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Pet Bucket Blog

The stress-free way to trim your dog’s nails

 by lucy on 08 May 2018 |
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If you’re like many dog owners, trimming your pet’s nails is an event surrounded by anxiety and drama. Some pet parents even avoid cutting their pooch’s nails altogether for fear they’ll hurt their companion. Trimming your dog’s nails doesn’t have to be stressful, however, with the right techniques and tools.
Keeping Fido’s feet healthy is important and that begins with keeping his nails short. While some active pets wear their nails down naturally, most need a little extra help from their humans. Not only are long toenails painful for your pet as they tap against hard surfaces, but they can create serious communication problems between his body and brain. In the wild, dogs run long distances, wearing their nails down so they only touch the ground when walking uphill. Your pet’s brain is evolutionarily programed to associate toenail contact with walking uphill, then, causing a shift in his body posture when his nails grow too long. Since the hill is not real, your pet is leaning forward over his front limbs for no reason, causing him to compensate with his hind legs to stay upright. The end result is a pet with overtaxed and overtired muscles and joints, which can lead to pain in the long run. Fortunately, clipping your dog’s toenails can help restore his natural balance.
To minimize anxiety over clippers, handle your pet’s paws regularly and introduce him to the clippers, using plenty of treats and praise, before you ever cut his nails. When you’re ready to trim his toenails, use sharp, high-quality, scissor-style clippers. Purchase small clippers for the best control and hold your pet’s paw firmly, but gently while cutting at a 45-degree angle. Trim in small increments to avoid cutting the quick—the a soft cuticle in the center of your dog’s nail that contains blood vessels and nerves. If you do cut too far, you can dip your pet’s paw in corn starch to stop the bleeding. For dogs with light-colored nails, the quick is easily visible, making trimming easier. For pets with dark-colored nails, however, trim only until you see the white lining inside the nail, with a small, black center. How often you trim depends on your individual pet and his activity level, but a good rule of thumb is to trim dogs’ nails roughly every three weeks.
Because the quick grows along with your dog’s nails, skipping a few trimming sessions can cause some serious paws problems. It is not uncommon for the quick to grow almost to the tip of the nail, which can make trimming your pet’s toenails almost impossible. In this case, it may be best to take your dog to the vet or a professional groomer, who can trim the nail and, over time, help the quick recede so you can go back to regular upkeep. For a DYI approach, trim a very small piece of your pup’s nail every couple of days until the quick recedes


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