Dog Grooming Serving Tarzana, Encino, Woodland Hills and San Fernando Valley
Dog Grooming Serving Tarzana, Encino, Woodland Hills and San Fernando Valley
 
  Dog Grooming Serving Tarzana, Encino, Woodland Hills and San Fernando Valley Dog Grooming Serving Tarzana, Encino, Woodland Hills and San Fernando Valley
 

 

 

 

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TRIMMING YOUR DOG'S NAILS

Trimming your dog's nails is not just a part of grooming but is important for your dog's health as well. It is important to remember that untrimmed nails can cause a variety of problems including broken nails, which are painful and bleed profusely. In some cases, nails will actually curl and grow back into the dog's feet. A good indication that dogs' nails are too long is a telltale click-click-click when walking on uncarpeted areas.

How many of us put off trimming our dog's nails until the inevitable veterinary checkup comes around and the veterinarian must do it? If you're like many pet owners, you may be hesitant to trim your dog's nails because you're afraid of cutting the quick of the nail, which may cause pain, or bleeding. Once you learn how to do it, however, clipping your pet's nails is almost as easy as clipping your own.

When you are trimming your dog's nails, you are only cutting away the excess. Recognizing what is excess and where the nerves and blood vessels begin, ( this is called the quick), is what you need to know to make nail trimming a painless process for both you and your dog.

To trim your pet's nails:

Using a nail trimmer meant for dogs, cut the nail below the quick on a 45-degree angle with the cutting end of the nail clipper toward the end of the nail. You will be cutting off the finer point. In dogs, especially those with dark nails, make several small nips with the clippers instead of one larger one. Trim very thin slices off the end of the nail until you see a black dot appear towards the center of the nail when you look at it head on. This is the start of the quick that you want to avoid. The good news is that the more diligent you are about trimming, the more the quick will regress into the nail, allowing you to cut shorter each time. Remember the quick will grow as long as the nail, so nails that are very long can only be trimmed back as far as the quick. Once air hits the quick, it will recede, and you can trim off a little more in a week or so.

If your dog will tolerate it, do all four feet this way, a little at a time. If he or she won't tolerate having four feet done at once, take a break. And don't forget the dewclaws. On most breeds, if they haven't been removed, dewclaws are one to four inches above the feet on the inner side of the legs. If not trimmed, dewclaws can grow so long they curl up and grow into the soft tissue like a painful ingrown toenail.

If you accidentally cut the quick, wipe off the blood and apply Kwik-Stop or styptic powder to stop the bleeding. If this is not available, you can press into the nail, flour, corn starch, or even a bar of soap. With pressure applied, it should stop bleeding within 10 minutes. If it does not stop bleeding within 10 minutes of applying pressure, contact your vet.

Some valuable tips:

Remember, it is better to trim a small amount on a regular basis than to try and remove large portions. Try to trim your dog's nails weekly even if long walks keep them naturally short. The 'quick,' a blood vessel that runs down the middle of your dog's nail, grows as the nail grows, so if you wait a long time between cuttings, the quick will be closer to the end of the nail. which will mean there will be more likelihood of bleeding when they are trimmed.