Doggy Pedicures

Are you comfortable with bathing and grooming your dog, but are concerned about nail trimming? Don’t worry, it’s not nearly as hard as it seems to get your dog’s nails down to a good length.

The first thing to ease your worries and give you a good idea of how to trim your pet’s nails would be to watch someone who is experienced in pet nail trimming. A friend, a groomer or your vet won’t have a problem letting you watch and maybe even giving you some beginner tips.

Some dogs may never need their nails clipped. Dogs that spend a lot of time outdoors wearing them down should have them relatively short already, or your animal’s nails may just flake away at the ends without you even knowing. Some breeds, however, do need their nails kept short- a couple examples would be Dachshunds or Basset Hounds.

Remember, accidents happen and there may be a time you will cut a nail too short. If this happens, it may begin to bleed so be prepared, but don’t be startled if it happens.

The first step to trimming your dog’s nails would be to purchase a good nail trimmer. You can ask your vet or someone in your local pet supply store which they recommend. The trimmers that have two pieces you squeeze together in your hand and a small blade that cuts the nail are the type that you want to get.

Start from underneath, not from the top downward. Slide the opening of the trimmer over the nail, but be sure to remain on the whitish area of the dog’s toenail. The pink area of the nail has blood vessels running through it and if you cut it that far, the nail will bleed.

Some dogs have very dark toenails where you won’t be able to see where the live part begins or where the white part ends. In this case, trim a little from the bottom of the nail at the time, checking the end of it as you go. The dead part will be white and as you get close to the live part of the nail, it will get dark.

When you are ready to trim, make a quick, easy squeeze on the handle of the trimmer. The end of the nail will fall of itself, you don’t have to pull it off. If you like, you can file down the ends of the nail, but taking your dog for a walk on the sidewalk or street will file them just as easily.

If you do cut the nail too short and it starts to bleed, hold a piece of tissue against it with some pressure for a few minutes. Another good idea is to keep some cornstarch or flour handy when you trim your dog’s nails and to put some of this against the bleeding nail. If your dog’s nail continues to bleed longer than a few minutes or if it looks like he is losing a lot of blood, call your vet.

Nail trimming really is not as scary as it seems. You can do a little bit at a time or all at once every week, but just remember that you are not harming the dog and that it needs to be done.

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