Trimming Your Dogs Nails (Dark & Clear Nails) - Do-It-Yourself Dog Grooming
Pet Care 101: Clipping Your Dog's Nails
You may have a dog that requires only an occasional nail trim. Some dogs keep their nails consistently short and naturally file them by walking, running and playing.
However, if your dog's nails continue to grow, you'll need to learn how to trim the nails or pay for the service at your local veterinarian, dog groomer or other pet care professional.
Watch an expert
If you never have clipped your dog's nails, take your dog to your veterinarian for a lesson. The vet can show you how to clip the nails without hurting the quick - the portion of the nail containing nerves and blood vessels. Your vet also can show you the most effective way to hold the dog down during the process.
Purchase a quality nail clipper
Once you have learned how to clip your dog's nails, you should purchase a quality nail clipper. According to the College of Veterinary Medicine at Washington State University, the best nail clipper for dogs is the guillotine-type. With these clippers, you simply place the dog's nail into the ring and squeeze the trigger to cut it.
You can find a guillotine-style dog nail trimmer at your local pet store, or you can purchase a colored trimmer, complete with nail file and styptic dispenser, on Amazon.com for .
Get a helper
As with many pet care procedures, many dogs do not like having their nails trimmed. Your dog may or may not tolerate the process. Hold down your dog, and begin trimming the first nail. If your dog resists, recruit a helper. If you have another person who can help hold the dog still, you can focus on trimming the dog's nails, and you will be less likely to hit the quick.
When you use the clipper for the first time, start by removing small pieces of the dog's nail. If your dog has black nails, taking small cuts is particularly important as you will not be able to see the quick. If your dog has lighter-colored nails, you can see the quick as the light penetrates the nail. Cut the nail close to the quick, about 2mm or 1/16 in.
Keep a styptic pencil or dispenser on hand to stop your dog's bleeding in case you accidentally cut the quick. As you become more experienced with trimming your dog's nails, the entire process will be quicker, and you'll know when to stop cutting to avoid hitting the quick.
Video: How to Trim Your Dog's Nails
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