Nailed It | A Guide to Dog Nail Care

Paving is a natural nail file for dogs, but sometimes, left untrimmed, dogs nails can crack, break or bleed.

As dogs get older, they run a greater risk of getting arthritis in their feet from nails that have grown into their feet.

So, just how do you trim a dog’s nails?

The first, and often the best, option is to take your beloved pooch to the vet. It’s the stress-free option and quite handy if you have a wriggly pup. Look for a veterinary clinic where you can have this done at a lower cost.

If you feel comfortable after watching you can try clipping the nails on your own:

  • Use nail trimmers that are designed for dogsdog-nails
  • Ask someone to help you hold your dogs’ head
  • Hold each paw firmly and press down so that the nails are exposed.
  • If the nails are dark, trim small slices off to avoid damaging the soft parts. If you see a black dot in the centre of the nail, stop cutting!
  • On white nails, look out for the pink section – cutting too close to this section can result in pain and bleeding.
  • If blood is drawn, take a deep breath, reassure your dog and use cotton wool to stop the bleeding. Your vet will be able to give you guidance for the next trim.
  • If you don’t have nail styptic powder to put on the bleeding nail, you can try putting a toe in flour.
  • The dew nail is inside the leg and can form an ingrown toenail if left untrimmed.

Nail trimming should happen once a week, or twice a month for dogs that don’t walk on lots of roads or pavements. Just remember to get your dog used to the process. Practicing from the time he’s a puppy with treats like small pieces of chicken or cheese as rewards will help.

Have you found anything that helps make the process easier for you and less stressful for your pooch? Share it with us below.

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Junior Watson

Junior is the DogTrainingBasics.com resident "Top Dog". He enjoys walks in the park, chasing invisible cats, and of course... bacon strips!

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