Dog care advice: cliping nails

Dog care advice in clipping their nails. What to do, how to do it, and precautionary steps. An easy how-to guide on clipping your dog's nails and keeping them healthy.


Many dog owners don't clip their dog's nails because they think it's too hard,

or they're just too nervous to do it. The truth is, it's not all that complicated, and if you're in the right state of mind, you can get it done quickly and painlessly.

First off you'll need a good pair of dog nail clippers. You can find them at any pet supply store. Find the right size for your dog. You don't want to have tiny little clippers if you have a huge dog, and visa versa. If you already have clippers, make sure they're not rusty and are still in good condition.

Next, get a piece of cloth or paper towel just in case you cut the nail too close. They also sell a product that helps clot the blood faster; it's a powder and it really works.

Then, how should you know if your dog's nails are too long? Only the pads of its feet should be touching the floor when it walks; you shouldn't hear the nails clicking against the floor.

Get your supplies together and get your dog. Hold it firmly while it's lying on the floor, and grasp its paw. If it's a big dog, or if it is giving you a hard time, get someone else to hold the dog for you. It'll be a lot easier and cut the risk of hurting your dog. When you cut the nail, always cut from the front (straight on), never from the side.

There are two different colors of dog nails: white and black. White nails are much easier to cut because you can see the vein in the nail. Take your clippers and clip off the end of the nail just before the vein. If the nails were very long, to begin with, you'll need to cut a little bit off the end every few days. Cutting regularly will help the vein to recede and soon your dog will have short nails again.

Black nails are harder to do. First, cut a bit off the end. After a while you should see a dot in the middle of the nail; that is the beginning of the vein. Stop after you see that dot. If you cut too far, or "quick" your dog, just apply pressure to the nail, and eventually it will stop bleeding.

When cutting your dog's nails, don't forget about the dewclaw. This is a nail slightly above their foot, I look at it as if it is where the ankle is. If you keep your dog's nails short, it will reduce the risk of them growing long, painful nails. Long nails take much more maintenance and time to get them to normal size.

You and your dog might both be nervous about this process. But you, being the human, should try to reassure the dog. Talk soothingly and gently. If you're too nervous, the dog will sense it and become scared as well.

Afterward, give a small treat to the dog. It may take much patience and practice to master clipping a dogs nails, but it is a lot easier than taking it to the groomer every time. Just take your time and relax.