Almost any dog owner who takes grooming seriously probably can tell you about a time when they accidentally cut the quick of their dog’s toenails. The quick is the soft, fleshy part of your dog’s nails and is packed with nerve endings and blood vessels. Clipping the quick can not only cause your dog a fair amount of pain but can also result in bleeding and possible infection.
Unfortunately, it’s almost inevitable that you will cut the quick at least once in your dog’s lifetime so here are some tips about what you should do in the event of such an accident.
First of all, you should always be prepared so before you start clipping your dog’s nails get yourself some styptic powder. Styptic powder promotes blood clotting so can effectively stop the bleeding if you accidentally clip the quick. When bleeding starts, you should immediately dip the dog’s nail in the styptic powder. If you don’t have styptic powder you can try corn starch or flour instead. Once you have applied the styptic powder you should soothe your dog and prevent him from walking around and also do not let him lick his foot. The bleeding should slow within a couple of minutes. At this point, apply pressure to the injured nail with a clean, dry paper towel. This should effectively stop the bleeding. A brief warning for dog owners: cutting the quick can be very painful for your dog do it’s possible that he may cry out, snap, or even bite. Be sure to take the necessary precautions to protect you and your pet. Finally, once the bleeding has stopped, you need to take care to prevent infections. Wash and bandage the paw to protect the injured nail.
Trimming your dog’s toenails is a thankless but necessary task. Long toenails can be as uncomfortable to your dog as they are annoying to your ear. In order to properly and safely cut your dogs nails there are a few procedures you should follow.
First, invest in the appropriate trimmers that are sharp and designed specifically for dogs. You can ask your veterinarian or groomer for suggestions on the best trimmers. Once you have selected your trimmers, it’s time to prepare your dog. First, attempt to soothe your pet with a few strokes and some kind words and then gently pick up their paw. When snipping the nails you want to avoid cutting the quick, which appears as a pale, pink tissue near the base of the nail. The quick contains blood vessels and nerve endings so cutting into the quick will not only cause bleeding but a fair amount of pain for your dog.
So, holding your dog’s paw firmly, but gently, begin snipping the tips of your dog’s nails. You can distinguish the quick by the color, as it is pinker than the rest of the nail, but it also feels more like a sponge than the nail. Repeat this process for the rest of the nails. Most dog owners will find that they have to trim their dog’s nails on a weekly or biweekly basis but you can judge this for yourself. Once you start to hear nails tapping along the floor you know it’s time to trim.
Finally, when you have finished trimming your dog’s nails reward him with some praise or a treat. This serves two purposes. First, it let’s your dog know he’s done a good job which can be soothing for a stressed out pet. And second, it makes it easier to trim nails in the future if your dog knows he’ll get a treat!