What Are Guillotine Clippers? How to Cut Dog Nails Using a Guillotine Nail Clipper?

How many times have you battled with your dog because they are not comfortable getting their nails cut? Some of the breeds are truly hesitant because it’s either painful or the process is new to them. Despite their reasons, cutting your dog’s nails is essential and will help them practice the grooming process needed. Incorporate a few pieces of training so that they will get used to the fact that it will happen always. Make this activity rewarding by providing treats, toys, and lots of praise.

As a matter of fact, nail trimming is a difficult activity for pet owners. Dog’s nails are very delicate to handle because you can’t just trim the dog’s nails right away. There are factors to consider and the pet owner should be familiar and comfortable with the type of clipper they are using. 

The most popular and recommended clipper for dogs is the guillotine clipper. It is easy to use and provides easy access for your dog’s nails. If you happen to have bought these guillotine-style clippers and are wondering how to use them pain-free and fear-free for dogs then keep reading for we will provide suggestions to make the process rewarding and fun for dogs.

Photo from: doggroomingclippers

First, Guillotine Nail Clippers is another type of clipper aside from Scissor clippers. It is a grooming tool used to cut the dog’s nails and designed to be trouble-free from the use of pet owners. It has a loop or ring metal in which you will insert the nail. The nail clipper is composed of a spring handle and a sharp blade that will cut the nail upon squeezing the handle. This tool is durable and will come in handy in your home especially if you have a lot of pets that need nail grooming.

How to Cut Dog Nails Using Guillotine Nail Clipper

1. Observe Dog Reaction

Before you begin using the guillotine-type nail trimmer, you must observe the reaction of your dog upon seeing the tool. Their reactions could either be fear because it is the first time they’ve seen it or a positive reaction. After all, they are used to having their nails trimmed. If the dog gave you the latter, then you can proceed to cut the nail. But, if the dog is giving you a scared look and an act of avoidance to the tool, then do not force the nail-trimming process. Allow them to relax first to avoid trauma and to instill a positive experience.

Photo from: ourdog_batman

2. Relax Your Dog

So your dog is fearful and all you need to do is to relax them. Make them comfortable on the guillotine clipper by putting it beside them. Allow them to sniff or lick the tool to put assurance that it won’t hurt them. Eventually, dogs will relax on the tool especially if you incorporate a treat when you introduce the guillotine clipper. 

If they don’t bark or run away upon seeing the guillotine nail clippers, give them a treat and pat their head. You can also shake their hands after you repeat the process and you see that they loosen up on the tool.

3. Position Your Dog Comfortably

Whether you want your dog lying on the table or sitting in front of you, you must create a position that is most comfortable for your dog. Furthermore, the position should not allow movement whenever you clip their nails because it might lead to wounds. Hold the paw tightly and talk to them in a soft voice to calm them on what’s about to happen.

Photo from: bnvivthepetstylist

4. Trim the Nails

Be confident in using a guillotine clipper. Since you’ve held the paw, pick each toe and position the ring metal on the dog’s nail. Once the nail is inside the ring metal, estimate the size of the nail you’re going to cut. Because you don’t want the quick to be included while you trim the nails. If you are unsure, which part has the quick, cut the nails in small sizes to be sure and work on your way to the top. You could only cut the sharp edges and do the next step. 

In cutting the nail, squeeze the spring handle so that the sharp steel blades attached beside the ring blade will go down and cut the nail. Be quick on squeezing the handle and do not hesitate as long as you know the limit to avoid nail quick.

5. File Nails

Buy a nail file or grinding tool to smoothen the rough edge of the nails after it was trimmed. You don’t want your dog to stumble on the way because their nails are caught by the rug or fabrics on the sofa. In addition, it will avoid the nails from splitting and will keep your dog safe.

Tips in Cutting Black Dog Nails

There will be struggles when cutting a dog’s nails that are black because the quick is not transparent. A big chance of cutting the quick will happen and blood will come out from the nails. It will be painful for your dog and they can’t do anything about it but be in remorse. 

So how can a pet owner successfully cut their pet’s black nail?

Photo from: uptownpetspa

Tip #1

Always have with you a Styptic Powder that will aid the bleeding of the quick. The powder will clot the blood and stop the continuous flow. When there’s an emergency and you don’t have a styptic powder with you, you can use baking powder as an alternative to stopping the flow of blood.

Tip #2

Make sure that the blade is facing you. You want to have a good view of the length of the nail you are going to cut. If the blade is faced against you, there’s a chance that you’ll cut nails longer than you expect.

