5 Tips for Dog Nail Trimming Without Stress in Columbus, OH
Regular nail maintenance and dog nail trimming is an important part of your dog’s overall health. Long nails can become overgrown and grow into the footpad, causing pain and possible infection, and broken nails can be painful and susceptible to infection as well. Some dog owners in Columbus are not too excited about dog nail trimming, especially if attempting a nail trim turns into a rodeo.
However, there are several things dog owners can do to make dog nail trimming less stressful. But first, we’ll look at why regular dog nail trimming is important.
Why Should I Trim my Dog’s Nails in Columbus, OH?
Whether you have a dog that can easily tolerate having his nails clipped, or you have a pet that is petrified of the process, keeping your dog’s claws an appropriate length is very important to their health and wellbeing.
Some benefits of regular dog nail trimming include:
Prevent Snagging on Carpets, Floorings, or Outdoor Terrain
This can result in broken nails, pain and/or infection
Prevents Growing into Paw Pads (Ingrown Nail)
Very long nails have the capability of growing so long and curling back onto the footpad, especially the dewclaws. This causes pain and infection.
Prevents Deformed Feet, Ligament and Tender Strain
Long nails can also cause undue strain on foot tendons over time, and as the long nails hit the ground, pressure puts force on the foot and leg structures. This is especially difficult on senior pets that might have arthritis.
5 Stress-Free Tips For Dog Nail Trimming in Columbus, OH
Sometimes dog nail trimming can be extremely difficult because pets don’t like having it done, which can cause pets and owners in Columbus also to become very stressed during the process.
Below are 5 tips for making dog nail trimming as stress free as possible:
Find the Best Tools for the Job
The first step in ensuring a low stress nail trim for your dog is to get the right tools. There are several types of dog nail trimmers, some scissors, and grinder tools specifically designed for dogs.
You can use whatever type you are most comfortable with, or whatever works best for your dog.
There are several items you should have in your grooming “toolbox” for your dog, such as nail trimmers. Most veterinarians in Columbus, OH don’t recommend the “guillotine” type trimmers as they tend to crush your dog’s nails, so it’s best to purchase a scissors-type nail trimmer.
Kwik Stop/Styptic Powder
This is a yellow powder that is used to stop nail bleeding if you happen to cut your dog’s nails too short. Inside the nail of the dog is something called the “quick,” which is a path for vessels to carry blood to the nails. When applied with pressure, this usually stops mild bleeding.
If you have a puppy or a young dog, starting to handle the paws and the nails at an early age can help. This way, you can gently introduce your pup to dog nail trimmings, teaching her that this is not a scary activity/event.
Treats and Lots of Praise
To make grooming a stress-free experience, start with short sessions and reward your dog with treats. For example, train your dog to sit or stand still while you brush her, and if she is still, reward her with treats and praise.
Keep Calm and Groom On
It’s also a good idea to keep calm and practice as little restraint as possible to help your dog relax. You may have to start with short sessions to get your dog used to being grooming, brushed, or sit still for nail trims, but the goal is to keep things stress-free.
Trim Nails Regularly
Perhaps the biggest challenge for pet owners in Columbus, OH is nail trimming, especially since most dogs don’t like their feet touched. Regular walks on sidewalks and paved roads can help wear down your dog’s nails, but most dogs will need a nail trim eventually. Without regular trimming, nails on small dogs can curl back and cut into the paw pads, and if you can hear your dog’s nails click-clacking on your hardwood floor, it’s probably time for a trim.
Try to get your dog used to having their feet, pads and nails touched. Start slow, trimming one or two nails each session, and gradually trim more nails if your dog lets you. You can invest in a Dremel-like nail filer, however, these tend to be noisy and a plain-old clipper is usually faster.
Steps for Dog Nail Trimming in Columbus, OH
Follow these tips on trimming your dog’s nails:
Pick Up Your Dog’s Paw
First, pick up your dog’s paw gently but firmly, place your thumb on the pad of a toe and your forefinger on the top of the toe on the skin above the nail. Make sure none of your dog’s fur is in the way.
If your dog doesn’t like you touching his feet, get her used to it first before you start the trimming process. You could do this at various times during the day by rubbing or gently squeezing his paws.
Push Your Thumb Gently on the Footpad to Extend the Nail
Second, while holding your pup’s foot, push your thumb gently up and backward on the footpad, while pushing your forefinger forward to extend the nail.
Start Clipping the Nail in Small Increments
Third, start by clipping the very tip of the nail, cutting straight across. You can do this in small increments, shaving a little bit off at a time.
If your dog has dewclaws, don’t forget to trim them as well. They tend to curl back on themselves and grow into the pad at a more rapid rate as they do not contact the ground and do not experience wear.
Avoid “Cutting the Quick”
Finally, try to avoid “cutting the quick,” which means making the nail bleed, because it’s been trimmed too short. Many dogs in Columbus who have pink nails make it easier for you to see the quick (it looks like a pink, or gray spot), but with dogs with dark nails, it’s more challenging.
For dogs with dark nails, trim a little bit at a time until you can see a black dot in the center of the nail. That means you are close to the quick. If you accidentally cut the quick and the nail starts to bleed, pat the area with a styptic powder or in a pinch, cornstarch.
Talk with a Veterinarian about Dog Nail Trimming in Columbus, OH
If you have any questions about dog nail trimming techniques, and how to keep your dog’s pedicure stress-free, consult your veterinarian in Columbus or a professional groomer; chances are they would be happy to offer you professional advice.
At North Kenny Veterinary Hospital, we understand how hard and stressful it can be to trim your dog’s nails. Our veterinary team is available to provide any dog grooming services your pet may need, or advice on how to safely trim your dog’s nails at home.
About North Kenny Veterinary Hospital
North Kenny Veterinary Hospital has been serving Columbus, OH pet families with exceptional veterinary medicine since the 1950s. We put a strong emphasis on preventive medicine as well as low-stress handling to help pets have a more pleasant veterinary experience. We use Fear Free techniques for every cat and dog to help reduce their anxiety and calm their nerves.