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Cutting Your Dog’s Nails

Dogs usually have sharp claws. They need their nails trimmed regularly to avoid nail breaks and possible infections. Even so, many dog owners find this chore challenging and try to avoid the task altogether.

To conquer the nail chop, veterinarian Dr. Melissa Meehan lets you know how to trim your dog's nails effectively and painlessly...

Top Tips

  • Don't use human nail clippers on dogs. Dogs need nail clippers designed especially for their thick, long nails, which are available from pet stores.
  • To trim your dog's nails hold the dog's paw gently yet firmly in your hand. Find the quick or bloodline in the nail. Use the dog clippers to cut just before the quick, where the nail starts to curve.
  • If you are still unsure of where the quick is located, it is best to trim the nail too little rather than too much.
  • If you accidentally cut into the quick, do not panic. Pack the nail with a generic hard soap to stop any bleeding and help heal the wound.
  • Do not forget to trim the rear dewclaw. A nail that doesn't touch the ground and can easily become ingrown or infected.

Dogs often do not like to have their paws handled and it is best to get your dog used to people touching their feet from a young age. Most dogs need their nails trimmed every 2-3 months.