Dog nail trimming is a mandatory part of the hygiene of the paws of our best four-legged friends. In this text, you can read what is important to pay attention to if you want to trim you dog’s nails yourself, at home.
Why you should cut your dog’s nails ?
First, let’s recall the official definitions. Nails are horn-like formations on the tips of the toes of your dog’s paws. In puppies, they are softer, and the older the dog, the harder and stronger they are.
Although the nails have a protective and practical function, their length must be maintained, especially for dogs that live indoors and do not have the opportunity to “wear” them down. This practically means that the nails must be shortened.
If the dog’s nails grow too long, they make daily activities and movement difficult for the dog, but also some more serious problems such as walking disorders, orthopedic problems, or the long nails could just cut the owner during playtime.
If the nail breaks, it can lead to infection and, of course, accompanying pain. That is why it is extremely important to trim the nails, with tools specially designed for it.
Since the dog may have an innate or acquired resistance to this act, trimming the nails should start as early as possible, in order for the animal to get used to it.
Experts recommend starting this habit from the age of two months. Since some dogs do not like to have their paws touched, you may need to do the trimming process in several stages so that the nails are not all the same length.
Light and dark nails – what you need to know
Depending on the dog’s breed and color, the dog’s nails may be darker or lighter. The lighter ones are easier to cut because you can see where the blood vessel starts, and the darker ones cannot rely on this technique, so special attention is needed.
Trimming dog nails step by step:
1. Introduce the dog to the tool – let it explore it and sniff it
2. Practice paw touch – get the dog used to paw touch, pressure and interaction
3. Take the paw – look under it to determine where the blood vessel starts
4. Prepare the tool – place the nail clipper (or scissors) on the top of the nail
5. Cut – stick to the 45 degree angle
6. Go gradually – before cutting part of the nail, check where the blood vessel is. It wouldn’t hurt to do this in a brighter room, especially if your dog has dark nails.
7. Finalize the “pedicure” – use a file to go over the nails so that no sharp side remains.
In any case, if you still feel unsure during this process, it is best to go to a professional. The most important thing is to cut the nails regularly.