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How To Seamlessly Trim Your Dog’s Nails

Nail trimming can be a nerve-wracking experience for both you and your dog. You don’t want to hurt your dog, and your dog doesn’t want to get hurt — hence the mutual anxiety.

Today we’re going to give you a crash course on everything you need to know about trimming your dog’s nails.

Why You Need To Trim Your Dog’s Nails

Many people think that trimming the nails of your dog is done purely for cosmetic purposes, but this is far from the truth. In fact, it’s more for the dog than it us for us.

When a dog has long nails, it will push on their paw and joints leading to constant pain. Studies have even shown that dogs with consistently long nails have a much higher chance of developing arthritis.

Furthermore, long nails can also lead to bad posture in your dog as they will generally hold their limbs closer together rather than leave them in a more comfortable arrangement.

How To Trim Them

Now that you understand why long nails need to be trimmed, it’s time to actually do it. Start by gently — but firmly — holding the paw of your pet. Once you’ve got a good grip on them, start cutting from the edge of their nail.

You should be cutting at a 45-degree angle. Take off a little bit at a time until you see the white inside their nail. Upon seeing the white, stop cutting and proceed to buff the edges of the nail.

Corn Starch

If you accidentally cut the quick of the nail, it’s going to bleed a lot — and fast! If you want to stop the bleeding, the best thing you can do is plug the wound with a pinch of corn starch.

Hemp oil

Giving your dog hemp oil before trimming their nails will keep them calm to ensure that they don’t shift while you’re cutting — which could lead to injury. It will also reduce the odds of them biting you in the event that you inadvertently cut them.

Be sure to check out our article on 4 Ways To Administer hemp oil To Your Picky Pet if your dog doesn’t enjoy the smell or taste of hemp oil.

Where To Buy hemp oil

Want to get some hemp oil to ensure you don’t end up with a bite mark on your forearm? Log onto the official Friendly paws shop to purchase some high-quality tinctures.

Nail trimming can be a nerve-wracking experience for both you and your dog. You don’t want to hurt your dog, and your dog doesn’t want to get hurt — hence the mutual anxiety. Today we’re going to give you a crash course on everything you need to know about trimming your dog’s nails. Why You Need To Trim Your Dog’s Nail

How to Trim a Dog’s Toenails & Why It’s Important to Their Health | Blooming Culture

By Dr. Gabby Pagana, DVM, MPH, CVA

Like many pet owners, I am not experienced with trimming my dog’s nails and I have had some past traumatic situations. You don’t want to hurt your pet or cause them to be stressed, but you also know it needs to be done. It can be an uphill battle with your pet, which, in turn, creates a very stressful experience for everyone involved. I even had a bad experience a while back at our vet’s office when they cut down our dog Maru’s quick to far and she was returned to me still bleeding (a little). Is it the end of the world, no. But when your pet has that bad experience, that is what they can hold on to. While we personally still chose to leave trimming our dogs nails to the experts I can share that if I were to try it at home again I would start by giving a few treats at the beginning and the end of the process along with positive praise. Pet’s need to associate the act of nail trimming as a positive experience.

to trim your dog’s nails and why it’s so important.

A pet parents dreaded task, toenail trimming. It can be a stressful event for many pet owners and their pets. In fact, some pets are so fearful they cannot be restrained, and owners are super nervous because they know if they cut into the nail too deeply, it will cause bleeding. All in all, it is a dreaded job. But, it is one that must be done for the better health of the pet.

So, what do you do when up against an almost impossible situation? You look for options. Some pet owners choose to trim or Dremel their pet’s nails at home. Others choose to take their pet to a professional groomer or veterinarian.

No matter what, your pet’s nails should be checked at least every 1-2 months to determine whether they need trimming or not. Active pets that wear their nails down naturally may not need regular trimmings, whereas pets with medical conditions such as osteoarthritis may require them because if the nails grow too long, it can cause further gait abnormalities or damage to the paw pad.

Long toenails may also cause the following:

1. walking can become too painful for the pet and lead to arthritic joints in the toes/wrists

2. nails can curl up into the paw pads, penetrating the skin and causing further pain, infection, & abscessing – leading to the inability to walk on the limb

3. if the nail catches on any cloth material, e.g. a rug, a pet is at risk from possible nail ripping injury

The Anatomy of a Pet’s Foot

If you are a pet owner who wants to cut their pet’s nails, it is important to know the anatomy of a pet’s foot. Here is an easy-to-read diagram to familiarize yourself.

Here are the tools you will need:

1. Toenail trimmers OR handheld Dremel

2. Cornstarch or Kwik Stop (in case of bleeding)

3. Lots of treats!

To help make the process safe here is what to watch for:

Most importantly, trim the nail only until you see the white inside the nail that has a small black dot in the center. If you do not see the white, you can cut a bit closer. But, be careful not to cut the “quick” (black dot) or the capillary bed in the nail which will cause bleeding. See the illustration above.

If it is the first time cutting the nails in a while, consider doing it in phases. Meaning, take only the tip off the first time, then in 2-3 weeks take a little bit more off and repeat a few times until the nails are desired length.

Tips and Tricks

Handle your dog’s paws regularly so they get used to it/ best to start as a puppy

Introduce clippers frequently without cutting the toenails to lessen anxiety

Provide a lot of yummy treats during and after

The more you walk your pet, the fewer trims (unless your dog has very thick nails)

Have a second person hold the pet for you

Cut small amounts at a time

Trim in a well-lit room, or outside in the sun

Ensure your pet was exercised well beforehand

Provide a calming environment for your pet

Ways to Provide a Calming Environment for Your Pet

Use lavender, chamomile, & other calming essential oils diffused or sprayed onto your dog. *Please consult with your veterinarian before using essential oils on your pet- they must be diluted unless specifically made for them.

Play calming music. Blooming Culture has a perfect playlist on Spotify that is especially for your dog. Research has shown that certain sounds do relax your dog.

Do it in a familiar and comfortable location.

Provide calming supplements the day of trim, such as CBD oil, copaiba essential oil, Reishi mushroom extract, lavender/chamomile herbs, ashwagandha, and others.

If sedatives are needed, please consult with your veterinarian to determine which medications would be best.

The bottom line when it comes to trimming a pet’s nails? If you have any questions or doubts, let the experts do it. They are hands-on experienced in handling this.

How to Trim a Dog’s Toenails & Why It’s Important to Their Health By Dr. Gabby Pagana, DVM, MPH, CVA Are you avoiding nail trims because you're scared of hurting your dog? Find out how trimming your dog's toenails will benefit them and how to cut your dogs nails without hurting them.