How to Cut Your Puppy’s Nails – The Safe and Easy Way
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Nail Trimming Basics
It’s important to get your puppy used to having his nails trimmed from a young age. You can start by gently handling his paws and massaging them. This will help your pup feel comfortable with the process. You will also need to have some supplies on hand, including a sharp pair of dog nail clippers and some styptic powder (just in case).
Supplies You’ll Need
To get started, you’ll need a few supplies:
-A good nail trimmer designed for dogs. There are many types available, including guillotine trimmers, scissors-type trimmers, and dremels. You may need to experiment to find the type that works best for you and your dog.
-A styptic powder or pen. This is an agent that can stop bleeding in case you cut the quick (more on that below).
-A nail file or dremel. This is optional, but it can be helpful for smoothing out any sharp edges after trimming.
Getting Your Puppy Used to Nail Trimming
Start early. Get your puppy used to having his paws handled and nails trimmed from the day you bring him home. Gently massage your puppy’s feet and legs every day, including between his toes. Once he’s comfortable with this, you can begin to gently press on the pads of his feet to extend the nails.
If your puppy resists at first, have patience and keep up with the daily foot massages. He’ll eventually get used to it and even enjoy it!
The Trimming Process
Although it may seem daunting at first, trimming your puppy’s nails is an important part of pet ownership. Not only does it keep your puppy from scratches and other minor injuries, but it also helps to keep their nails healthy.
Trimming the Front Paws
The process for trimming your puppy’s nails is relatively simple, but it does require a bit of patience and practice. You’ll need to have a few supplies on hand before you get started, including:
-A pair of sharp nail scissors or clippers
-A file or emery board
-A soft cloth or cotton ball
-Some tasty treats
Start by getting your puppy comfortable with you handling his paws. Gently hold each paw in your hand and massage it for a few seconds before moving on to the next one. Once he’s okay with that, you can start trimming his nails.
Position the clippers at a 45-degree angle to the nail and snip off the tip. Be careful not to cut too close to the quick (the pink part of the nail), as this will be painful for your pup and may cause bleeding. If you do accidently cut into the quick, simply apply some pressure to the nail with a cotton ball or soft cloth to stop any bleeding.
After you’ve trimmed all of the nails, use the emery board or file to smooth out any rough edges. Rewards your puppy with treats throughout the process, and give him plenty of praise when you’re finished.
Trimming the Back Paws
Start by getting your pup used to you handling his feet. Gently pick up each paw and massage it for a few seconds before moving on to the next one. If your dog starts to get wiggly, take a break and try again later.
Once your pup is comfortable with you handling his feet, it’s time to start trimming. For the back paws, hold the paw in your hand with the pads facing up. You will see a couple of things: the quick (the pink part), the nail (the hard part that extends beyond the quick), and the dewclaw (a small claw that may or may not be present on the innermost toe).
Start by trimming a little bit off of each side of the nail, being careful not to cut into the quick. You can use either dog nail trimmers or human fingernail clippers for this. If you are unsure of how much to cut off, err on the side of caution and take less off rather than more. It’s better to have to trim again in a week than it is to cause your pup pain by cutting into the quick.
Now that you have everything you need, it’s time to get started. First, make sure your puppy is comfortable with you handling his paws. If he’s not, start by gently touching and massaging his paws so he gets used to it. Once he’s comfortable, hold his paw in your hand and take a look at his nails.
What to Do if You Cut the Quick
If you accidentally cut the quick, it will bleed. To stop the bleeding, use a styptic pencil, powder or cornstarch. First, apply pressure to the area with a clean gauze pad. Next, hold the styptic agent directly on the cut for 10 to 20 seconds. You may need to apply pressure and repeat this process a few times before the bleeding stops. If the bleeding doesn’t stop or if it seems like too much for you to handle, call your veterinarian.
Reward Your Puppy
After you have cut your puppy’s nails, it is important to reward them for being a good sport. This will help them to associate getting their nails cut with something positive, making the experience less stressful for both of you. Giving your puppy a treat, some petting, or even just some verbal praise will let them know that they’ve done a good job.