Your pup may dread having his nails trimmed, but it’s an essential part of regular care needed to keep him happy and healthy.
Why is it so important? Having long toenails is uncomfortable for humans, but carries more serious consequences for dogs. Excessively long nails will touch the hard surface of floors and result in unnecessary pressure and pain on the nail beds, and in time will shift the way your dog walks due to the nerve signals of nails touching a surface. In short, regular nail trimming is needed to avoid unnecessary pain and discomfort!
Tools of the Trim
Before you get started, you’ll want to have the right tools for trimming your dog’s nails. It’s important that you select the right clippers for your pup’s size and your hand’s comfort. You should also have ready a nail file for smoothing rough edges, treats to reinforce positive association with grooming, and clotting powder just in case you accidentally trim the quick (baking soda, baking flour, and corn starch work as clotting powder in a pinch).
Keep Calm and Trim On
If your pup whimpers or flees at the sight of the nail trimmer, don’t panic! You’re not alone.Trimming nails can be stressful for your dog, especially if it’s not a normal routine and if his toes are painful from walking on hard surfaces with long nails. Experts recommend that you start fresh with new clippers, and immediately make the nail trimming a fun and rewarding processes with happy talk and ample treats! Take nail trimming slow by first getting your pet used to touching his paws, and have practice trimming sessions before trimming for real.
Tips for Trimming
Trimming nails seems like a pretty elementary task, but the sensitive quick – the dark central area of the nail – makes it a delicate operation. Make sure that you understand how your clippers work by testing them and making sure that your grip and use is comfortable. Keep a firm grip on your clippers and on your dog’s paws, gently separating the toes with your fingers. When you’re trimming, make sure that your pup is comfortable and steady, and trim from underneath the nail. Cut decisively, with a quick and smooth squeeze on your clippers. When in doubt, talk to a vet tech, veterinarian or groomer to get expert advice on how to trim your pet’s nails!
Trimming your pup’s nails can be challenging, but the reward is a healthier and happier dog!
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