Dog grooming is quite expensive. Nail cutting alone costs around $30. In spite of this, many pet owners rely on professional groomers to do the task because the thought of cutting their dog’s nails too short is stressing them out.
Do you share the same sentiment? It’s time to get over your fear of cutting your pet’s nails. To help you do this, we gathered the tried and tested tips.
How to Cut Your Dog’s Nails the Right Way
Before proceeding with the task itself, familiarize your dog with the clippers first. Handle his paws and present the clippers. Don’t rush into cutting your pet’s nails if both of you are not ready.
Learn how to identify the “quick” before trimming a dog’s nails. This part consists of nerves which transmit sensations back to the brain. You should not reach this portion or you will see blood everywhere. Do note that the quick grows as the nails do so make sure your pet’s nails are always trimmed short.
You will know you are close to the quick when you cut the nails and you see a slightly pink surface in the middle part. This applies to light colored dogs. The case will be different for dark-colored dogs unless your buddy has hooked nails.
For dogs with black hooked nails, the process is as simple as trimming off the hook. It only becomes tricky when you have to trim unhooked nails. You have to stop trimming once you see a solid black surface on the middle part. This indicates that you are already approaching the quick.
The next step is to keep your dog calm. Consider walking outside for a few minutes before your trimming session. This also helps to drain the dog’s energy so he can relax throughout the process.
If you have a rescue dog, you might need more time introducing the trimming session into his routine. If you see him lounging around, try to touch the pads of his paws. Rubbing your pet’s paws while he is relaxing could make him feel at ease.
Now that you’re all set, it’s time to prepare all the tools you will need for cutting. Aside from the clipper, you should have a styptic powder handy, just in case accidents happen. A styptic powder can immediately stop the bleeding of your dog’s nails.
The Benzocaine in this powder works by numbing the quick. In case you don’t have styptic powder at home, you may use cornstarch as an alternative. A bar soap can also do the trick. Just apply a bit of pressure when treating your dog’s nail so the bleeding will stop.
Tips in Finding the Right Nail Clipper for Your Dog
A good nail clipper will make your grooming task simpler and quicker. With the right tool, you can have more confidence in trimming your dog’s nails. This results in fewer incidents of cutting the quick which can be extremely painful for dogs.
The most important thing to consider here is the size of your dog since this will be used in identifying the right kind of clipper for him. If you own a small dog, it’s best to invest in a guillotine clipper. Just like what the name suggests, this one works similarly to a guillotine. It comes with a hole where you will place the end of your pet’s nail. As you squeeze, the lowered blade will gradually cut the edges of the nail.
A guillotine clipper is suitable for most medium-sized pets. To avoid hitting the quick, look for a guillotine clipper with an optimal angle. There are different kinds of handles but always go for the ones that do not easily slip. The best materials for the handle are textured rubber and vinyl.
If you have a large dog, consider buying a scissor type clipper instead of a guillotine clipper. The best ones are made of stainless steel, which is known for its durability and lasting sharpness. For beginners, it helps to use a nail clipper with a safety stop feature. This prevents injury and it is also easier to use compared to standard clippers.
Aside from a clipper, you may also use a grinder tool to trim your pet’s nails. Using a grinder has pros and cons so it’s best to weigh all aspects before buying one. The biggest advantage of using grinder tools is that they are safer and less stressful. The only drawback is that it takes more time to trim your pet’s nails compared to the good old clipper.
If you are interested in using a nail grinder for your pet, choose a cordless unit so you can better control your pet during the grooming session. It also helps to look for a tool that isn’t very noisy as a loud grinder might scare your dog.
Nail grinders are usually more expensive than a guillotine or a scissor type trimmer but they make trimming faster and easier. A nail grinder is battery operated and you can find a lot of cordless models online. There are grinders with adjustable speed levels, so you can easily set it based on your pet’s comfort level.
When choosing a nail trimmer for your dog, don’t just look at the price. There are very cheap ones but they are not as safe and as effective as the branded ones. It’s worth investing in a decent tool because you will be using it for years anyway.
Look for value when it comes to nail clippers. There are clippers priced at $10 or less but can be as durable as other high-end brands. Take the time to read the reviews from other pet owners before purchasing a nail trimmer for your pooch.
The Bottom Line
Trimming a dog’s nail is not an easy task but it’s also not something you can just skip. No matter what, you really have to trim your dog’s nails. Long dog nails can be a problem because they may cause pain when walking on hard surfaces. This can negatively affect the dog’s posture and he could suffer from joint problems as a result of overgrown nails.
If you already did everything but your dog still resists having his nails trimmed, don’t be too hard on yourself. Accept the fact that some dogs may be too afraid to have their nails cut. This happens most of the time with rescue dogs. Just take him to a groomer who is more confident in doing the job. Yes, grooming services are quite costly but you will save your sanity by letting them do the job and that’s such a big relief.