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How do I trim my dog’s nails?

How do I trim my dog’s nails?

Your dog’s nails are both a fragile and exposed part of your dog. It’s important to regularly and correctly take care of them not only for your dog’s comfort, but also to avoid any risk of infection or injury.

Nails, a fragile and important part of a dog

Your animal uses his nails mostly to scratch himself or to dig, but also to maintain his balance while moving around. Nevertheless, your dog’s nails are fragile, and it is important to take care of them to avoid the risk of infection. If your dog often walks on hard surfaces like roads, the nails will file down naturally. Otherwise, if you do not trim them regularly, the nails could eventually become ingrown and hurt the dog.

Best practices

You need to use a good quality tool. There are dog nail clippers designed specifically for your animal. Your nail clipper or a pair of pliers might hurt your dog and/or damage his paw.

Before starting the trim, clean your dog’s paws thoroughly. This will help you to see the area better and to proceed with the trim in a hygienic manner.

Trimming the nails is never a pleasant moment, particularly for your dog. Reassure him and put him in a comfortable position. Many dogs don’t like it when we touch their paws, so we must gain their trust.

You have to cut the white part of the nail, a few millimeters away from the pink part. If your animal’s nails are black, this is even more difficult. You can always use an already cut nail as a reference.

Reward your dog during the trim as well as when the task is finished so that he understands that you are pleased with him.

Actions to avoid

The nail is fragile and connected to a vein. If you cut the pink part of your dog’s nails, you might hit the vein and cause bleeding. Don’t panic if this happens as it is often difficult to know where not to cut. Use a cold compress, and the bleeding will stop on its own.

If your dog whines too much, it’s because he’s in pain. Don’t force him to proceed with the trimming, and seek advice from a groomer or a veterinarian who will know how to help.

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