Why You Should Regularly Trim Your Pet’s Nails
A pet-grooming schedule begins with more than just bathing and brushing your pet. Regular nail trimming, for instance, is an essential part of a healthy grooming routine. Trimmed nails are a clear sign of your pet’s health and hygiene.
If you’re not comfortable cutting your pet’s nails yourself, take them to the vet office or the groomer; but nail trimming is a simple procedure if you can get over your squeamishness. You can avoid anxiety in pets by handling their feet and trimming their nails from an early age so that they become accustomed to the process.
How Often to Clip Your Pet’s Nails
Your pet needs regular nail trimming, especially if he is an avid digger or is in the habit of running on hard materials like concrete or wood floors. Nails grow continuously throughout your pet’s life, and by trimming them every three to four weeks, you prevent them from becoming overgrown.
Long nails can curl under and may cause your pet pain, put undue pressure on his toes and paws, and can even prevent him from walking properly. The trick is to cut only the very tip of the nail.
The quick—the live tissue that lies below the nail, visible as a pink line in the nail—grows in a different direction from the rest of the nail. The correct way to cut the nail is to end up with a small square piece rather than a pointed tip.
How to Trim Your Pet’s Nails
It’s easiest to start with your dog since his nails are easier to see and handle than your cat’s. Your dog will have to have his front feet on the ground, his rear feet on a pillow or towel, the ground, and a chair or something to climb upon.
- Have your dog lie down or sit on the floor and hold his paw firmly in your hand, keeping his leg out straight. This will be your guide as you work. Use your other hand to hold a nail clipper.
- Look at the nails and decide which ones you want to clip. One at a time, make a small cut at the tip of the nail, ensuring you don’t clip into the quick.
- Gently pull the nail away from the toe to avoid cutting the quick. Cut off the tip of the nail and dispose of your clipping in an appropriate place, such as a trash can.
- You can also choose to use a dog nail grinder. This is especially helpful if your pet is old or has long nails. It’s also an excellent way to do the nails of a very timid pet.
- Repeat steps one through four until all nails are clipped and your dog is happy.
- Once you’re done, wash your hands and dry them thoroughly, and take your dog on a walk to push the nails down and get some walking in.
The bottom line on pet nail trimming is necessary for pet well-being. When you groom your pet regularly, you’ll notice healthy hair coats and clean ears and eyes. You’ll also find that their nails are maintained in a healthy shape.
Train your pet cat with The Pets People, your go-to website for practical information, suggestions, and advice for taking care of your pets. You can browse topics on adoption, training, understanding pet behavior, product reviews, and anything related to pet health care.
Our writers, advisers, and independent consultants from the pets sector provide informative and valuable insights for all your pet care needs!
Discover how to create a joyful, healthy home for your pet.
Subscribe to your weekly rundown of practice, real life ideas and training tips straight to your inbox.