Owning a pet certainly has wonderful benefits and joys like nothing else. But pets also require a certain level of care in order to stay healthy and happy. Grooming is a big part of this care and clipping toenails is an important and necessary part of the care! Even though this post uses dogs as an example, this tutorial also works for cats!
Many pet owners are intimidated by clipping nails! It’s a relatively easy process, but does require you to be careful and patient. I am going to use my dog, Pip, for this example.
He has some pink and white nails, so it’s easier to see what I am discussing.
If you have never clipped nails before I recommend the following:
Nail Clippers- Heavy duty clippers that look like this:
They are available anywhere, but Petco has them for a good price. I do NOT recommend the guillotine type clippers. Trimming nails needs to be finished quickly and efficiently, and the guillotine require extreme care when lining them up. Additionally, dogs who do not like having nail trims tend to yank their feet away, so it constantly pulls them out of the clippers. You have less control this way, in my opinion!
Kwik Stop– This is a product you can use to stop bleeding if you cut the nail too short. It works on dogs, cats, and birds, and yes, I have personally used it on all 3.
Dremmel type tool with a sander on it. It doesn’t have to be specific to animal use. This is especially nice if you have hardwood floors or if your pet gets really sharp edges on their nails. It will sand nails smooth and keeps your floors and body from getting scratched up! If your dog will allow it, you will also be able to get closer to the quick!
A dogs nail has a vein running through the nail called a quick. It is similar to a cuticle on a human. When you trim their nails, your goal should be to trim as close to the quick as possible without actually snipping the quick. (Same with cats, but I am going to reference dogs through the post)
Your goal when trimming is to snip as much as possible, as close to the quick as possible, as fast as possible along a line like this:
You need to get your dog in to a comfortable position. If someone can help you hold the pet that’s even better!
Next, you will need to firmly, grasp the paw and push on the bottom of the foot pad for the nail you want to trim. This will make the nail extend.
Line up your clippers just in front of the quick and quickly press down on the clippers. The nail should immediately snap off.
Bigger dogs have thicker nails, so be prepared to really squeeze those clippers! If your dogs are big pansies like my dog, Meg, she will holler and be a drama queen about it. DO NOT GET SUCKERED BY THIS! If there is no BLOOD, they are OK!!!
Make sure to also trim the dew claw if they have one. It’s kind of like a doggie thumb! I have seen this nail grow into the pad of the foot when it’s missed too often in trims, so it’s important to watch for it!
Do you trim your pets nails? Tell me how that works for you! Do you have more questions? Ask me below!