Dog Nail Clipping 101

For a surprising number of dogs, nail clipping is a source of great stress and fear. But it is necessary. Dogs whose nails are not kept short by routine clipping can end up with several issues including trouble walking and nails that curl into the paw pad, sometimes requiring surgery to correct. Nails that have grown into the pad can cause infections as well as being terribly painful. Long nails can get caught on things and rip off causing pain and discomfort.

So When Do They Need To Be Clipped?

Your next question is probably, how do I know when they need to be clipped? If your house has non-carpeted floors, then it’s fairly easy to tell when your dog’s nails are getting long. If you hear that “clickety-clack” sound as they walk across the floor, it means the nail is reaching the floor past the foot pad and it’s time to trim them. You can also look at his feet and if the nail has grown to the edge of the pad (or past), it’s time to trim.

NOTE: It’s easiest if you keep the nails short. As the nail grows, the part that contains blood grows as well, making it harder to cut the nail short without causing pain to your dog.

Depending on your dog’s activity level, they types of surfaces she walks on most often and health, you may have to trim as often as once a week, or maybe only once a month.

There are some dogs that may rarely need a trim. Urban pups that walk on rough pavement rarely need nail trims. Dogs that run around on grass or sit in the house all day, may need them several times a month. It’s best to check the length every once in a while and remember to listen for the sound of nails when they walk.

Dog Nail Trimming Tips

But what if your dog hates getting his nails trimmed? Get your dog used to having his paws handled by squeezing them gently with your fingers before you even try to clip his nails. This is especially great to do with puppies before they even need their first nail trim. Whenever your dog does not try to pull his paw away from you, reward him. Then get out the clippers and try to do just one nail. If your dog stands still, reward him. If he pulls away, do nothing (don’t try to console his fear.) Instead, go back to handling his paws with your hands until he is comfortable again. Sometimes you may need to reinforce him for not moving away as soon as you bring out the clippers, depending on your dog’s level of anxiety. For highly anxious dogs, just do one or two nails at a time and then give him a break.

Be sure to use dog nail clippers, not human or cat. If the nails are short, just trim the very tips off. This is the ideal setting. If the nails are long and curled, you may find the blood in the nail is where you need to trim to. When this happens, you have two choices. You can take your dog to the vet, have him sedated, and they will cut the nails back, past the blood. This is the quick way, though not exactly comfortable for your dog. The other choice is to slowly cut back the nails, cutting right to the blood (but not through it!), which will eventually cause the blood to recede. This takes longer, but is less painful. Consult a vet on which method is best for your pet’s condition.

You should also be looking at the condition of your dog’s nails. Dry, cracked nails can be a sign of many illnesses including but not limited to Cushing’s, cancer or tumors, infection, fungus, malnutrition, etc.

While trimming, look for dry, cracked nails and let your vet know if you notice the nail quality deteriorating. Keeping your dog’s nails short and healthy will keep him happy.

Remember, keeping up on those nails will be easier for you and your dog. The more you do it, the less anxious he will be about it and you can avoid having to cut into the blood. You can also help maintain your dog’s nail health through his diet. A balanced diet should include all the nutrients, to ensure healthy nails, like our Stay Loyal dog food.

loyalfood
Not just another dog food company. With our mission to improve the health and happiness of dogs all over Australia through enriched nutrition and continued education of caring dog owners, our priority is helping you care for your dog. Check Us Out!

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5 Comments

  1. There are several makes of battery or elec nail filing items
    I always use on my dog she just lays back as though she enjoys it
    I did always handle he feet and paws daily as part of her cuddles
    so she had no fear I would hurt her
    if you do it regularly your dog will never have to have the claws cut.

  2. Hi I finally got things right. When I first started with your food I weighed my dogs and asked the person looking after them to feed accordingly. When I came back from my trip my dogs where overweight. Now I realize they where a bit overweight from the beginning. So now I have feed them to the weight they should be and they are starting to look really good.
    That leads me to the delivery, I need to push it forward another week.
    So I think its every 7 week.
    I do rave about you, friends are interested and its the delivery that gets them interesed plus your little stories about the dogs health since they havnt used the food yet. I am very pleased. Thank so much for your service. Especially to the health of dogs.

    1. Hi Susan, Glad your dogs are doing well and that you keep an eye on their condition. Good work. Also thank you for telling your friends about us, that is much appreciated. As for orders. Any questions relating to orders or if you need a quick reply, always email us at robert@stayloyal.com.au

  3. Hi, Thanks for the great advice on clipping dogs’ nails. This has always been tricky.
    Tommy, my Scotie dog, is getting so much healthier. He was so sick for the first two years of his life, scratching so much, sometimes he would bleed. He still chews on himself a bit, but SO much better.
    Thanks so much. Lesley

  4. My dog Phoebe is very happy with Stay Loyal…only problem for her is when I put it in the bowl in the morning she has to wait…..
    The cat TIAA loves it and s always in first!!!!

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