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Some Tips For Trimming Your Dog’s Nails

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It can be a stressful task for human and dog when it’s nail trimming time. Although it’s not going to be a fun experience, there are some things to do that can make the task go a little smoother.  Check out these tips from the The Bark, Spring 2014 issue:

  • Get supplies ready beforehand.  You should have pet nail trimmers, and something to stop bleeding in the event you knick the nail quick.  Kwik-Stop or other styptic powder will work well.
  • Trim a small amount regularly rather than trying to clip large portions.
  • Invest in good quality pet nail trimmers that are the appropriate size for your dog’s nails.  Nail trimmers for a Great Dane will be dramatically larger than those for a Toy Poodle.
  • Make nail trimming time fun.  Nail trimming won’t be one of your dog’s favorite activities, but having his favorite treats handy to reward him for being still will help make it a little more fun.
  • Go slowly.  You may not be able to trim all nails in one session.  Take frequent breaks between each paw, and don’t forget to trim the dewclaw nail.
  • Think small.  When trimming your dog’s nails, make several small nips rather than one large one.  Trim the nail at a 45-degree angle with the cutting end of the clipper toward the end of the nail.
  • Find the nail quick before you start clipping.  If your dog’s nails are clear or light, it’s easy to see the pink color and where the quick ends.  If your dog’s nails are black, look for a black dot on the underside of the nail, that’s where the quick ends.
  • If you accidentally cut the quick, quickly wipe off the blood and apply styptic powder or Kwik-Stop to stop the bleeding.  These injuries should heal quickly.


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