How to Use Dog Nail Clippers? The 11 Essential Guide to Trimming

Dogs that are constantly in the backyard digging and having the time of their life is a Dog that has dirty claws. It is frustrating, especially if the dirt is stuck on your dog’s nails. In this case, as a responsible owner, you have to groom your pet frequently, and part of that grooming is trimming your dog’s nails. Apart from it being necessary for hygiene purposes, it is also beneficial to your dog’s health. 

Although you think this task could be easy for you to do, it’s not. You have to carefully research and follow the instructions so that you will not hurt your dog. To improve their quality of life, you should follow the step-by-step process listed here so that the nail trimming will not become a traumatic experience for your pooch.

What Are the Tools to Use?

First, you have to buy reliable tools for your dog’s paws. These are the following tools that can help nail trimming easier for you and your dog.

1. Nail Clippers

Nail Clipper is a nail cutter for dogs. This tool was designed to cut a dog’s nails easier. Choose a nail clipper that is easy for you to handle and efficient to use.

Photo from: (jetsetpup)

Two Types of Nail Clippers:

Guillotine Nail Clippers

Guillotine-style nail clippers for dogs have a ring wherein you will place the dog’s nails and a single sharp blade attached beside it. It is ideal for smaller dogs’ because it is thinner and best for guillotine type of clippers. This type of clipper is also considered the easiest to use.

Scissor Nail Clippers

Another type of nail clipper is the scissor-style clippers; it has two stainless steel blades that come together when you squeeze the handle. It is operated by a spring, and this type of nail clipper is good for nails that are longer and thicker.

2. Nail Grinder

A nail grinder is a tool used for a dog’s nails to give a smoother and rounder texture. It is essential to avoid sharp nails for your dog not to get caught on blankets, rugs, or pillows.

How to Use Nail Clippers

Nail Clippers are very easy to operate. The ones found on the market were designed for an easier grip on your end. First, you need to position the nail on the ring if you use guillotine nail clippers and allow the blade to face you and not the dog. Then, you need to squeeze the handle so that the sharp blade will cut the nail.

The 11 Essential Guide to Trimming.

It is still advisable to visit your nearest vet clinic and ask for some lessons and suggestions on trimming your dog nails properly. However, if you’re confident enough, follow these at-home guides listed here to ensure a safe nail-trimming activity.

1. Warm-Up Your Dog

It is important to note that you have to warm up your dog first before holding its hand and trimming its nails. Then, it is advisable that you sit beside them, play with them, praise them and give them delicious treats. For example, give them peanut butter for dogs who love to lick it.

2. Introduce The Nail Clippers

After you warm up your dog, you introduce the tool by showing it to them. Most likely, they will sniff it and check the entire tool. Make sure that you provide treats so that the tool will be accompanied with joy. 

3. Pick Up the Paw

Now that your dog is happy and has enjoyed the treats, you pick its paw and position your thumb on its pad. Next, examine your dog’s nails and see if it is longer than expected or shorter so that you will not risk cutting the vein inside its nails. The pink vein is called quick, and you have to avoid cutting this. It will be painful to your dog, and it will cause bleeding.

4. Position Yourself Properly

The suggested position on cutting your dog’s nails is by allowing them to lie down on a table. Then, position yourself on the other side of their feet and move your right hand across the dog’s body while the left arm on the dog’s neck to lock them and avoid further movement. Next, hold the nail clipper on your right hand while the paw on your left hand.

If in case the dog tries to move, lean your body to them to discourage further movement or wriggling.

5. Start Clipping the Tip

To ensure that you will not overcut the nails. Start with the tip first, the ones that are pointy and sharp. This will allow you to get used to using the clippers and find the right hold to make it right. 

6. Cut Not Exceeding Curve Nails

You are lucky if your dog has a light-colored nail, for it will be easier to see the nail quick. However, that is not the case for everyone because there are dogs that have darker nails. The boundary for you not to exceed is the curve around each of your dog’s nails.

Cut a small portion on each nail and make sure that you hold the paws properly. Do it swiftly & firmly, then move on to other nails, and don’t be too hype in making your dog nails shorter.

