Trimming Dog Nails Is A Task Almost All Dog Owners Are Faced With
Nail trimming is a very basic need for all dogs and since they are unable to do this undaunting task themselves, it is up to us to provide nail care for them. When introducing nail trimmers to puppies at an early age, it is highly recommended to have your veterinarian or any professional groomer do your puppy's first few nail trimmings. They will know the importance of this new experience and use great care when using nail clippers. Having professionals do puppy's first few trimmings teaches him (or her) there is nothing to fear, and it won't be a troublesome experience down the road.
When To Trim Dog Nails
The best way to tell when dog nails need trimming is to listen for the clicking sound on a hard surface such as your kitchen floor when your dog crosses the room.
Dog nails can grow quite quickly, especially if you do not walk your dog on hard surfaces such as cement sidewalks to help wear them down in a natural way. Therefore, many of you will have to spend time trimming dog nails or taking your dogs frequently to the dog groomers or veternarian. Anytime your dog's nails get extensively overgrown, visit with your veterinarian or professional groomer for nail trimming.
Trimming Dog Nails Yourself
For those of you that like to "do-it-yourself", there are several inexpensive equipment items available for trimming dog nails yourself. Having the proper equipment makes all the difference in the world when nail trimming. It is much easier and safer. If this will be your first time trimming dog nails, watch these great instructions with vivid step-by-step pictures. It is also helpful to watch your groomer or veterinarian a few times.
Pet safe nail clippers are designed with safety features for easy trimming without cutting into the "quick" of your dog's nails. Cutting into the quick of the nail may cause bleeding and it might be handy to have a styptic pencil or styptic powder on hand to be able to provide first-aid to help stop the bleeding. Refrain from using human nail clippers. They are cumbersome and not as safe. Note: Many puppies have their dewclaws removed, however, it is always wise to check to see if your dog still has them. Overgrown dewclaws can grow into their leg or get caught on the ring of their collars if not trimmed regularly.
Maintainence for Trimming Dog Nails
Good maintainence for trimming dog nails means trimming often enough so you are only trimming the tips of the nails. By allowing the toe nails to grow too long between clippings, you risk cutting the quick. The quick is the tender part of a dog nail and they also grow along with the nail. Frequent trimming prevents this from happening and allows you to clip the nails shorter.
Many dogs are uncomfortable with nail clipping and may not be patient or stand steady while having their nails clipped. If this is your situation, we recommend you either have someone firmly restrain your dog in place to help you trim those nails or for those really unruly types, visit your groomer or veternarian. Dog groomers usually charge $5 for trimming. Veternarians, obviously will charge a bit more for the same service. If maintaining your dog's nails is not something you want to do yourself, visit your groomer. It is money well worth spending.
How Often Should You Trim Nails?
It can be safely said that nails may need trimming every 6 - 8 weeks for those dogs that do not get a chance to wear their nails down naturally. This really depends on how much activity your dog gets on hard surfaces and will dictate when to begin trimming dog nails each time.
Next time your dog crosses your kitchen floor, listen carefully. It may be time to get out the nail trimmers or make that nail trimming appointment!
Please Note: Always consult your dog's veterinarian before making any dog health care decisions. Your veternarian will be able to help you decide the best course of action when it comes to caring for your dog.