How to trim your dog’s claws

How to trim your dog's claws

Dogs must be cared for and cleaned daily to ensure that they are in good health. As a pet owner, you must keep them clean, feed them properly, and even trim their nails when necessary.

You can trim your dog’s claws yourself if you are equipped with an adapted nail clipper, especially if you know how to trim your dog’s nails properly. In this article, we will teach your how to trim your dog’s claws.

Is it necessary to trim my dog’s claws?

Some dog owners think that clipping a dog’s claws is cruel or mistreatment. However, it’s actually a way to keep your dog comfortable.

Dogs need to have their nails trimmed if they spend a lot of time at the house. This is because the lack of outdoor activity prevents them from having their nails naturally worn down. Instead, their claws grow too quickly. When you feel that your dog’s claws are too sharp and are causing considerable damage to your furniture, it’s best to trim your dog’s claws.

It is also good to trim your dog’s nails for health-related reasons. For example, it’s best to trim your dog’s nails if they are suffering from certain health issues such as canine leishmaniasis, which causes excessive growth of the nails. Or osteoarthritis, which prevents your dog from moving properly and slows down the normal wear and tear of its nails.

How to trim your dog's claws
Trimming your dog’s claws

How often should I trim my dog’s claws?

You should trim your dog’s nails as soon as you notice that their toes are no longer resting normally on the ground or that they are twisted sideways. Another indication is when your dog makes a “click-click” sound when they walk. This means that your dog is not using their paw pads to walk, but instead their claws. That means it’s time to trim them.

Generally speaking, a dog’s nails should be trimmed once a month. However, the frequency mostly depends on how fast your dog’s claws grow. Dogs that are very active and use their nails a lot for scratching the ground or digging, for example, will not need to have their nails trimmed often. This is because their nails wear down naturally. With that being said, if your dog doesn’t play outside much, their nails need to be trimmed more frequently.

To ensure that your dog is comfortable, be sure to check the length of your dog’s nails at least once a week to determine whether or not you need to trim them. Also, keep an eye on your dog’s dewclaws even if they are not touching the ground.

Properly equipping yourself to trim your dog’s claws

Trimming a dog’s nails for the first time can be difficult, especially because dogs do not really like having their paws grabbed. It’s even more difficult if you have a large dog. Therefore, it is best to get your dog used to getting their claws trimmed from a young age. Dogs who have had their nails clipped since they were puppies will struggle less with it.

It is also very important to equip yourself with a dog nail clipper. Do not try to trim your dog’s claws with a nail clipper designed for humans or any other unsuitable equipment. This will help you avoid any accidents. A good claw trimmer is adapted to the size of your pet. If you have a small dog, a nail clipper is ideal. If you have a large dog, an electric file is more practical.

You can find this at a pet store, online, or at other specialized stores.

It is important to disinfect the sharp part of your nail clipper after each use. You can use a cotton pad or a paper towel with a disinfectant to do this. It is not necessary to clean the entire clipper with water, as this may cause your clipper to rust.

Professionals lubricate the joints of the claw cutters they use to make sure that they can trim claws easily. You can do this to keep your clipper in good condition. In addition, if you notice that the cutting area of the claw cutters become dull after several uses, you can sharpen it.

Cutting your dog's nails
Trimming your dog’s nails

The right way to trim your dog’s claws

To properly trim your dog’s nails, it is best to have a second person assist you. This person can help you hold your dog’s claws while you are trimming them. In addition, make sure you are comfortable handling the nail clippers. After that, try to make your dog comfortable so that they move as little as possible. For instance, you can let your dog sit on a bed, let them lay down, or even let your dog sit up on their hind legs.

Before you start trying to trim your dog’s nails, make sure that you have enough time. This is especially the case if it is your first time. It’s better to take it slow and do it right than to rush and risk hurting your dog.

When trimming their claws, hold your dog’s paw firmly without squeezing it too hard. You can also spread the fur around the claw to get better access to the tip of the claw. You can then try to locate the living part of the nail, which could be recognized by its pinkish color. It is more difficult to locate this when a dog has black nails.

Using a claw trimmer, cut the outer part of the claw. To avoid any accidents, you can start by cutting small pieces off little by little. You can do this until you get the length you want.

It is important to leave a bit of claw left to avoid bothering or hurting your dog.

Lastly, while trimming your dog’s claws, be sure to reassure your dog. You can pet them after every claw that you trim. Once you finish trimming your dog’s nails, you can give your dog a treat. By doing this, you are helping your dog associate this claw trimming with a pleasant moment. As time goes on, your dog will get more and more used to it.

What do I do if my dog’s paw starts to bleed?

It is not always easy to trim your dog’s claws the first time and accidents can happen. The most common thing is to cutting the claw too short and cutting the vein which causes bleeding. While the wound may be painful for your dog, it is not very serious. All you have to do is quickly clean the wound.

To avoid infection, you can even wrap your dog’s paw in a loose bandage for an hour.

However, if the bleeding does not stop or if you notice an infection, you should take your dog to the vet immediately.

The anatomy of a dog’s claw

Like human nails, claw are made out of keratin. However, that’s about the only thing that they have in common. For example, the shape of the claw is different from that of a human. The claw has a living part called the matrix. The outer part of the claw that must be trimmed.

Therefore, it is important to target the excess part of the keratin to avoid cutting too far and hurting your dog.

Even if a dog’s dewclaws do not touch the ground, it’s important to remember that like the other claws, they also grow. They must be trimmed like the others.