Trimming Pet Nails Like a Pro

Trimming Pet Nails Like a Pro

Dog nails being cut and trimmed during groomingMany owners find the idea of trimming pet nails intimidating (if not downright terrifying!). That’s because the blood vessel that runs through the nail, referred to as the “quick,” can be accidentally grazed, causing pain in our fur friends.

However, trimming pet nails to the correct length is important for overall health. Nails that grow too long (often indicated by a clicking noise on hard surfaces) can impact balance and mobility, resulting in injury.

The Right Tools

The first item on your shopping list should be a high-quality pair of clippers. Cheap clippers can cause snags, breaks, and other problems, so investing in a good pair is recommended.

Generally speaking, there are two types of clippers:

  • Guillotine style – which is good for small breed dogs
  • Scissor style – which allow for greater control and come in a variety of sizes

Other tools for trimming pet nails include a grinder, styptic powder (to stem accidental bleeding), an emery board, and some treats to reward your pet if he or she is new to the experience.

The Art of Trimming Pet Nails

The art of trimming pet nails isn’t difficult (we promise), but it does require some practice to develop the technique. Remember, you can always ask ask us for pointers.

Here are general steps to make the task less stressful for you and your pet:

  • To begin, wait until your pet is relaxed, such as after a long walk or a romp in the park.
  • For small pups, find a well-lit room with a table or counter. For larger dogs, sit on the floor next to your pet.
  • Lift your pet’s paw and inspect between the toes. Trim any hair that might impede your view of the nail.
  • Locate the quick by finding the dark pink area that runs the length the nail. Cut a little at a time until you start to see the beginning of a circle in the center of the nail (this indicates you’re close to the blood vessel).
  • If your pet has dark nails, clip a tiny bit at a time. Remain within the natural curved end of the nail until you notice the interior of the nail turn black (this indicates a proximity to the quick).
  • Smooth out rough edges using an emery board or grinder.
  • Throughout the process, reward your pet with verbal praise, pats, and a small treat when finished.

If you do happen to cut into the quick, don’t panic. Remain calm, and apply styptic powder or cornstarch to the area using a bit of pressure. If the bleeding continues, please contact us.

At the end of the day, if you just can’t handle the task of trimming pet nails, don’t worry. Nail trims are included as part of a relaxing, rejuvenating bathing session at Schertz Animal Hospital. Call us today to schedule an appointment!

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Schertz Animal Hospital

Since 1976, Schertz Animal Hospital has offered the greater San Antonio area outstanding pet care. Our state-of-the-art animal hospital in Schertz, TX compliments our stress-free handling and experienced veterinary staff. Make an appointment online or give us a call at (210) 659-0345 today!