Dogs are not known for having sharp claws, but their scratches can still hurt after a while. Those scratches likely hurt because you’ve allowed your pet’s nails to become overgrown.
Proper dog grooming involves regularly cutting or trimming their nails. If you don’t know how to cut your dog’s nails, the information in this article will be able to help you out. Stay tuned if you want to learn how to groom your dog from the comfort of your own home.
Can I Use Human Nail Clippers on My Dog?
Ask pet owners why they don’t groom their dogs themselves and you will likely get some very similar answers.
One common reason could be because they don’t how to cut their dog’s nails. If that’s the issue you’re dealing with, we will get to that a bit later in this article.
Another common reason that pet owners cite is a lack of tools. They don’t believe they have the required tools so they avoid grooming their dogs.
However, you should avoid making that assumption right away. That pair of nail clippers you have at home could be useful for trimming your dog’s nails.
Human nail clippers can be used to trim the nails of puppies. More specifically, those nail clippers should still be good enough for puppies that are below six weeks old.
The nails of small puppies are still quite thin. Nail clippers should be able to trim them with relative ease and your pup will not feel any discomfort whatsoever during the process. It’s also easier to cut those young nails because of how short they are.
You can also use human nail clippers to groom some adult dogs. If your pet weighs less than 20 pounds full-grown, then chances are that human nail clippers can be used to groom them. Their nails should still fit inside the clippers so trimming will not be an issue.
There’s an easy way to check if you can use human nail clippers on your pet. All you have to do is fit one of your dog’s nails inside the clippers. If it looks like you’ll have to trim the sides of the nail just to get it centered inside the clippers, then you should switch to a different tool.
What Are the Types of Nail Clippers for Dogs?
Human nail clippers can be used on puppies and small breeds, but they aren’t suitable for everyone. So, what can you use instead of those clippers? Let’s go over the available options below.
Guillotine Nail Clippers
Guillotine nail clippers resemble pliers except there’s a hole at the end. You need to slide your dog’s nail through that hole to cut it.
Once the nail is in the right spot, you can press down on the handle. The blades on the inside of the hole will trim the nail.
Scissor-Style Nail Clippers
As you’ve probably guessed from the name scissor-style nail clippers look a lot like a pair of scissors. However, the clippers have divots on the tips of their blades. Those divots dig into the nail and facilitate a smooth cut.
Some scissor-style clippers also have springs in them. The springs are added to enhance the cutting power of the clippers. They allow you to go through thicker dog nails with greater ease.
Lastly, you can also use nail grinders to groom your dog. With this tool, you’ll have to take one of your dog’s nails and slide it into the small hole. After that, you can turn on the tool to grind the nail down.
Nail grinders are quick and they can also be easy to use once your pet gets used to them.
How to Cut My Dog’s Nails?
Let’s now get to the process of cutting your dog’s nails. Don’t be afraid of trying this yourself. As long as you have the right tools and exercise appropriate caution, you will not harm your precious pet.
Follow the tips below so you can safely trim your dog’s nails.
Step 1: Gather Your Tools
Start by gathering the tools you will need to trim your dog’s nails. You will only really need the appropriate nail clippers, but you can also get a flashlight so you can see where you’re cutting. Getting some treats is also a good idea because you can use them to soothe your dog.
Step 2: Get the Nail Ready
Next, grab your pet’s paw and place your thumb under the toe pad. Your index finger should be on top of the nail.
You can now use your thumb to gently press on the toe pad to expose the nail. Get any fur out of the way so only the nail is exposed.
Step 3: Determine Where to Cut the Nail
To continue the process, you now have to figure out where to cut the nail.
White dog nails are easier to cut because you just have to avoid the pink portion. If you cut into that pink portion, which is known as the quick, your dog will bleed. You can also use the flashlight to spot where the quick is.
Trimming dark dog nails is harder because the quick is not very visible. To get around that problem, you can just trim the nail bit by bit until you see something chalky. That chalky portion is the quick.
Step 4: Make Angled Cuts
You can now start trimming your dog’s nail. Try to cut from a 45-degree angle to create a rounded nail. Start with smaller cuts and keep going until you get close to the quick.
How Do You Grind a Dog’s Nails?
Grinding a dog’s nails is very similar to trimming. You want to start by isolating the nail. You should also push away all the hair close to it.
From there, simply start grinding from the tip of the nail and work your way up. Only grind small bits in one go then check on the nail to make sure the quick is intact. Continue grinding until the nail has been sufficiently trimmed.
When to Cut My Dog’s Nails?
Dog nails grow at different rates. In some cases, a dog’s nails may already be a bit on the long side after just two weeks. Meanwhile, other dogs have nails that only become noticeably long after two months.
To figure out the right time to trim your dog’s nails, you need to listen closely. If you start hearing your dog’s nails clanking on the floor, take that as a sign that they already need to be trimmed.
You can also check your dog’s nails weekly to see if they are starting to get long. Be proactive when cutting your dog’s nails because overly long nails can cause them significant discomfort.