Anyone with a dog knows that their toenails can grow at an exponential rate. Clipping toenails is a task some often leave to the professionals. That can get costly though and most of us don’t want to schedule a vet appointment just to have our dogs nails clipped. Dog toenail clippers are out there. Here’s how to choose the right ones.
So, you decide to try to find some that you can use at home, especially now during this time of quarantine. So how do you know which dog toenail clippers are the right ones to use? First, ask yourself, have you clipped your dogs nails before? If not, then you’ll first want to watch some YouTube videos on how to properly do it at home and to be sure you don’t cut too close to the quick. If you cut too close, you can cause your dog a great deal of pain and they’ll bleed as well. You want to prevent that.
The Basics Of Cutting Dog Nails.
Some dogs are easier to cut their nails over others. Meaning, if you have a dog that has black toenails, then their nails are more difficult and you need to actually look under the nail to see where the quick ends. Never cut beyond the quick, only up to and give a little extra room.
If you have a dog with white toenails, then you’ll be able to see the quick through the nail, it’ll look like a pink spot next to their skin. Dogs with light colored nails are easier to cut since you don’t have to try to lift their paw, or lay them on their back to see what you’re doing.
How Do You Know What The Quick Looks Like?
The quick of a dogs nail is going to look similar to skin really – with dogs with black toenails, it’ll look like the bottoms of their paws if they’re older dogs, kind of like sand paper. The nail will look somewhat hollow where you can cut and it’s best to start small when trimming nails to be sure you don’t cut too much. For more information on how to properly trim your pets nails, click here. It’s an article featuring cats, but their claws are similar to dogs, especially when it comes to trimming them.
As mentioned above, dogs with light colored nails will have a pink color to the nail where you don’t want to cut. They’re easier to trim since you can see where their skin starts.
Choosing The Right Dog Toenail Clippers.
For those that haven’t trimmed nails before, start with a set of clippers that has a guard on it. This will prevent you from cutting too much off and not hurting your dog. Also, if you have a large dog, get the large clippers and for small dogs, small clippers. I have all sizes of dogs, so I just use the large clippers for all of them, but I make sure to keep a close eye on the small dogs and ignore the guard since it’s designed for larger dogs nails.
The size of the clippers will have different levels of guards; meaning, small dogs usually need less cut off so the guards will be pretty close to the actual clipper. Large dogs will accommodate more to be cut, so the guard will be farther away.
If you’re not new to clipping nails, then you may not need the guard. I bought some with a guard and I regret it because I know what I’m doing with my dogs and the guard actually gets in the way of me doing the job. But for beginners, please watch videos and get ones with a guard. The worst thing to do is cut too close, hurt your dog and then they don’t want their toenails clipped every again. Think of it like cutting your nail past the skin and exposing that. It’s very painful.
Once You’re Ready To Trim.
Now that you have your dog toenail clippers, you’ve watched videos (for those that are new to it) and you’re ready to trim your dogs nails. A couple of words of advice:
- Start while they’re young and pups.
- Earn their trust by doing it the right way.
- Don’t cut too close. Leave a longer nail to be sure they’re safe.
- Have treats on hand for dogs that can be difficult.
- Soothe them. Talk in a calm voice and let them know they’re OK.
It’s really important that you trim their nails correctly. Doing it wrong can cause long term tension when it comes to trimming too close and hurting them. Once you do that, then your dog may not let you trim anymore and you have to seek a professional to do it. Even they have a hard time once your dog is afraid of their nails being touched.
Dogs nails have to be kept clean and trimmed, otherwise it can be painful for them to walk on long nails. So, start small, earn their trust as mentioned above. There are a lot of videos out there on how to trim – watch as many as necessary to feel comfortable. Your dog will be able to sense your fear, so be calm.
Your Pup Will Be Happy With Nails That Are Trimmed.
If you’ve read my articles in the past, you know that I have an old dog named Annie that I’ve had since she was 8 weeks old. I adopted her from the pound when she was young, so she’s been with me for years – 14 to be exact. When I first tried to trim her nails, she howled like a banshee and wasn’t having none of that. Trying everything with Annie was a terrible experience. I wrapped her in a blanket, had someone hold her down, gave her treats, everything. Swearing the neighbors thought I was beating her, but wasn’t, I was just trying to trim her nails.
She despised it so much, she actually started chewing her own nails from then on. Her whole life, she’s kept them trimmed and short until now. Now she’s older and has a hard time with her nails and she still won’t let me touch them with clippers. I can grab her paw, hold her paw, everything, until she sees those clippers, then it’s all over. I know it’s painful for her to walk on the long claws she has; she chews the ones she can get to, the others on the sides are long and I can tell they hurt.
Getting your dog comfortable with the toenail clipping early will save you from this grief when they’re older like Annie. All my other dogs are comfortable with the nail trimming process, so start early and be safe about it.
Comment below on how you’re able to get your dog to let you trim their toenails! Hopefully it will help others reading this article as well. Give us your best practices.
Thanks for reading and hopefully this helps some of you.