We love our dogs, but what we may not love is the task of clipping their toe nails. On Nolongerwild.com we have some simple pet toenail clipping facts, guidelines and the best dog nail clippers on the market today to help you complete this job with confidence and ease.
Why Do I Need to Clip My Dog's Nails?
There once was a time (decades ago) that pet owners didn't worry much about their dog's toe nails. This was mainly due to the fact that dogs were more prone to being outdoors, running on various hard surfaces that kept the nails naturally worn down.
Today, many dogs lead a more sedentary life being kept indoors for long periods-of-time when their pet parents are at work. When they are let out the surfaces they encounter tend to be the softer touch of the grass. In this type of situation, your dog's nails will continue to grow, so they will need to be trimmed back.
When a dog's nails become overgrown, they can lead to some painful physical health issues. These include:
Common Mistakes People Make When Clipping a Dog's Nails
According to Smart Dog University, the five most common mistakes pet parents make when trimming a dog's toe nails are:
How to Safely Clip a Dog's Nails
Cutting your dog's toenails doesn't have to be a scary and stressful situation. Here are some helpful tips shared with us by Dogs Naturally.
Step 1 - Desensitization
As we mentioned earlier, desensitizing your dog to the process of nail trimming is the best way to avoid all the drama. To do this you will want to handle your dog's paws often, this includes feeling between the toes and pushing on the nail beds to extend the toenail out.
Once your dog is familiar with your handling, introduce the clippers to him, but don't clip. Praise and reward him for a job well done each and every time you follow these steps.
Step 2 - Pick the Right Toenail Clippers
There are many different dog nail clippers on the market today (which we will review next) so finding the right one that works best for you and your dog is paramount.
Many of these toenail clippers have "guards" on them which doesn't allow you to cut past a certain point. These work great for pet parents who are unsure of how far to cut into the nail. You may have to try a few different models to find the one you and your pet are comfortable using.
Step 3 - Trimming
Holding onto your dog's paw firmly, but gently, cut the nail on a 45 degree angle, using the guard as a guideline. Take off small amounts at a time to avoid cutting into the quick.
Step 4 - Look for the "Dot"
Inside your dog's black toenails, there is a "dot" or pulp that will tell you when to stop cutting your dog's nail. This dot will start out white or light-in-color and will get gradually darker the further into the nail you go. When this "dot" is gray or black-in-color, stop cutting as you are getting close to the quick.
Always have cornstarch or a blood-stop product on hand in case you accidentally cut too far into your pup's nail.
This YouTube Video shows how to cut your dog's toenails.
Best Nail Clippers Conclusion
Stop being nervous about clipping your dog's toe nails. Follow our helpful tips and professional advice to save yourself time and money. Desensitize your dog to having his paws handled, have patience, give lots of praise and treats and, of course, find the best products for you and your pup.
Before you know it, you will be trimming those nails like a pro. But watch out, you may end up doing all the doggy nail cutting of your friends and family's pets.