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How to Safely Trim Your Dog's Nails

Safely-Trim-Your-Dog's-NailsPart of dog ownership is ensuring that your dog’s claws are trimmed properly. Dog claws continue to grow throughout life just as human fingernails continue to grow. If you neglect this important task, it can lead to discomfort, irregular walking, and even infected claws. Here are some pointers for trimming your dog's nails.

How to Tell When It’s Time to Trim Your Dog’s Claws
If you hear your dog’s claws clicking against the floor when he walks, you should get ready to trim his claws. Another sign that your dog’s claws are too long is if there are scratch marks on your hardwood floors.

Why It’s Important to Trim Claws
If his claws get too long, they can impede your dog’s ability to walk correctly, groom himself, and even interact safely with you and your family members. It’s unfair to your dog if he innocently reaches out to paw you in a sign of affection and gets in trouble for clawing you instead.

How to Safely Trim Your Dog’s Claws
1. First, make sure you have the correct tools.
You should never try to trim your dog’s claws with human nail clippers or household scissors. Your veterinarian at Cypress Animal Clinic can recommend a good pair of claw clippers, or you can browse trimmers at pet stores or online.

2. Choose a Time When Your Pet is Calm
Try to choose a time when your pet is most likely to remain still while you trim her claws. It should be after he/she’s eaten and gone for a walk. Take a moment to pet and soothe him/her with soft words to get her relaxed.

3. Be Gentle
Don’t rush through the process. The slower and more gentle you are, the more likely that your pet will become comfortable with having her claws trimmed. Take your time and rest in between paws if you sense that your pet is becoming agitated or impatient.

4. Trim in Stages
First, trim off around the edges of the tip top, where the point of the nail is. Remove only about an eighth of an inch.

5. Next, angle the clippers to trim a small amount from the other edge of the top point.

6. The third clip should be in the middle, so that the point is blunted.

7. Be very careful to avoid the quick of the nail, which you will be able to see because it’s a different color. Remember that it’s better to trim less and more frequently than it is to try to trim all the way to the quick.

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