Tip #3

Start cutting small because if you do this the quick will eventually get smaller giving you more room to cut. Cut 1mm to 2mm only especially if this is the first time that you will cut your dog’s nails.

Tip #4

Always check the inside of the nail after cutting a small portion. Stop when you see the dark circle under the nail because it’s near to the quick.

Tip #5

Trust in yourself and do not hesitate to cut the dog’s nail. The wound from cutting the quick will not kill your dog thus if it happens, forgive yourself and move on. Try to give loads of hugs and affection to your dog if you happen to cut the quick and cause a painful experience.

Photo from: raw_canine_

How to Sharpen Dog Guillotine Nail Clippers

Always make the blade sharp by first removing the blade, then sharpen it using the grinding stone. In addition, you can also change the blade so that it is much sharper for the next nail trim. But, if you don’t want to change the blade, you have to level the blade around 45 degrees and slide it side by side ten times so that the edges will be sharpened. Do the same process to the other side and gain if the blade is dull again.

Guillotine nail clippers must be always sharp. Because you don’t want to put pressure on the dog’s nail because the blade is dull. Furthermore, you want to use a tool that functions properly to avoid accidents in cutting the nail. It might cause discomfort and will prolong the process. Thus always check the blade if it is sharp and can cut properly.

How to Replace Guillotine Nail Blades?

You can change the blade if the existing one is not useful anymore. First, you have to remove the blade. You can do this by squeezing the clipper and if you see the hole you have to poke it with a pin and then release the handle. After that, use your thumb to release the blade by pushing it upwards between the handles. Remove the old blade then you put the new one. You can buy the blade at the pet store and after placing it, push the link inwards so that the blade will be secure. Do not forget to squeeze the handle and check if the clipper is intact.

It’s handy if you have extra blades at home especially if you have many dogs. Oftentimes, pet owners do not want to sharpen the blade. Instead, they wanted to replace it immediately and that is fine. But, if you are a pet owner that does not want to waste things follow the steps on how to sharpen the blade. Afterward, safely put the blade on the clipper.

How Do You Soften a Dog’s Nails Before Cutting Them?

To make the trimming activity easier, you can soften the dog’s nails by taking a bath first. Dog’s nails are also made with keratin and it will soften once it gets wet or after a bath. However, if you can’t take your dog to a bath before the cutting of nails, you can soak their paws in warm water for a few minutes. In addition, you can also put a shea butter to the nails so that it is much softer plus it can hydrate your dog’s nails. Apply it to the dog’s paw and massage them on the paw.

What to Do if Your Dog Disapproves of Nail Trimming?

Naturally, dogs will get scared, but you can try to make the activity positive by giving treats, toys, and praises. Of course, if they won’t allow you, you have to be patient in the process and slowly win the dog’s approval through trial. One thing you can do is hold their paw and place the clipper on the toes. Do not cut the nails but try what reactions they will give to you. If they refuse and run, you can do it again by giving treats if they allow you to do it. That’s the time you can cut the nail and also while they are relaxed and comfortable.

 Photo from: jeffinhocorgi

Is It Okay to File Dog Nails Instead of Cutting?

Yes, if you are uncomfortable clipping your dog’s nails you can use a nail file specifically designed for dogs. In this case, you will not cut the quick but the process of nail filing is more time-consuming than cutting. You have to file each nail per toe and it requires hard work, however, if you don’t mind the process then you can choose this option. There are a lot of nail files available for dogs with the price ranging from $7 to $15.

In addition, there are grinding tools you can use instead of a nail file. This will make the work easier to do and get done right away. It is also called Dremel, a mechanical tool that will grind the edges of the dog’s nail so that it is smoother and won’t snag anything in the way.

Another option, if you are afraid to cut your pet’s nails, is to ask professional groomers to cut them and clean them. Although you’ll be spending extra bucks you can improve the dog’s quality of life if you do this. 

 Photo from: feeling.dog

It is an important habit that as a pet owner you provide time and effort to cut your dog’s nails. A lot of pet owners may overlook this thing and just let the dog’s nail grow. It will be unfair to your pets because obviously, they can’t do anything about it. It can affect the way they walk and they will be easily wounded once they scratch their body. Not just the dog’s body but also pet owners. There are times that they will scratch you, the furniture, or the bed. If they have sharp nails, it’s easy for them to ruin important items in the house.

Therefore, to give your dog the best comfort in walking. Schedule a day that you will cut the nails of your pet, make sure that all the guillotine nail clippers, nail file, styptic powder, and grinding tool is prepared. Don’t forget to make them feel good and happy while you do the process. Give them hugs, kisses as well as loads of attention.