Keep a dog's nails In perfect conditions it goes beyond aesthetics, it is a health issue that can prevent the appearance of wounds on its legs and other problems derived from excessive length. If we get the right utensils, we can carry out the task of cutting them ourselves, in the comfort of home, in order to save the cost of going to a specialist and rid the animal, for once, of going through the dreaded visit to the vet. Of course, mandatory periodic visits can not be missed in any way if we want to stay healthy and strong for many years.
In Expert Animal we want to help you take care of your dog's nails through some simple tips and, therefore, in this article we show you how to cut a dog's nails at home.
Why should I cut my dog's nails?
If you have inspected your dog's legs you will have noticed that on the soles of the feet they have pads on which they bear all their weight when walking. Can's nails should never exceed these pad because, when they do, they prevent him from walking correctly, causing the fingers to twist to try to rest the pads on the floor. Also, little by little they will be adopting strange positions that can develop serious leg problems.
In addition to producing health problems because of not being able to support the legs correctly, not cutting the nails of a dog can also lead to the appearance of wounds on the fifth finger, since it will end up penetrating the skin. Therefore, cutting a dog's nails on a regular basis represents one of the basic care we should not overlook.
At what age can a dog's nails be cut?
Many people are wondering when they can start cutting their puppy's nails, and the answer is very simple: as soon as possible. There is no specific age for this practice, we can start it when we observe that the nails of our dog pass the commented limit and begin to hinder their movements. In fact, it is highly beneficial to start cutting the puppy's nails because it helps us to normalize the activity, get him to get used to it and take it as part of his routine. Of course, during the puppy stage we must use a type of scissors adapted to your nail that, probably, we will not be able to use once you reach adulthood. In this sense, we recommend going to the veterinarian to be the one who makes the first cuts.
How often to cut a dog's nails?
After seeing the importance of maintaining the health of your nails and knowing when to start, we may wonder how often we should cut them to prevent the above problems from appearing in our dog. Well, the truth is that there is no specific period of time, since each breed of dog has a specific growth rate. In the same way, depending on the type of exercise performed by the nail, the nails are naturally filed and, therefore, do not need to be cut so regularly.
In general, toy and small dog breeds show a much higher growth rate than medium, large and giant dog breeds. If your furry companion is a Chihuahua or a Yorkshire, for example, you should probably cut his nails every two or three weeks approximately, while if you enjoy the company of a boxer, once a month will be enough. What you should be clear about is that Dogs' nails never stop growing and, therefore, you should check them every week and cut them when you see that the time has come to do so.
What do I need to cut my dog's nails?
To cut a dog's nails at home without harming it is essential to get the right utensils. In this way, we recommend that you do not skimp on expenses and run away from those low quality products, remember that the health of your furry partner is at stake.
In today's market we can find a variety of scissors to cut a dog's nails, with different shapes and sizes. However, the most used are the following:
This type of scissors to cut the nails of dogs has a similar shape to scissors for humans, but adapting the leaves to the nails of these animals. Also, some models incorporate a small spring to facilitate movement. To use them simply we must hold the nail by the appropriate area and exert the precise force to cut it quickly and cleanly.
When selecting this type of scissors you should look at the size of it and choose the one that best suits the size of your dog. Although we can get them for all races, the common scissors are usually more recommended for those toy or small dogs, since it is not necessary to exert a high degree of force when cutting the dog's nails.
Guillotine style scissors
This type of scissors for dogs have a built-in spring to facilitate the task of cutting the nails of the dog. To use them, we will have to insert the nail into the hole and place the scissors at the appropriate height to cut. The advantage that this scissor has over the previous one is that it allows us to exert a greater degree of force when cutting without any difficulty. This way, it's more Recommended for cutting large dog's nails, or with thicker nails.
Cut my dog's nails step by step
Now that we know the scissors that we should use to cut a dog's nails, we can proceed to explain step by step how to do it. However, before taking action it is essential to clarify how the dog's nail is, and that is that inside it is living tissue that we should not cut if we do not want to hurt our furry companion. In this way, the first advice we give you is to examine your dog's nails and identify that tissue, which will be shown as a pink line inside. Once found, we will carry out the following steps:
- The first thing is create a relaxed atmosphere and, above all, calm for the animal. In this sense, we recommend that you accustom your dog to this practice from an early age so that it seems normal and part of his routine. To do this, in addition to cutting your nails on a regular basis, touch your feet and nails gently daily. Although it may seem an insignificant act, this fact will help us so that our dog does not panic or alarm when we need to fix his nails or trim the hairs that are between the pads.
- Once the relaxed atmosphere is established, place your dog standing to observe the remaining nail piece and know exactly where to cut. Remember that the ideal measure is that which is at ground level but without touching it.
- Then, take one of its legs and, if it is the first time you are going to cut your dog's nails, pass the scissors through them, just brushing them, and award it with a treat to associate the tool with a positive stimulus. Repeat this step until you notice that your dog is totally calm.
- To cut the nail you simply have to place the scissors at the right height and exert the necessary pressure to make a quick and clean cut. The right position is the one that shows a straight cut, or slightly downward. This way, avoid cutting your dog's nails diagonally upward. Look at the image.
- When you have cut the nails of the first leg, congratulate him and offer him a treat before moving on to the next one.
How to cut a dog's black nails
When the can's nails are transparent, or semi-transparent, it is easy to identify the remaining part and cut without touching the living tissue. However, when the nails are completely black, it is impossible to identify such tissue with the naked eye. So, to avoid cutting it and hurting the animal, we have two options:
- Cut the nail little by little. Start by cutting only the tip of your dog's nail and look inside, if it shows completely white, you can cut a few more millimeters, while if it shows with a black dot, you will have to stop because the fabric>
I have badly cut my dog's nail, what do I do?
Sometimes it can happen that our dog has moved just at the time of making the cut, or because his nail is black, we have cut more than the bill and has begun to bleed. If it happens, the first thing we should do is keep calm. Then, the fastest and most effective way to cut your dog's nail bleeding is to take a clean gauze, moisten it with hydrogen peroxide and clean the nail, both to disinfect the wound and to stop bleeding. If we have chlorhexidine digluconate at home, we better choose to use it because it can disinfect without irritating the animal's skin.
The ideal is to have disinfectant products on hand before starting to cut the dog's nails so that they can act as soon as possible in case of an accident. And if we are even more cautious, it is best to go to the veterinarian first to get a special anti-hemorrhagic powder for dogs, since it is much more effective than hydrogen peroxide when stopping bleeding. Likewise, silver nitrate powder is also very effective. To do this, we recommend having a first aid kit for dogs ready.
And if you find it impossible to cut your dog's nails, go to the veterinarian or the dog groomer to be a specialist who carries out this task. Especially those dogs adopted as adults present problems when performing activities such as nail cutting, either because they already have a series of acquired habits and, among them, this is not found, or because the experiences lived have been so traumatic that They can't avoid fear or feel insecure.
Video tutorial to cut your dog's nails without hurting him
Throughout the article we have detailed how to cut a dog's nails, what is needed for it and what to do in case of cutting more than the bill. However, to facilitate the task and visualize the steps in a much clearer way, then we share a video made by our experts in which we show the process to follow to cut the nails to a dog without harming it.
If you want to read more articles similar to How to cut a dog's nails at home?, we recommend that you go to our Nail Care section.