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How Do I Clip My Dog’s Nails

How Should I Trim My Dog’s Nails

Keeping your dog’s nails trim it’s just important to stop them scratching you when they jump up for a hug, it’s also vital to ensure good paw health, and if left to overgrown, can cause pain, discomfort, and sometimes irreversible damage to your dog’s foot.

I would recommend getting your young puppy used to having his nails trimmed from about 4 months old. Starting early will help your pup to learn that nail trims aren’t something to be afraid of, and will make it easier to care for his paws as he gets older.

Hayley-Ryan,-Professional-Dog-Groomer

Hayley Ryan, Professional Dog Groomer

Hayley is a Professional Dog Groomer at Petmania Grooming Studios since 2018, having qualified as groomer in 2015. She has competed and won rosettes at the Irish Professional Dog Groomers Association's Madra Mania, and cares for dogs at our Grooming Studio in Kilkenny.

Hayley is the human companion to 11 year old rescue dog Lady, whom she believes to be a Yorkie-Jack Russell cross, and her favourite thing about being a dog groomer is the bond that she creates with the dogs she cares for - she just love to see those tails wagging on arrival for their groom!

What problems can occur if I don’t trim my dog’s nails?

The picture below shows what’s going on on the inside of your dog’s nail. One of the big differences between a dog’s nail and human’s nails is that our four legged companions have a blood vessel growing inside their nails. This is called the ‘quick’. The Quick inside the nail will keep growing, so if you dog’s nails aren’t trimmed regularly, the quick will become overgrown, which can cause the nail to bleed when cut or broken. Regular nail trimming will cause the quick to recede in the nail.

But it’s not just the quick that can cause problems for your dog. As your dog walks, he will put pressure on his paw, pushing the nail back up into the foot. If his nail is too long, it can cause problems for both the leg and foot, and can lead to long term damage as well as short term pain.

How To Trim Your Dog’s Nails at Home

1. Before you start, make sure your dog is comfortable, and happy for you to touch his feet.

Check your dog’s paws thoroughly, and if there are any signs of discomfort, long quick or ingrown nails, you should not attempt to cut you dog’s nails if you haven’t done it before. All Petmania Grooming Studios offer a nail trim service for just €10, and getting an experienced professional to help you get your dog’s nails back into good condition is recommended.

2. Hold the paw in a firm grip

Holding your dog’s paw firmly, but being careful not to squeeze your dog’s paw in a way that can cause pain.

3. Using a doggie nail clippers

Only cut your dog’s nails with a nail clippers that has been designed for cutting a dog’s nails. These are made to fit the shape of your’s nails, and are strong enough to cut the nail cleanly. Using your nail clippers, cut the nail at a 45 degree angle to your dog’s paw.

4. Get the length right

Your dog’s nails should be level with the base of the paw when at the correct length

The-Anatomy-of-Your-Dog's-Nails

How Often Should I Cut My Dog’s Nails?

Every dog is different, so there is no ‘right’ answer to the question of how often you should trim your dog’s nails. As a rule of thumb, you should check your dog’s nails at least once a month, and trim them as soon as they start to get a little long.

If you dog walks a lot on hard, concrete surfaces, his nails will be naturally filed, so he may not need a nail trim more than a few times a year. Indoor dogs however, and dogs that exercise on grass or soft surfaces will need their nails trimmed much more regularly.

All our full groom treatments at Petmania Grooming Studios include an expert nail trim, so if your dog is a regular visitor, his nails may not need to be trimmed in between grooms.

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