How to Cut Your Puppy’s Nails
Essential dog grooming includes clipping the nails, and it should start when your dog is a puppy. Active dogs that run outside naturally wear the nails to a manageable length, and may not need frequent trimming. But those that spend much of their time inside require monthly or more frequent nail attention.
Why nailcare matters
Overgrown nails can get caught, as well as grow into the tender paw pad if they are too long. Dew claws never reach the ground, but can also catch on everything and nothing, causing your dog unnecessary pain.
When to trim
Nails, at their longest, should not touch the ground. So, if your dog is tip-tapping across a hard, tiled, lino or wooden surface, it’s time to trim.
Nail care equipment
For small puppies, you can use human nail cutters. As your dog matures, you’ll need clippers designed specifically for them. You have three choices:
- Dremel-type grinder
Paw handling socialisation
Touch your pup’s paws in general play, and reward with treats. Next – without clipping – hold the clippers close to each paw, and reward.
How to clip your dog’s toenails
Progress to clipping just the tip of the nails.
Avoid the quick of the nail.
If your dog is especially finnicky, try the slow approach and trim just one nail every evening for two weeks.
Have someone hold your pup’s paws while you trim; this frees you to focus on the clippers and not worry about catching hair or the quick.
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