Nail clipping for dogs

Understandably nail clipping can be a stressful if not frustrating time for dogs and dog owners. However keeping your dog's nails neat and tidy is essential for preventing potential breaks, tears, ingrown nails and soreness as well as other problems related to posture and back care.

If your dog is still a puppy, you have an added advantage as you can get him/her used to the feeling of having someone touching his/her toes from week one. On the other hand if your pet is older patience and persistence will be required.  Before saying too much more, we never expect every pet owner to clip their pets' nails themselves. Sometimes it is just not worth the stress to you and your pet. Whenever required, a member of our healthcare team will be more than happy to trim your dog's nails for you. They can also demonstrate the most appropriate nail trimming technique for your dog if you are having any troubles and still want to give it a go.

How to clip your dog's nails

Purchase a set of pet nail clippers designed specifically for trimming your dog's nails.
Hold the paw gently but firmly and clip a little at a time until you reach the quick.

The "quick" can be identified as the thin red line that runs through the nail. This is the blood supply to the nail bed. If the nails are trimmed too short then you may cut into this "quick" which will make the nail bleed and it is very painful for a dog (or cat)!If your pet has black or dark nails, the "quick" will not be clearly visible. Trim the nail back to make it even with the pad, and cut a little piece at a time.

What happens if you accidently clip the quick?

You will know pretty quickly as the quick will start to bleed, and it is likely your dog will let you know too. Like all bleeding related injuries, do not panic. Take a clean tissue or cloth and place it over the quick and hold the area as long as your dog will allow you to do so. Eventually it will stop bleeding. Make sure you keep an eye on the toe for infection. If you are concerned about the bleeding, please contact us. We would much rather hear from you, than have you worried or your pet in pain.

How often do you need to trim the nails?

Generally no two dogs are the same, some dogs may need their nails trimmed as regularly as every three weeks while other dogs can go up to three months and some won't need their nails clipped. This is a result of factors such as their breed type and their environment. For example, if your dog often walks on hard surfaces such as asphalt and paving the nails will be worn down naturally. Generally, we say if you can hear dogs' nails click when they walk - they need to be trimmed.

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