Oct. 23.2020 | Updated: September 17, 2021

How to Clip Dog Nails?

Trimming dog nails is a necessary procedure, which is usually carried out by professionals in zoos and veterinary clinics. But you can learn how to cut a dog toenails on the dog. It will help to avoid stress in the animal, as well as save time and money.

Clipping dog nails timely is a far-reaching part of hygienic procedures. Otherwise, there is a risk of ingrowth, inflammation, and further development of the purulent necrotic process in the soft tissues of the feet.

Types of Dogs Nails

best way to trim dog nails

The structure of the nails is not the same for all dog breeds. There are three main types of claws in dogs by growth type:

  • curved with an arched shape;
  • hare-like (with sharp tips and a straight body);
  • bent as in cats, with curved ends.

Twisted claws are typical for service breeds of dogs. Hare claws are natural for decorative and indoor dogs.

The frequency of cutting dog nails depends on individual characteristics. If you do it untimely or incorrectly, there can be many problems. The pet may suffer from gait problems, and it’s center of gravity shifts, which threatens to lose balance or even limp.

Cutting Dogs Toenails Preparation

clipping dog's toenails

Clipping a dog’s toenails should be done regularly, as soon as there is something to cut. Nail clippers can be purchased in specialized stores for animals. These scissors can be of two types – with sickle-shaped blades and in the form of a guillotine.

The sickle scissors look like tweezers with curved blades. They are good for removing old claws in large breeds of dogs. This tool has a blade opening width limiter, so you won’t damage the capillaries in the claw if you’re not sure how short to cut dog nails.

The guillotine type of claw is preferable for dog nail grooming of small, decorative, and medium breeds of dog.

There is also a third type of tool that allows dog nail grinding. It is an electric claw scratcher, equipped with a special grinding nozzle. When turned on, the grinding stone rotates, erasing the claws to the most suitable length. This tool is used in grooming salons to give the nails of an animal the right shape. Each owner determines the primary tool that suits him.

For successful trimming dogs toenails, it is influential taking care not only of the cutting tools but also of the optional ones. In addition to nail clippers, the following tools are essential:

  • Nail treatment tool (nail file);
  • Cotton pads;
  • Antiseptics;
  • Gauze napkins;
  • Styptic drugs;
  • Rubberized glue or polyethylene bag.

The best way to trim dog nails is over the rubberized cloth. It allows you to easily remove fine crumbs and particles of cut claws into the trash after the procedure.

Trimming Dog Nails Performance

Before you start, it is necessary to let the dog know that the procedure will not harm it. You can calm your pet down with a gentle conversation or give it a treat. Clipping dog nails itself is not very difficult, but it is vital to follow some basic rules, which will avoid infection or injury. The main stages in cutting dogs toenails:

  1. Preliminary washing of the paws to remove impurities (pay extra attention to the area of the claw branches);
  2. Fixing the pet on the mat or knees;
  3. Removal of excess hair around the claw growth area with manicure scissors;
  4. Hold the pet’s paw with your free hand and hold the disinfected claw cutting tool with the other hand;
  5. Determining the location of the soft tissue with an extensive capillary network (the pulp looks like a blackout at the beginning of the claw growth);
  6. Cutting the free part of the claw, retreating about 2 mm from the pulp;
  7. Treatment of peeled scales with a nail file;

In case of damage to small vessels, while clipping a dog’s toenails, it is necessary to disinfect the area of injury with any of the prepared antiseptics.

If a dog is accustomed to the regular dog nail grooming, combing, cleaning of ears from an early age, it will not be difficult for the owner to perform any hygiene procedures. Otherwise, when a pet is not used to such manipulations, the procedure may take longer and cause discomfort to the animal.

It is important to constantly encourage your pet, stroke, or praise. It is possible to give a treat after each successful clipping. If a pet lives on the street, there is no need in cutting dog nails. As a rule, young pets sharpen their claws against hard surfaces.

With age, metabolic processes change. Motion activity of the dog decreases, which leads to the rapid growth of claws and, accordingly, a reduced effect of their natural sharpening. In such cases, you need to take your pet to a specialist regularly or to cut the claws at home. It is an easy home procedure that should make you both happier.

As with other interactions with your pet, you should be restrained and consistent. Talk to your dog in a calm voice and treat it after each obedience. Do not use brute force in clipping a dog’s toenails. The pet should joyfully jump in your lap in anticipation of the time spent with his beloved owner.

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