In general, you don’t have to worry that the nails are still long, as long as you remove the sharp and pointy nails. The quick will eventually shrink back as you continue to cut your pooch nails from time to time. When that happens, you can cut more nails and achieve the desired length.

7. Don’t Forget Dew Claw

Dew Claw is the rear nail of dogs, and it is longer because this nail was entirely not useful to dogs. Nevertheless, it still needs to be taken care of and trimmed.

8. Praise and More Treats.

After the successful Nail trimming session with your dog, make sure to give another set of treats and lovely praises to ensure that your dog understands that trimming nails is such a wonderful and awesome experience. Do this before you begin to grind your dog’s nails. Again show the tool first and position yourself again for the next part.

9. Grind your Dog’s nails

It will be an added task, but you should do this thing to avoid nails getting caught on any soft material. However, you can opt to nail file your dog’s nails, but it is time-consuming.

Another good thing in acquiring a nail grinder or Dremel tool is that it can also substitute clipping when you are a pro in using it. Nevertheless, let’s take this grinder as a tool to make nails smoother and rounder. 

Most probably, your dog will not be stressed out about this tool because it does not involve pinching, unlike the nail clippers. 

So what you have to do is hold your dog’s toe gently but with firmness so that it’s easier to grind the nails. Make sure that you will only cover a small portion to make the edges smoother. For added control on your grip, place it higher, pointing towards the nail.

10. Stop Bleeding Nails

There are instances that you will fail, and you will accidentally cut the quick, thus resulting in bleeding. What you can do is put styptic powder to stop the bleeding. Usually, it is put at the tip of the stick, and you have to push it gently. It will stop the bleeding, but the fear and traumatic experience for your dog are unavoidable. Yes, it may not be a life-threatening situation, but it will freak out your pet. 

In addition, it will be much harder to persuade your dog to do this the next time around because of the painful experience. If you don’t have styptic powder, you can use Cornstarch to stop the bleeding.

11. Always Observe Your Dog’s Reaction

Observe all the time for any reaction on your dog’s end so that it will not end up such a bad experience. Also, please don’t force them to allow themselves to submit to the nail trimming by themselves. It will take patience, time, and effort, but the kind of life you can give to your dog when their nails are trimmed nicely is amazing.

How Often Should I Trim Dogs Nails?

Ideally, you trim your dog’s nails every two weeks to achieve the desired nail length. However, there might be instances that the dog’s nails will depend on the surface they always walked on. For example, dogs walking on soft ground will tend to have longer nails, while those who walk on a hard surface like concrete will have shorter nails.

You still need to inspect the nails regularly and see if you can cut the nail already.

The Importance of Trimming Nails

Some dog owners take the risk of keeping their dog’s nails longer and do not care to groom their pets. Because of this, your dog might experience their nails being torn off.

1. Injury

As a result of long nails, it will be torn off whenever your dog runs or plays outside with solid objects that can get away and will cause injury to your dog. In addition, it will be painful for them, plus it will be expensive for you to have to send your dog to veterinary care.

Thus, you have to make it constant to trim your dog’s nails.

2. Uncomfortable Walking

It will be uncomfy for your dog to walk on longer nails; when it reaches the surface, it will push on the paws, and the nails will not distribute the dog’s weight equally because dog pads can’t be flat on the surface because of the nails. If you find your dog uncomfortable and having a hard time, better check its nails and do the necessary process. Other than that, make them alive and happy with well-trimmed nails.

3. Hygiene

There is no question on this, for it is necessary to keep your dog cleaned and well-trimmed. Not just on its nails but also on its coat, ears, and body. Furthermore, the dog should not bring the dirt from the outside to your home because it might lead to bacterias that will cause your whole family to be sick.

In general, trimming your dog’s nails will be hard and tricky if your dog does not cooperate. However, this task is not impossible to do. It is crucial to continue training them to get used to it and consider changing your tool if they have a hard time. Then, find the balance and make the nail trimming a positive experience for them.