While some dogs need to have their nails trimmed at least once each month, others can last for a couple of months requiring zero trimming or just minor clippings. The latter is comprised of those dogs that regularly run or walk on hard areas.
If trimming is not done when needed, dog claws can easily turn into ingrown nails. This will give them discomfort when walking. Also, those claws can get snagged into the fabric of your carpet, clothes, or upholstery, ruining them in the process and potentially giving your pet injury.
If you are a dog parent, it is understandable if you get intimidated with the prospect of trimming your pet’s claws on your own. Yes, a lot can go wrong. For instance, you might inadvertently cut through pinkish base of your dog’s nails and cause them profuse bleeding.
To avoid any accidents from happening, please follow these steps.
Dog nail trimming guide
- First, position your dog paws in such a way that their nails are close to the floor surface. You can either have your pet on your lap or sit next to them on the floor.
- Use a nail trimmer that is specifically made for canine. Human nail trimmers are not good for the job since human nails are flat unlike dog claws which are slightly curved.
- Give your pup enough reassurance. Talk to them in a soothing voice throughout the process so as to make the experience pleasant.
- Hold your pup’s paw while you go through their nails, gently separating the toes each time. Remember the “quick”, or the tip of your pup’s toe which has a lot of blood vessels. Devote sufficient care on not puncturing it.
- If your pet has dewclaws, or those found in fifth toes, you will have to clip those as well. Usually they are found in the inner sides of both feet. If these dewclaws are not clipped they might be accidentally ripped off when your dog is outdoors and this will be painful for them.
- Finish your nail trimming session by tossing out your pup’s favorite treat. Also, shower your pup with all the praises they enjoy. This will teach your dog that nail trimming sessions are good for them, and are always followed by something fun and exciting. Next time, they’ll be even more cooperative.
What to do with injured claws
Suppose you accidentally clipped your pup’s “quick” you will know just what you did because in all likelihood your pet will shriek due to pain. Put pressure on the punctured area to address the bleeding.
You may also want to apply styptic powder on the surface of the affected area. This will coagulate the blood and stop it from flowing. If you can’t find styptic powder in your household, dipping your pet’s paws in flour is a viable alternative.
Now if your dog has one of their nails ripped off accidentally, quickly apply ample pressure on the area with a sanitized gauze or rag. After the bleeding has been contained, give your dog’s paw thorough washing using warm water and mild soap.