Clipping your dog’s nails is a necessary part of their health and grooming routine. Sometimes, for both dog and owner, it can be daunting and become a traumatic experience. The following information and tips explain how to clip your dog’s nails, hopefully with little to no stress for you and your dog.
1. Before you clip your dog’s nails for the first time start for a few days by introducing the clippers to them. Pick up their feet and massage them and rub the toes, all while praising them. Then introduce the nail clippers by touching their feet and nails with them, placing them over the nail but not clipping. If they behave give them a treat after each new step to reinforce it as a positive experience. When your dog is use to this you can then move on to cutting the nails. Start slowly by just doing a few nails or one paw at a time.
2. Start by holding their paw and gently squeeze to get the nail to extend.
3. Identify the quick, this is the vein that runs from the base of the nail. It will look like a pink line through the nail. It can be hard to identify in black nails so check with your vet if unsure. You do not want to cut this as it will bleed.
4. Wait until the animal is still and then cut the tip of the nail off, without cutting the quick. You are better off to take only a little at first as you can always take more if needed.
5. Repeat the process on all nails.
6. Make the nail clipping experience a calm and rewarding one for your pet. Give them lots of praise, pats and treats for being well behaved.
Top Tip – have a small bowl of flour handy and if your dog’s nail bleeds dip it in the flour and it will help slow the bleeding and help the blood to clot quickly.
If clipping your pet’s nails is just too hard or stressful most vet clinics and grooming salons will be able to clip your dog’s nails for you.
To view the full range of nail clippers available at vet-n-pet DIRECT click here.
Originally published in My Pet Magazine Winter 2015.
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