If your dog doesn't spend a lot of time exploring the great outdoors, it could have a problem with long nails. Dogs that dig outside tend to file down their own nails. However, indoor dogs need help from their human companions. If you're hearing the clicking sound of nails on your tile, or your dog keeps getting its nails caught in the carpeting, it's time to give them a trim. Here are some tips that will help take the work out of trimming your dog's nails.
Start While They're Young
If you've got a puppy, now's the time to get it used to having its nails trimmed. Start by spending a few minutes each day massaging your puppy's feet. Once it's used to having its feet massaged, move on to massaging its nails. Gently press one pad to bring the nail out further. Spending time getting your puppy used to having its nails pressed and touched will take some of the nervousness away once you start trimming.
When it comes to caring for your dog's nails, one of the most important things you can do is limit the growth. If your dog spends most of its time indoors, you should trim its nails at least once a month. This will help keep the nails a short, manageable length. If your dog spends time outside, you can trim its nails about once every six weeks. A good rule of thumb is to trim your dog's nails as soon as you can hear them clicking in the tile.
Take it Slow
If you're new to trimming your dog's nails, you should take it slowly. Begin by locating the portion of the nail that should be trimmed, which is the white portion of the nail. You don't want to trim into the pink portion of the nail, or your dog could experience pain and bleeding. The pink portion – or the quick – contains blood vessels and nerve endings. Slowly trim each nail. If your dog becomes agitated, try working in shifts by trimming one paw a day until all the nails are trimmed.
See the Vet
Most dogs won't have problems with their nails. However, occasionally, your dog may develop a problem that will require veterinary care. If your dog has developed an ingrown nail that is growing into the pads or has torn a nail loose in the carpeting – and the bleeding won't stop – you should contact a veterinarian, like Berlin Township Animal Hospital, as soon as possible.