Paws for a Minute: How to Tell When Your Dog Needs Their Nails Trimmed and How to Do it Properly

Drs. Philip and Angela Rodger
Owners of Synchrony Chiropractic

As pet owners, we all know that regular grooming is an important part of keeping our furry friends healthy and happy. But one aspect of grooming that many of us might not think about as much is trimming our dog’s nails.

It’s easy to put off nail trimming, but it’s actually a really important part of your dog’s overall health. Long nails can cause pain and discomfort, and can even lead to issues with their gait and mobility. So how do you know when your dog’s nails are in need of a trim?

One way to tell is by looking at the nails themselves. If you can hear your dog’s nails clicking on the floor when they walk, that’s a good indication that they’re getting too long. Another way to tell is by looking at your dog’s paw pads. If the nails are touching the ground when your dog is standing, it’s time for a trim.

So now that you know when it’s time for a trim, how do you actually do it? The most important thing to keep in mind is to be gentle and go slowly. Start by getting your dog used to having their paws handled by massaging them and playing with their toes. Then, use a pair of nail clippers or a dremel to trim the tips of the nails.

It’s also important to be aware of the “quick,” which is the sensitive part of the nail that contains blood vessels and nerves. If you accidentally cut the quick, it will be painful for your dog and they may bleed. To avoid this, you can use a tool called a “quick finder” which helps to identify the quick and avoid cutting it.

Now, if you do happen to nick the quick, don’t panic! Just have some styptic powder or cornstarch on hand to help stop the bleeding. And remember, the most important thing is to be gentle, be patient and to not rush the process.

And for a little humor, you can even tell a little joke about it, like “Why did the dog’s nail trimming session take so long? Because it kept getting a little too quick!”

In all seriousness though, nail trimming may seem like a small task, but it’s an important one that can help keep your dog comfortable and pain-free. By paying attention to your dog’s nails and being patient and gentle when trimming them, you’ll be helping them stay in tip-top shape. So give your dog’s paws a little extra love and attention and keep those nails trimmed and healthy!

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