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Steps for Trimming Dog Nails

Some dog owners have no trouble trimming their pup’s nails, especially when the owner is experienced. Others get super lucky with a tolerant dog, but that is not always the case. Below are the major steps that will help you when trimming your dog's nails. If you wait too long, then the nail growth can potentially harm your pup or others. Remember to be patient, careful, and make sure you know the basics before you begin!

Grab your materials: First, stabilize your dog and make sure they are calm and happy before you start to trim their nails. You may even need a friend to help you out and some treats to keep your pup calm. Be sure to have nail clippers or a nail grinder, as well as styptic powder or cornstarch.

Hold their foot properly: You want to pick up and hold their foot so that you can properly see the nail, and the nail is poking out. This will give you easy access to trimming the nail. One is to place a finger below and above the paw, with the top finger pushing the nail outwards.

Understand where you are cutting: This is extremely important, and can result in terrible pain for your dog if not done carefully. Check your dog's nails and see what color they are. Typically you are just cutting the skinnier top part of the nail and never cut the pink. With black nails, it can be difficult to tell. Cut a little at a time, and stop once you see the white nail. Also cut at a 45 degree angle and cut a little bit at a time!

Tips to remember: First, don’t forget the declaws. Look on the inside of the front legs (or all legs depending on the breed), and slightly above the rest of their nails. The declaws are loosely attached, but still need to be trimmed with the rest of the nails. Second, be careful with a nail grinder if you choose to exclusively use one, or utilize it as a polishing tool. Hold the grinder at the top and apply light to medium pressure. The very last tip is to give your pup a treat as a reward for being such a good pup!

If you are unable to trim your dog's nails or you know that your pet will not be tolerant, then allow the groomer to step in. Professional groomers have all the proper training to cut your dog’s nails, so there is no need to fret. Of course, be sure to schedule these grooming appointments according to nail growth. You should also keep in mind that their fur and skin may have different grooming needs. It is important to take all of those factors in accordance when scheduling a grooming appointment, if you are unable to groom your pup yourself.

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