If you are preparing your dog’s grooming kit, add a nail clipper right away because you will need it. Nail trimming is a massive part of dog grooming. Just like you need your manicures and pedicures, your dog also needs nail maintenance. Nail trimming for dogs is not an additional/optional step in grooming as many people assume, it is necessary to be done regularly and safely.
Why is dog nail trimming required?
Every pet owner wants to create a safe experience for themselves and their pet. The playtime should only be about bonding and having fun rather than getting scratched by your dog’s long untrimmed nails and ending up hurting yourself. Commonly, this is what people believe to be the only reason for dog nail trimming. But, as much as avoiding scratches and getting hurt by their sharp nails is essential for you, nail trimming for dogs is equally important for their safety.
If the dog’s nails stay untrimmed for a long time, they will cause discomfort and pain. In addition, whenever they lay down, sit or multiply body postures can be painful because of the bending of their long nails as dogs are not conscious of it.
When their long, sharp nails touch the ground and get bent, it causes pain. Sometimes, you might have noticed that their nails also get stuck in fabric, cushions, pillows and rugs etc. This not only tears the material itself and causes holes in it but is a harrowing experience for the dog itself and they struggle with untying the nail.
How often does a dog’s nail need to be trimmed?
Nail trimming for dogs is not required as often as bathing and cleaning but shouldn’t be prolonged. The period of nail cutting in dogs varies according to their breed. Some breeds of dogs grow nails faster and sharper. This means that the nail trimming should be done somewhere around two weeks. On the other hand, some breeds of dogs slowly grow and their nail trimming can be done after a month. A vet can properly guide the period routine of nail trimming in dogs as per the breed.
But, how do you know it’s time to trim the nails? Well, most people recognise it through the clicking sound of their dog’s paws. Some have a routine and know precisely when their dog’s nails need to be trimmed. If you feel their nails scratching you or causing them discomfort like being stuck etc, you should check and examine if they need to be trimmed.
How to trim dog nails safely at home?
If you do not have any experience with dog nail trimming, you should get the job done by a dog groomer because if you are entirely unaware of the process, you can trim their nails more than required and end up hurting the dog.
How to trim a dog’s nails at home?
- You must train them to get their nails trimmed without causing trouble. Just like you train them for bathing, you must do the same for this part of grooming.
- Introduce the nail clipper to your dog beforehand. If they are aware of a tool and have seen it in the past, it will not surprise them, but if they have never seen it before and you directly present it all at once, this might scare the dog.
- Let them understand that you won’t hurt them. This is very important for your dog to know to stay calm and let you do the job.
- Hold the paw of your dog steady. If they keep resisting and moving, you will trim it more than required or cut their skin.
- Only decide to trim their nails when you see them in a happy mood and when they trust you.
- You must be aware of the quick part of their nails. The quick has a blood vessel that nourishes the nail and if you cut that, it can cause bleeding.
- The quick is commonly seen in pink colour but is sometimes hard to recognise and this is why nail trimming must be done gently and safely.
- You must only trim the nail ahead of the quick. Only the extra and harmfully sharp part of the nail needs to be trimmed.
- Make this a routine to avoid too sharp and extra-long nails that become hard to trimmed.
- Try to create a non-stressful experience out of nail trimming. Just like you enjoy your grooming sessions, your dog should feel the same about it.
Some dogs who do not stay a lot indoors, run around on hard surfaces outdoors and their nails stay in shape naturally. But, if you have a stay-at-home dog, you need to check on their nails often.
What to do if my dog’s nail starts bleeding after trimming?
If your dog’s nails start to bleed after trimming, it is most likely that you have cut some part of the ‘quick’. This will be a painful experience for your dog and you must be aware of it.
The first thing to do is to give them a bandaid and inform their pet. They will guide you to take care of it at home if you have their first aid box. But, if you cannot manage to do it yourself, you must take them to the nearest clinic. Do not leave this untreated as it can cause infection.
Some dogs fear getting their nails trimmed as they might have had a bad experience (nail bleeding due to trimming) in the past. For this situation, you need to train them first or take them to an experienced dog groomer who will take care of the situation and calm the dog themselves.
Some dog owners also fear trimming their dog’s nails as they do not want to hurt them. If your hand is unsteady and shaking, do not try and trim their nails yourself because you will hurt them.