Clipping Dogs Toenails

Why do you need to clip Dogs toenails?

Clipping your dog’s toenails is an essential part of dog grooming – it’s also a clear sign of your dog’s good hygiene and health. It is good practice to start handling your puppy’s feet and clipping their toenails at young age so they become accustomed to the process or it could cause an anxiety-filled experience in some dogs.

If you do not clip your dogs toenails, they will grow excessively long which could affect the way your dog walks. The nails could also get to long and break or worse they can also curl back and imbed into the pad which is extremely painful and can lead to infection.

 

What to do prior to clipping?

Start with touching your dog or puppy’s shoulder, then gradually work your way to his paw. Play with his paws to get him used to you touching them. Let your puppy or dog sniff the nail clippers, after giving them a treat and praise. Touch the nail clipper to each paw and squeeze the clipper so the puppy/dog hears the sound if electric/battery operated (do not actually trim the nail) Give them a treat and praise. Treats are also key to helping your puppy/dog become comfortable with the nail clippers.

There are a number of types of nail clippers

  • Nail clippers: nail clippers are tools that come in serval styles and features: scissor style or plier style, rubberised or ergonomic grip, quick-stop guard.
  • Guillotine nail clippers: Guillotine nail clippers are generally better for smaller dogs with thinner nails. They are not as heavy duty as nail clippers but are easier to handle. Guillotine nail cutters feature a single blade that slices off the end of the dog’s toenail.
  • Nail files: Nail files have a small rotating wheel that files or grinds down your dog’s toenail tips.

When everything is ready, get your puppy/dog comfortable and you are good to go.

 

Process of clipping the dog’s toenails

  1. To extend the toenail on your puppy/dog to be able to trim the toenail, pick up your puppy/dog’s paw gently, place your thumb on the pad of the toe and your forefinger on the top of the toe on the skin above the nail. Make sure none of your puppy/dog’s fur is in the way.
  2. Clip only the tip of the nail, straight across including the dewclaws located on the inner side of the paw.
  3. A nick on the quick is painful for your dog and will bleed. To avoid hitting the quick, avoid clipping past the curve of the nail. For dogs with dark nails, watch for a chalky white ring.
If you are not comfortable with clipping your dogs toenails, it is highly recommended to visit your vet or make an appointment with an experienced dog groomer.