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How to Cut a Dog's Nails Without The Blood

Knowing how to cut a dog's nails is so important and if you're wondering how to
trim a dog's nails - you need look no further. As usual, we've done all the research
for you and presented you with a step by step guide on this delicate procedure.

Your Dog's Nails

Knowing not only how, but also when to cut a dog's nails is so important. Your
dog's nails grow constantly and how often they need to be clipped will depend on
your dog's lifestyle. If your dog does a lot of his walking on hard surfaces, he may
very well need little or no extra help in keeping his nails short as his nails will be
naturally worn away through friction.

However, if like our dogs, your dog mainly stays on grass, sea, sand and woodland
tracks, clipping dog nails becomes an essential part of his or her grooming and it
becomes important that you know how to clip dog nails.
Not knowing how to cut a dog's nails and failure in clipping dog nails will lead to
crippling pain in your dog's paws and could lead to permanent damage and

If clipping dog nails is really not your strong point, take your dog to your vet or
groomer. They know how to cut a dog's nails - and it is amazing how much less of
a prima donna your dog will be with total strangers!

When To Start

Dogs are often reluctant to have their nails clipped; therefore, starting the process
at a very young age is a good idea. Initially, get your dog accustomed to you
simply holding and stroking their paws. Then progress to applying light pressure
on their paws and nails - lightly pinching their nails between your finger and
thumb. Reward them for allowing this.

Then, after a lesson from your vets in how to cut a dog's nails, lightly trim a couple
of nails a day. Just trim off the tips - this lessens the chances of you cutting too
deep and frightening your dog off. Talk to your dog in a soothing voice all the
time and reward him with his favorite treat and a romp straight after. He will
gradually grow accustomed to this unpleasant procedure and learn to at least put up
with it.

Tools You Will Need

When you're wondering about how to cut a dog’s nails, there are a variety of nail
clippers and trimmers on the market. The guillotine type is my favorite tool when
trimming dog nails, though a strong claw cutter may be required for the bigger
breeds and basset hounds - they have incredibly large claws!

Sometimes you may want to use a small file or a dremel tool to file down any
jagged edges after trimming a dog nails, but frankly, my dogs can't wait to get
away from me, so I'm happy to let them round off any rough edges in the normal
course of their everyday walks. It is also advisable to keep a styptic pen handy just
in case you clip into your dog's quick - but we'll discuss this later.

Anatomy of a Dog's Nail

Knowing how to cut dog's nails is easier when you know the anatomy of a dog's
nail. A dog's nail is constructed of a hard outer cover, which protects the quick
which is the inner soft part containing blood vessels and tender nerve endings. In
dogs with light colored nails, the quick can often be seen as being faintly pinkish in
color and is thus easy to avoid cutting into.

In the more common black nailed variety, the quick it totally invisible. Therefore,
knowing exactly how to cut a dog's nails in this case is imperative. In these cases,
trimming off little nibbles instead of large slices is more advisable. Keep checking
the clipped part of your dog's nail and look out for a dark spot in the middle of the
newly clipped area - this shows the start of the quick - do not cut too far into this.
Taking just tiny nibbles, you will then start to see a pale dot in the middle of the
dark area. Stop there - or else you are likely to hurt your dog. Also, don't forget
your dog's dew claws. Growing on the inside of his legs and not in contact with the
floor, these do not get worn away and will sometimes curl completely over causing
your dog to get snagged in undergrowth, his bedding, etc. This can be very
painful, so do keep those neatly trimmed too.

The Best Way of Clipping Dog Nails

The best way how to cut a dog's nails is to have the dog lying on a raised table or
other surface. Do remember to put a non-slip mat for your dog to sit or stand on so
she doesn't slip and hurt herself. Having someone strong hold your dog in their
arms while you quickly clip a couple of nails is another effective way of doing this.
However, your dog may be as good as gold and let you cut their claws with no fuss
at all - in which case you are a very fortunate person! Carefully read the
instructions for the nail clipping tool of your choice. For example, with the
guillotine, you need to cut from the underneath of your dog's claw upwards. Never
clip downwards. Position the tool in the right place, wait for an opportune moment
when your dog stops wriggling, double check that the clipper is in the right place
and squeeze firmly and smoothly - the nail will just pop off.

When wondering when and how to cut dog's nails, little and often is the best
policy. Just nibbling off the ends of each claw will be less stressful for your dog -
and yourself! The point to aim for is to trim off any bit that protrudes over your
dog's pad. Thus, when he stands, your dog's claws should not touch the ground.
The good thing is, very much like our own nails, the more you trim your dog's
nails, the more the quick will recede. Therefore, clipping dog nails doesn't have to
be done all at once - take your time.

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