How to cut my dog's nails

Keeping Your Dog's Nails in Perfect Condition

Maintaining your dog's nails in perfect condition is more than just about aesthetics. Neglecting this task can lead to health issues. Dogs need their nails trimmed regularly. If they grow too long, they can break or roll inward, breaking their skin or pads, which is painful for them. Moreover, having very long nails could lead to infection or affect their walking pattern.

With the right tools, you can perform this task yourself, saving on the cost and stress of visiting a specialist or the vet. The tools you need are:

  1. Small scissors to trim the hair around the nail if necessary
  2. A nail clipper for dogs
  3. A small abrasive file to smooth the edges, which are usually rough

Unlike humans, dogs have something called a 'quick' in the center portion of their nails, which contains blood vessels and nerves. It's crucial not to cut these as it will cause bleeding and pain for your dog.

How Often Should I Cut My Dog’s Nails?

Typically, you should trim your dog's nails every 3 to 4 weeks. However, the frequency depends on the breed, lifestyle, and age of your dog. Their claws grow at different rates and wear down depending on their physical activity and the type of ground they regularly walk on.

To determine when it's time to clip their nails, remember that their claws shouldn't protrude above the pad and shouldn't touch the ground when they are standing still. Another good sign is when they begin to touch the ground and make little “clicking” sounds as they walk.

Types of Dog Nails

Dog nails can be white or black. In white nails, the pink blood vessel (the quick) is visible, indicating where you should cut. Cutting shorter than this will hurt the dog and cause bleeding.

When the nail is black, the quick is not visible, so you should be extra careful to avoid causing bleeding.

Tips and Tricks

  • The sooner the better: Start this procedure when the dog is a puppy. As it gets older, it will be used to it, making the process easier.
  • Find the right moment and get some treats: Dogs don't really enjoy having their nails trimmed. Therefore, it's important to find a time when your dog is calm and have some treats ready.
  • Find a comfortable position for both the dog and you.
  • Find a well-illuminated place: This will help you see the quick easier.
  • Cut the nail little by little: Start by cutting only the tip of your dog's nail and look inside. If it's completely white, you can cut a little more. If it shows a black dot, stop because the quick is right after.

If you accidentally cut the nail too short and it starts to bleed, apply pressure to the tip to stop the bleeding. It's important that the dog remains calm and still because if it starts to walk, it could further damage the nail.

For more information, talk to one of our Pet Experts and get customized advice by submitting a request in our Mavyn app or Mavyn Pet page.