Trimming dogs nails shouldn’t be done at home unless you have been taught by a veterinarian, vet-tech or groomer.


Trimming Dogs Nails by Dr. Wittenburg

I’m Dr. Wittenburg from Brook-Falls Veterinary Hospital. With me today is my dog Bebe and she is going to help show us how to properly trim your pet’s nails.

Before we get started, you want to make sure to just have two things with you. You want to have some styptic powder in case you would catch a nail and also, of course, you want to have something to trim the nails with. Depending on the size of your pet will depend on the nail trimmer size that you need. She is a medium-sized dog, and so just having a normal dog nail clipper is going to be perfect.

What you want to do is find what works for your pet, find what’s comfortable for them. Bebe is very comfortable laying around and having her belly rubbed. She is also very food motivated, which is very helpful for this process.

When you’re first teaching them how to trim their nails when they’re puppies is you want to show them basically the nail trimmer. You can touch it to the foot and then you can reward them with a treat. Okay. You’re creating a positive environment for them every time you… they see the nail clipper, they are seeing something positive, they’re getting treats, they’re getting things that they like.

Then what you want to do is you want to pull the hair back on the toe and then looking for the white part, find where the pink is in the nail. You don’t want to trim where the pink is. The pink is where the blood vein is. We don’t want to do that. Trimming and getting the quick as it’s called, basically causes a little bit of bleeding, which can be very painful for them. It’s like pulling your nail backwards. You’ll want to trim the nails just avoiding that little center area.

If your dog just had black nails, you’re going to want to just trim very small amounts off at a time until you see a color change in the center of the nail. When you see that, that’s the quick, that’s where you want to stop.

Other than trimming the nails with a trimmer, you can also use a file or an emery board of some sort to slowly grind them away, or walking them on concrete or harder surfaces will help as well. Otherwise than that, making it a very pleasant experience for your pet is our goal. You always want to make sure that they have a good time during it and give lots of positive reinforcements, just like Bebe enjoys it.

About Brook-Falls
Brook-Falls Veterinary Hospital and Exotic Care is dedicated to providing quality care to all companion pets and exotic animals. Brook-Falls is a Menomonee Falls, WI-based full-service veterinary hospital with an extensive range of comprehensive medical, dental, diagnostic, and surgical services to meet the varying needs of all patients. Brook-Falls Veterinary also offers informational and educational media and seminars for pet owners by way of blogs, digital TV series (Expert Veterinary Television), e-books, whitepapers, infographics, and more.
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