Paw Nails Trimming: A complete guide

9 simple step to trimming your overgrown Paw Nails

Paw nails trimming is the most important task in dog grooming. Though often overlooked, trimmed nails make it easier for your dog when she’s walking, running, playing, or out exploring. Before I start my blog I would request every pet parent always check your fur babies’ nails. Having too long nails it could be end up like below image.

Overgrown Paw Nails
overgrown Paw Nails

Failure to take adequate care of paw nails can lead to several problems including splitting and breakage of nails which occurs when long nails get caught by objects. If the problem goes unchecked for a long period, your dog may even develop infections or joint and bone complications caused by continuously assuming an unnatural posture.

How to Tell If Paw nails Trimming Is Required

The two things to look out for are:

  1. If the claws protrude over the pad and touch the ground when she’s standing then they’re too long.
  2. If the nails make a clicking sound on a hard surface like the kitchen floor when your dog walks, then they need trimming.

The Quick

The quick is a blood vessel that runs through a dog’s nail. To achieve this, you’re best off giving an allowance of about 2mm away from the quick when cutting the nail, which can only be done if your dog has transparent claws. If the claws are black or dark colour, it may be almost impossible to see the quick.

The Quick

What Do Owners Hate Most about Paw nails Trimming?

Paw nails trimming is important but it is a stressful and unpleasant task for both you and your dog.

The reasons trimming can be difficult include:

  1. Dogs can get scared or uncooperative making it difficult to trim the nails safely.
  2. Trimming can cause pain and bleed when the quick is cut.
  3. Some dogs even bite their owners during their nail trimming
How To Clip A Dog’s Nails
overgrown Paw Nails

How To Clip A Dog’s Nails

When doing Paw nails Trimming observe the following:

  1. Choose the correct set of nail clippers for Paw nails Trimming. You can use clippers or guillotine style. In the clippers you place the claw between the blades and squeeze the handles together. And for the guillotine-style clippers, you place the nail inside a hole and squeeze the handles triggering the blade to slide up and cut the nail. If you haven’t used a pair of clippers on your dog before carefully read the instructions for the clipper you have bought.
  2. Assemble other supplies including styptic powder to stem any bleeding that may occur. Have some treats on hand to offer your dog to encourage her to cooperate during nail trimming.
  3. Pick the appropriate time: choosing moments when your dog is relaxed will make your job a whole lot easier. The best times are usually after meals or when she’s been out playing and is too tired to cause a fuss. Before you start Paw nails Trimming Ensure dog in a comfortable place
  4. Keep your dog calm during nail trimming. Use a quiet, soothing voice to help keep her calm. If it’s her first time having her nails done, warm her up to the idea by gently rubbing her legs and feet for a few minutes a day. Once she seems okay with this, proceed to the next step – touch the clippers to her toenails. Reward her with treats to keep her comfortable and encourage her to cooperate.
  5. Choose which spot to make the first cut. Locate the quick of the nail. It will be easier to see the quick if your dog has white, clear, or light color nails. The quick is a small, pink tube that runs through the nail center and terminates a few millimeters before the tip. You will probably not be able to see the quick if the nails are black or dark-colored and you will have to improvise as explained elsewhere in this article when cutting the nails.
  6. The golden rule is always begun by cutting less of the nail than what you think is possible – you can always cut more later. It’s better to cut less than too much which can cause pain and bleeding, and discourage you from finishing the job.
  7. Hold the foot gently but firmly during Paw nails trimming.
  8. Remember to clip the dewclaws. These are found on the inner leg, and do not wear down naturally like the rest of the claws; hence the need for special attention. Begin by laying the dog on his side, preferably on a table, so that you don’t cause her too much strain. For bigger dogs, you may want to use your body to help secure them, usually by leaning your torso over their body.
  9. Don’t panic if you cut the quick during Paw nails trimming. Even the most experienced professionals make mistakes when cutting nails so if you cut the quick, stay calm and gently reassure your dog. Give your dog a treat at once to soothe and distract her.

Cutting Dark Claws

In Dark claws you cannot easily see the quick. To solve this problem cut the claws in several small slices to minimize the chance of accidentally cutting the quick. Keep checking the edges of your dog’s nail as you cut; lookout especially for a dark spot at the center of the newly clipped edge because this is the area where the live quick starts.

Dog Nail Cutter
Dog Nail Cutter

Things can do to avoid cutting the quick in dark nails:

  1. Check under the nail where the quick is more visible.
  2. Bathe your dog’s paws to make the quick easier to see and for an easier trimming process.
  3. Shine a torch or bright light through the claw.

For Longer Nails…

 Longer nails naturally have longer the quick’s.  it is better to trim little at a time to avoid nicking the quick.

Trim Paw nails regularly

Most dogs dislike dog nail trimming, the best way to help your dog get used to the process it is to start trimming them at a young age. You can use several sessions to trim the nails at first before establishing a regular schedule.

Take Your Dog To Groomer.

If you lack the confidence, patience, or time to clip your dog’s nails, or don’t have the proper equipment for dog nail trimming to do it’s wise to get a groomer to help you.

Don’t cut your canine nails right before their bath. Otherwise you’ll have freshly cut (and razor sharp) dog nails on wet skin. If they scratch you or themselves it could be very painful.

About the Author

Author in Pup In Tub

My name is Robi-ul, and I’m one of the main writers here at Pup In Tub. 

Dogs are my life, and that’s why I’m here – to share my stories and experience to help you, and all the other dog lovers out there.

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