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!