Trimming Your Dog’s Nails

Dog Nail Care

Is trimming your dog’s nails a stressful event for you both?  It doesn’t have to be. Using the right tools and technique, along with yummy treats and lots of praise can make it fun.  Well, maybe not fun, but at least not the worst thing in the world.

Puppy’s paws should be handled as much as possible.  While your puppy is laying with you, gently hold and rub the paws and nails as much as you can.  Massage the pads and run your fingers along the nails. Give praise and treats while you do this so your puppy learns that there isn’t anything scary about having his feet and nails touched.  This will go a long way in making nail trimming a much easier event. If your puppy won’t let you, don’t give up. Touch as much you can and then try to do a little more next time. It may take time to build up enough trust to be able to give a massage and touch the nails.  It depends on the dog and how trusting they are. Don’t rush it.

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Once you feel you and your pup have enough trust that you can try to trim the nails, bring out the clippers, but don’t start cutting just yet.  Show them to your pup and let them sniff, lick, and investigate the clippers for as long as they need. They may get scared and try to avoid letting you cut their nails by running away, barking, or showing stress or fear in other ways.  Don’t try to rush them and try not to get frustrated. Your frustration will only amplify the feelings they are already experiencing and it will make things more difficult. If all you can do this time is show your dog the clippers, you’ve made progress.  Give them a treat and some love and try another day. Although the goal is to trim their nails. The more important goal is getting them to be comfortable with you and the clippers while you trim their nails.

How to trim a dog’s nails

Dogs have something called a “quick”, which is just a blood vessel, that runs through their nail.  When a nail is cut too short, it bleeds because the “quick” has been cut.

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This can be avoided by making sure not to cut the nail too short.  If a nail does bleed, simply apply Styptic powder to the tip and the bleeding will stop.  If no Styptic powder is available, cornstarch will work. Sometimes, when nails have not been cut for a long time and they are long, the “quick” grows out and makes it impossible to cut the nail down properly without cutting it.   This is one of the reasons it’s important to keep nails trimmed regularly. In these cases, it’s best to just trim the tips of the nails and then trim again in about a week. Repeat this until the nails are the proper length. As the nails are trimmed the “quick” shrinks back and that’s why the nail can be trimmed shorter the following week.  

Holding the dog’s paw firmly but not squeezing, use your fingers to separate and hold each nail as you cut it.  Never twist the dog’s nail or paw. Make sure to cut quickly and firmly. Once the nail has been cut you may want to use a nail file or dremel tool to make sure any rough edges are smoothed down.  Dremel tools can be used in place of nail clippers once the nails are short enough to maintain. Some dogs prefer them.

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How often do you trim nails?

Dog’s nails should be trimmed every 2 – 3 months.  If they make a clicking sound on the floor when the dog walks, that’s a sign that they need to be cut.  Overgrown nails can cause pain to the dog, reduce traction, injure tendons, and even cause deformed feet over time.  

What type of trimmers are the best?

There are 3 types of nail trimmers:  guillotine, scissor clippers, and grinders.  I don’t personally use or recommend the guillotine style.  I think the scissors allow you to see exactly where you are cutting and are fast and easy to use.  I also think they are a bit safer for the dog. I use the grinder to smooth away any rough edges or for dogs that aren’t comfortable with the scissors.

There are 3 types of nail trimmers:  guillotine, scissor clippers, and grinders.  I don’t personally use or recommend the guillotine style.  I think the scissors allow you to see exactly where you are cutting and are fast and easy to use.  I also think they are a bit safer for the dog. 

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I use the grinder to smooth away any rough edges or for dogs that aren’t comfortable with the scissors.

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Once the nails are trimmed nicely, make sure there are no rough or jagged edges and you’re done! You can always add some doggy polish for a special occasion.20180329_170732

Free dog wash!

Come in today and get your first self-wash for free!

Use our large tubs with warm water, plenty of fresh towels, moisturizing shampoo and conditioner, brushes, combs, nail clippers, and more. Regular price is $15.00

We also have special shampoo for flee & tick control, shedding, etc…

Come in and check us out today!

free wash

Toxin Free Paw Treatments

Did you know that the average woman, living in the U.S., uses 12 personal care products a day with an average of 168 different chemicals?  Men are exposed to about 85 chemicals a day from their personal care products.

Pure Haven products are 100% toxin free, pure, safe, and trusted.  Pure Haven only makes small batches of product in their own USDA certified organic facility.  These are products that are safe for the entire family; mom, dad, baby and even the family dog.  Pure Haven has products for skin care, baby care, and pet care, and cleaning your home.

We use Pure Haven Pet Paw Balm in the store for dry, rough paws.  It’s made with olive fruit oil, coconut oil, and beeswax.  I even use it on my dry cuticles and I believe it makes my nails grow faster and stronger.

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Dogs paws are neglected and are dried out in the winter from the cold, ice, and salt.  In the summer their paws get burned on hot pavement.  Paw Balm will calm, soothe, and moisturize in any season.

You can find this and other products here: Pure Haven.  Some items are available in our Hightstown store.  If you have any questions, please contact us.

Take a Virtual Tour of Off the Chain!

Take a virtual tour of our store!

Enjoy this virtual tour of Off the Chain!  You can see our tubs, grooming station, and all of our wonderful products.  We not only have moisturizing shampoo and conditioner, along with everything else you need to wash your dog and leave them looking, smelling, and feeling fantastic, but we also have homemade treats, toys, and eco friendly products for eyes, ears, teeth, and pads.

Stop by and see us today!  Bring a can of dog or cat food and get $1 off your self-wash.  We are donating to Easel Pet Rescue.  Do something nice for your fur baby and one in need.

Are you ready for flea season?

bio groom

Now that the weather is finally warming up, the fleas and ticks will soon be out and looking for food. Don’t let your dog or cat be the first meal.  Make sure they’re protected by using flea and tick treatments.

Try our Bio-Groom Flea & Tick Shampoo.  This shampoo is enriched with protein and lanolin to keep your pet’s coat soft and shiny.  It also smells great!

In-between baths, use AromaCare Calming Lavender Spray.  Lavender keeps fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes away, and has an added benefit of calming your pet.

Our Bio-Groom Lido-Med Anti-Itch Spray will relieve any irritation they may already be suffering with.

Did you know you can use a flea comb to help remove the excess fur your pet is shedding right now?  Don’t forget to pick one up. Your pet will thank you!