Dog nail care

Dogs nails are much like ours. When they get to be too long, they can hamper the simplest of tasks. Your dog feels the same way about having long toe nails.

Know before you trim

A simple tip for knowing when your dog’s nails are too long, is when you can hear them. If you can hear your dog’s nails on your floors when they walk through the house, then their nails are too long.

You can cut your pet’s nails yourself, but you need to be careful and have the proper tools in order to do so. Never use the same nail clippers that you would use for yourself. Consider that your nails are shaped differently than your pets, so a different shaped clipper is necessary. You can pick up the appropriate clipper at a pet store, or talk to your local veterinarian about getting one.

Most dogs need a nail trim every month, but some can go longer. If your dog spends more time on hard surfaces that may help file their nails down, it may be longer between clippings.

Long nails can quickly become ingrown or hurt your dog when they walk. Long nails can snag and lead to injuries for your pet.

Tips and tricks

Some dogs will let you cut their nails, and some won’t make it so easy. If you have help, someone can distract the dog while you cut their nails. Using treats or a reward can make it easier as well.

Be extremely careful of the quick in your dogs’ nail, the skin the supplies the blood to the nail.  If you cut the nail too short, you could cut the quick and cause your dog to bleed. Spread the toes of your pet, to get at each nail more easily. Some dogs have black or white toenails. The white or more clear nails make it easy to see the quick. The black nails are harder to cut shorter, as you can be cutting blind. If your dog still has dewclaws, those need to be cut as well, they can also get torn and be painful.

If you do clip your dog’s quick, you’ll know. Chances are they’ll yip or whine, or maybe bleed. If your dog bleeds, you can use a styptic powder to coagulate the blood. Some men keep it in their shaving kits, but it is sold at most pet stores and veterinary offices.

You can always have your dog’s nails cut when you get them groomed or when they visit your local veterinary office. They will do it for you, often for a small fee.

If your dog does tear a nail or dewclaw, take them to your local vet so they can take care of it. Ignoring long nails on your pet, can lead to pain for them and more serious problems for you. If you’re afraid of cutting them yourself, take them to a professional. Either way, it’s best to stay on top of them.