Don’t get mad at me but the fact is most dog owners do not have their dog’s nails cut on a regular basis. And for good reason. Oversight and being quite nervous about doing this themselves, but mainly, taking your dog to the veterinarian is costly, so it’s understandable. That is why pet owners should learn how to groom their dogs at home, nail cutting be one of those chores. All it takes is a little patient to start with, and after a few sessions of grooming, the task tends to go quickly and smoothly. Nail clipping in the past was a bit of a “no, no” I’ll let the vet do it because of the danger of cutting too far up the nail and cause bleeding (cutting the quick-nerve). Another important part of keeping your dog well-groomed is by cutting their nails regularly. Not only does it look good, more importantly, it also prevents health and safety issues. Long nails can scratch and hurt others, and if they break off, your poor pup will be in serious pain. Also, longer nails prevent the dog’s paw from sitting firmly on the floor/ground.
But with the new clipping safety guards, we have today, all the guesswork has been eliminated. Now, with a few sessions under your belt with the safety guard, you can relax with all his twitching not to over-cut, and your dog’s nail clipping sessions will be painless, easier, and quicker. If they do get a bit twitchy, just stop and do a nail or two at another time, eventually, he will get used to it and so will you. The more this exercise is repeated, the more your canine will cooperate and understand what you are doing. This is another way of building a bond between you and your pet.
My preferred method is sitting on the floor with my dog (Border Collie) between my legs making him comfortable and talking to him. My three large dogs I have sitting. Comfortable for them and easier for me. Show your dog the clippers, hold up his paw, and just show him what your about to do. Do this exercise a few times to relax him so he gets the idea of what you are going to do. At first, after you do his first front paw give him a treat, the second-a treat and proceed to the rear. Another treat, job well done.
I have 3 large dogs and a medium-sized Border Collie and my preferred clippers the past 10 years are the BOSHEL Dog Nail Clippers and Trimmer with Safety Guard. They are sharp (26 months now) and work great. They also cut really well with dogs that have black thick nails. The guard prevents the nail from going all the way through the clippers and cutting the nail too short without any guesswork. Also, they are sharp enough to cut through the nail in one quick go. These clippers overall are easy to grip, hold, and fit nicely in my hand. You also get a dog nail file to finish the process.
I would also suggest that when you get real comfortable with cutting your dog’s nails to purchase a regular pair of nail clippers. They tend to be sharper and they are very easy and faster to use. When cutting their nails once every two weeks, it’s just a snip, snip snip, and done. You are just taking off a little bit of their nail each clipping.
I have had neighbors and friends order the LAIKA Dog Nail Clippers and Trimmer with a Safety Guard which avoids over-cutting their nails (cutting the quick) and also comes with a file for finishing, this is a professional grooming tool. You may also choose the gonicc Dog & Cat Pets Nail Clippers and Trimmers with Safety Guard and nail file/ All three are professional-grade quality and will do the job at hand nicely.
I have always used regular style clippers, which I still have two pair, and the only reason for the switch (sometimes I do get behind in cutting nails) was that with the Safety Guard, I am pretty much assured that any sudden movement I won’t make a mistake and cut too far up. Even experienced groomers can make mistakes.
GETTING OVER THE FEAR OF DOG NAIL CLIPPING
As I mentioned above is to get the nail clippers with the guard so you’re only cutting off a tiny amount at a time. Keep clipping away until you start to see the tiny little circle appear in the middle, that’s the indicator that the quick is close to the surface and there’s very little left to clip. Take your clippers to the base of the nail (completely open, don’t clip), and pull the clippers up the nail until they stop. Usually, it’s where the nail starts to curl and that’s where you want to cut. Of course, there are dogs with extremely long quicks so this might not work with every dog, especially dogs that don’t get nail trims regularly, overgrown nails, sometimes specific breeds like cocker spaniel, bassets, and great dane also have long Quicks. Another suggestion is to use a BOSHEL or a Dremmel (grinder) on their nails that are too short to clip, or nails that you’re not comfortable clipping because you can’t tell where the quick is. Sometimes, on black nails it’s difficult to see the quick, in that case, you may want to use the Bushel grinder on these nails) just be weary that grinders do get hot so don’t hold it on the nail for longer than a couple of seconds, (just a quick motion side to side) which actually should be plenty for most nails.
Tip: get a small twig and practice the motions and actually see how the grinder works.
Once you get more comfortable and you’ve done their nails several times, you will be able to just tell where you need to clip. It will become just as easy as doing your own. Have your quick stop (septic powder) ready just in case. I know the blood is scary and you’re scared of hurting the dog, but dogs are a lot tougher than you may think.
As mentioned, I’ve purchased a few other pairs for friends and neighbors and they have felt at ease with the result of nail clipping. As far as purchasing clippers for your dog, they’re basically all designed with the same function in mind, clipping your dog’s nails, so don’t think too hard on it. I also use the BOSHEL Grinder Trimmer. (for those who may be squeamish) Watch the video (4:35) below and you will feel more comfortable with the nail cutting process. It shows you the instructions clipping your dog’s nails and also using a grinder instead of clippers. Either way is good and you just need to choose your preference. I have more videos for instructions on all grooming aspects.
For puppies and small dogs, 16 pounds to 50 pounds, These types of clippers are perfect. No guess-work. By the way, you should cut your puppies nails every 1 to 2 weeks. Older dogs 3-4 weeks.
These clippers listed here I have seen and used (purchased for neighbors and comparisons) are so much better quality than the products available in several local pet stores. This is something I take note of when purchasing my large bags of dry dog food at the pet stores and also mentioned above, meaning-the same but the quality is the difference. I have also heard that some of the $8- $12 clippers are not as sharp. These are just my recommendations because of what I use, that’s all. Looking at the cost of taking them to the veterinarian, a few extra dollars are worth it in the long run.
This is used in the veterinary trade to stop bleeding from nails that are clipped too closely. (see video) This powder is generally used on animals, such as cats, dogs, and rabbits, whose vein is found in the center of the nail.
In the absence of styptic powder, use corn starch. If corn starch is not available, try flour. If you happen to have alum, that seems to work the best in a pinch! Once the styptic powder (or styptic powder substitute, like corn starch) is applied to the dog’s broken nail, keep the dog quiet and do not allow him to walk.
Here are four good choices. I have used all four of these as testing for recommendations the first one listed is my preferred choice.
Trimming Nails Tip
– Hold your dog’s paw securely while trimming the nails. Quickly cut off the top of the nail with a single stroke.
– Use the file to make the nail smooth.
– Do not cut off too much at a time. If your pet’s nails are very long, cut off a small amount and wait about a week to ten days before cutting again. Repeat every week or ten days until nails are at the desired length. You want his paw sitting flatly on the floor.
Treats: I highly recommend having a handful of treats on-hand anytime you groom your dog. This comes in very handy when you are cutting nails, trimming the hair around the ears, eyes, and paws, and when bathing your dog.
I would like to mention the Guillotine nail clippers below. These may seem like the answer but my only negative and some vets are that these types of clippers put to much pressure on the dog’s nail when cutting and the dog feels that and pulls away and I think they are a bit too noisy. Some are cheap in the $8 range to a high of $20. Cheaper is not always better, especially when your pet safety is concerned.