Grooming has been an essential constituent of a sophisticated and elegant lifestyle. Animals humans or even plants, grooming enhances the appearance of any living being. When we talk about animals, the first one that comes to our minds is the “man’s best friend”, the Dog. The relationship between dogs and humans has been highly appreciated and desired by both the races as these two make an excellent pair.
Dog Grooming as a whole may become a vast topic, but we know that it’s incomplete without mentioning to cut dog nails. We humans have always been doing our nails for centuries. We have made this a very vital activity in our lives now. Just like for us, it’s an important activity for our domestic animals. Our pets who reside in the same society as us, need care and proper grooming. Dogs in particular need excessive care and the nails really are a significant constituent of their appearance. As the owners and their friends, it’s the duty of us humans to take care of our dog’s nails.
Why Cut Dog Nails?
Trimming your dog’s nails is not only an act of affection and care but also an essential part of hygiene. Sanitation is something that should be practiced regularly for a blooming life. We can very easily learn to take care of our dog’s nails with the help of a few points. Beyond hygiene, it’s important for their health to cut dog nails regularly. Overgrown nails bother the dogs very dreadfully as the oversized nails inflict a lot of pain and cause suffering to them. When overlooked, this can lead to relegation in the quality of their life.
This can lead to severe issues as the dogs might develop spine and posture problems which can be observed with the change in their sitting and standing positions as it becomes odd, as they keep shifting their body weight frequently because of overgrown nails. Not only the posture, but overgrown nails can hamper the walking style of the dogs.
Overgrown nails also definitely lead to serious injuries as they can break easily upon stumbling while walking or running, this usually happens when the nails become too long that they begin to touch the ground. Through all this, we can say that overgrown nails can result in the restriction in the dog’s movements.
Huge faces such as doctors and scientists in the field of canine studies have made statements like – “ Overgrown nails significantly decrease the quality of your dog’s daily life.”
When to cut dog nails?
For the proper care of your dog’s nails, we now know why it is important to cut them. But the timing of trimming is another important factor to properly take care of your dog’s nails. For the right time to chop them off your lovely pet, you need to observe the size of the nails regularly. You can do this by making your dog stand in front of you with its front legs under its shoulders and then you can clearly observe the size of its nails.
If it exceeds by two inches, then it might be the time to get it shortened. Unless your dog runs around on hard surfaces that help keep toenails short, you have to clip or cut dog nails about once a week — if you hear them clicking on a hard surface, it’s time for a trim.
Usually, it’s recommended to cut the nails when it begins to touch the ground and a sound is made each time the dog takes a step with the contact. A clicking sound is enough to draw your attention towards the nails of your beloved dog. Another sign that depicts that your dog’s nails need to be chopped is when you see them turning sideways. You can always check the symmetry with the help of a paper slip. Ideally, you should be able to slip a piece of paper between your dog’s nails and the floor. By these methods, we can decide the timing to cut dog nails.
How to cut dog nails?
To cut dog nails after you know when is the perfect timing, it’s better to follow a certain process to cut dog nails off the claws of your four-legged friend. With some preparation, we can easily accomplish this job as preparations reduce the chances of any mishap.
Before we do something with the nails, we need a few pieces of equipment which will help us to cut dog nails with ease. All these can be easily available as these are very common tools.
- Dog nail clippers
- Paw balsams
- Paw covers
After gathering these tools, now the task that lies ahead of us is to get out dog ready for the trim. Just like a few humans hate haircuts or other grooming activities, it’s common for some dogs to detest having their feet handled. In these relationships, nail trimming might not be your favorite activity together, but getting the dog used to this venture at an early stage helps both sides to weather the process.
If your dog is nervous, which usually happens when the dog isn’t used to this activity, you can calm the dog down with biscuits and cuddles. Cuddles work every time as cuddling gives a sense of security which is important while trimming.
Step 1: Define the cutting range
A dog’s toenail is made up of the nail itself and the quick, the pink (when it’s visible) part of your dog’s toenails that provides the blood supply to the nail. Avoid cutting into the quick because it bleeds quite a bit and it’s quite sensitive.
Extra care should be taken to decide where to cut as we know that dog’s nails are supplied with blood. Any accidental clip in the wrong spot can easily lead to a lot of pain. It’s easier to find the right range for dogs with clear or light coloured nails, while it can be a bit trickier with dark nails. That’s why, we equip ourselves with a flashlight that will help us to see the blood supply area clearly.
A few tips can help us decide the cutting range and should be considered –
- The blood supply marks the end of the perfect cutting range.
- The focus should be implied at the front paws as front claws have longer nails in comparison to the rear ones.
- The cutting style we should follow is parallel to bottom.
Step 2: Get to trimming
After defining the cutting range, which is obviously the tougher part, we now get down to the real business, that is trimming. Make sure your dog is in a relaxed position, all your equipments ready, now it’s time to start.
Start trimming by taking small steps at a time, and it’s recommended to use rewards to keep the dog at ease if needed. If you do the trimming precisely and there is no blood at the end of the whole process and your dog is in a comfortable mode, behaves like nothing happened, then you can reckon that you’ve done the job with perfection and did everything right. If you can’t do all your dog’s nails at once, never fear — you can clip them one paw at a time, with other activities or a resting period in between.
Once you’re done cutting, it’s time to apply the paw balsams, this is optional but can be really comforting for your dog. You can also trim the hair between the paws for precision, this is also optional but can give the dog’s paws a perfect look.
If you accidentally cut the quick ( the red part of the nail that carries blood), you’ll have an unhappy dog and a bloody mess. The quick bleed a great deal, so if you cut it, you need either a nail cauterizer — a tool that stops the bleeding by applying heat or styptic powder you can apply with a cotton swab. Have a damp washcloth at hand ready to clean up styptic powder and blood as necessary.
Quickening hurts a lot, and most dogs remember the experience long afterward.
Step 3: Recompense your dog for being a good pup
Don’t forget to reward your good boy/girl after the trimming session as it might prove hectic for your dog. If you reward the dog after every trim, he might associate the session with something positive and would behave properly till the end and it’ll rather become a pleasant experience rather than an unpleasant one. Also, if the dog feels unease after the trim, you can give the dog a delicious treat, with big and soft hugs and cuddles; even healthy scratches behind the ears put them in a good mood. This will definitely result in the depletion of the fear regarding the whole trimming process.
What if there is bleeding?
Even if you’re very cautious through the whole trimming session, it’s possible that something might go wrong. It’s very important to keep calm even if something goes wrong, panicking is never appreciated and should be avoided at any cost.
If you see blood at the paws of your dog, instead of frightening you should trace the wound and stop the bleeding. Another major precaution that should be taken is to make sure that you should be able to prevent any type of dirt to get into the nails or the wound as it may result in severe infection.
Using a clean piece of dry cloth is advised, that would be enough to stop the bleeding and seal the wound. But if the cut is too deep, and the bleeding doesn’t stop even after 30 minutes, it is advised to contact your vet.
How Often Cut Dog Nails?
There are a lot of factors that decide the interval of the trimming sessions. Factors like dog breed, agility, genetics, and feeding habits are the most important ones. It’s also said that the dogs who stay on firm ground like concrete have a lower growth rate of nails in comparison to the dogs who stay on soft ground.
Trimming is an important factor and should be practiced with your dog regularly. Not only it’s beneficial for the dog but as the owners, we also stay away from any kind of infections or diseases that might spread with just a scratch from their nails. More help can be taken from canine experts such as vets. Further, videos can help you get the exact idea of the complete process.
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