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How to Trim Your Dog’s Nails

Does your Indianapolis dog have long nails? If so, it may be time for Fido to get a manicure. Getting your dog’s nails trimmed is necessary to help protect Fido’s paws and keep them healthy. When a dog’s nails get too long, they can break off, and if they don’t snap cleanly, this can cause your dog pain or infection. Long, untrimmed nails can also affect your pup’s stride, which can lead to skeletal issues over time.

Many pet owners are nervous about trimming their dog’s claws themselves. This is completely understandable, as it is fairly common knowledge that if you cut a dog’s nails too close, it will not only hurt him, but can cause bleeding. In the worst-case scenario, an infection can develop. Needless to say, your dog will also not be very eager to repeat a process that causes him pain.

Start by playing with your dog’s paws. Tickle between his furry little toes, and massage his paws and paw pads gently. Be sure to work a few treats and belly rubs into these sessions, and speak to your pup in calm, soothing tone. Only when your dog is completely comfortable with having his paws handled should you attempt clipping his nails. Start out by trimming only one or two nails, and follow up with Fido’s favorite treat. It wouldn’t be inappropriate to also reward your pup with a new toy or chew bone. Next time, you can trim a few more nails. You’ll want to reward him after each session.

There are two different types of nail clippers. Guillotine clippers have a little hole for your dog’s claw to go through, and the blade will cut straight across. The other type of clippers are called scissors. As the name suggests, they work like scissors. Nowadays, there are clippers available that come equipped with sensors and LED lights that flash when you are holding the clipper over the correct spot. These may be well worth the expense, particularly for beginners, as they take the guesswork out of clipping.

Knowing where to cut is the tricky part. If your dog’s nails are clear, you will be able to see the quick. Make sure to leave at least two millimeters between your cut and the quick. If you can’t see the quick, make shallow cuts. Look at the interior of your dog’s nail after you cut. You’ll start to see a pale oval appear as you get near the quick. As soon as you see that oval, stop cutting.

Please visit our site for more articles from your Indianapolis vet on dog care and behavior.

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