Q:

How do you cut a dog's nails?

A:

Quick Answer

Trimming a dog’s nails requires a trimmer with sharp blades and patience, even when dealing with a dog you have raised and trained yourself. Buy trimmers that are the right size for the dog and can be sharpened. Have first-aid supplies, including paper towels and styptic powder, on hand in case of bleeding.

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Full Answer

  1. Relax your dog

    Relax with your dog before trying to trim its nails. Avoid sharp smells, loud noises including yelling, grabbing and pinning. Brushing, belly rubs and other petting help both of you stay calm and develop patience.

  2. Sharpen the trimmer, then cut carefully

    Sharpen your trimmer in advance. Once your dog accepts trimming, expose one nail and find the quick. Trim quickly and carefully, watching the color of the inside of the nail. Once it starts to turn black, it’s trimmed. Repeat until you have trimmed all of the dog’s nails, or the dog refuses. It’s healthier for you and the dog to trim just a few nails at a time rather than have nail trimming lead to a bite.

  3. Treat damage to the quick

    In the event you cut the quick of one of your dog’s nails, be soothing and comforting. Apply pressure to the damaged quick with a clean paper towel to staunch the bleeding, then seal the injury with styptic powder. The nail may stay sore for about a day. Be gentle, and reward your dog.

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