillotine type clipper – has a hole to insert the dog’s nail to snip off
    • grinder type – instead of snipping the tip, the nail is filed down using an electric or battery operated hand held grinder
  • Practice the clipping “process” with your dog.  Put your dog up on a counter or table where you’ll be doing the real trimming later.  Hold your dog’s toes and nails, gently moving them around and giving your dog a small treat every few minutes.  The point is to get your dog “more” focused on the coming treat than what you’re doing to their toes.  This is a good time to introduce the clippers, letting them sniff and check them out. Turn a grinder on and off, so the dog is used to the sound.  Repeat the process every day for a while.
  • Have a styptic or clotting powder before you start the real clipping session.  Always snip small sections of the dogs nail tip until you establish where the quick is within the nail.  Cutting the nail too short will cause bleeding and discomfort to your dog.
  • Stay clam and talk softly to your dog the entire clipping session.  If you’re calm, your dog is more likely to stay clam.

Additional information:

Know where your dog’s dewclaws are located.  Some dogs have dangling dewclaws that are difficult to trim, these may best be left to your vet. Dogs with aggressive behavior or high anxiety, may need to have their nails trimmed at your vet. Grooming your dog’s nails is important in keeping your dog healthy.  Trimming keeps the nails from breaking or cracking, which would cause your dog pain.

Grooming your dog’s nails is important in keeping your dog healthy.  Trimming keeps the nails from breaking or cracking, which would cause your dog pain.

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