How to Trim Your Dog’s Nails

A vet in blue dress holding a dog

Why are Nail Trims important?

Regular nail maintenance is more than cosmetic. Unhealthy nails can cause pain, and in rare cases, trigger irreversible damage to your dog. Long nails can turn a sound paw into a splayed foot and reduce traction, and they can cause deformed feet and injure the tendon over an extended period. As the long nail hits the ground, the pressure puts force on the foot and leg structure. Typically, dogs will need their nails trimmed every 4 to 6 weeks. Some dogs wear their nails down naturally and won’t need to have them clipped as often.

How to Trim My Dogs Nails at Home:

Things I will need:

– Nail Clippers
– Kwikstop (or cornstarch)
– Plenty of Treats
– A nice, relaxed environment

Step 1: Get your pet used to the clippers. Let your dog sniff the clippers, hear them, and feel them against their paw.

Step 2: Locate the quick. For pink nails, blah blah. For black nails, blah blah.

Step 3: Make the first cut. For black nails, continue to cut little by little until the black dot appears. Be sure to reward often throughout the trim!

Step 4: Continue trimming your dog’s nails until the front and back paws are all trimmed.

What to Do if I Accidentally Trim Too Far?

Keep your dog as calm as possible, apply kwikstop (or cornstarch), and apply pressure to their paw. Be sure to reward them with treats.

The slower you go in the beginning stages of trimming your dog’s nails at home, the better your dog will acclimate. It is okay to only trim one foot or one nail per day to ease them into the process and make them comfortable. As always, give us a call if you have questions, concerns, or need further advice.

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