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How to Cut Your Dog’s Toenails

How to Cut Your Dog’s Toenails

When you hear noises as your dog walks across the tile floor, it’s time to clip your dog’s nails.

1.Assess the Nail

The general rule to follow is that the nail, which curls downward, should be even with the paw pad. Whatever is hanging over the paw pad must be clipped.

2. Understand Basic Paw Anatomy

The blood and nerve supply for the nail is located in the center of each toenail and is called the “quick.” For dogs who have white nails, the quick will look like a pinkish area in the middle of the nail. Dogs who have black nails, however, do not have a quick that is easily visible and you will have to proceed slowly and with caution to avoid cutting the quick.

3. Safely Secure Your Dog

Once you are ready to begin cutting your dog’s nails, put them in your lap or on a table. Some dogs may require a form of gentle restraint to keep them still while you administer their pedicure.

4. Use a Nail Trimmer Specifically for Pets

Using a nail trimmer specifically made for pets, cut the nail below the quick on a 45-degree angle, with the cutting end of the nail clipper facing the end of the nail. In dogs with dark nails, make several small nips with the clippers instead of one larger one. Cut very thin slices off the end of the nail until you see a black dot appear towards the center when you look at it head-on. This is the start of the quick, and it will need to be avoided.

5. Don’t Panic

Although your aim is never to hurt your pet, accidents can happen and you may cut into the quick. Silver nitrate products, which you can get at your veterinarian’s office or local pet store, or flour or cornstarch can be used to stop the bleeding.

Although this process might be scary to both of you at first, keeping your dog’s nails neat and cut can allow them to walk more comfortably, preserve their posture, and reduce the risk of injury.