Is it necessary to trim your dog’s nails?
Yes. If the nails get too long, there will be a constant pressure on the dog’s feet and paws and this can result in a painful position of the feet. It’s wise to trim the nails in time. Nails that are too long are painful to walk on and cause the dog to cramp or limp. An inflammation of the toes also can’t be ignored. Therefore it is important that you keep a close eye on whether the nails become too long.
What do you need?
- Special nail scissors for dogs
- Possibly dog nail file
- Alum stick or alum powder (to stop any bleeding)
- Lots of goodies
How do you know if nails are too long?
If the nails touch the ground, they are too long on most dogs. The thumb rule is that you should be able to slide a sheet of paper under the nails without resistance. Again, with some (older) dogs, the feet are slightly saggy and this does not work 100%.
Nails wear out depending on the surface you walk on. Dogs that walk a lot on hard roads/surfaces generally need a trim less often.
While nail care is a primary groomer’s job, a dog’s nails are also clipped in the vet’s office. For extremely anxious dogs, nails are sometimes clipped under anaesthesia.
Clipping nails for your dog: step by step
Clipping nails is the least popular part of grooming for both – the dog and the groomer. This has little to do with experiences you’ve had. Just try holding any dog’s foot for a minute. Even if nothing bad happens, resistance will definitely follow.
It would be ideal if you let your dog get used to clipping its nails from an early age. Unfortunately, most people find out later in life that the dog is afraid of the nail clippers.
How do you get it done then?
You teach your dog step by step that clipping nails is not scary. This is done in very small steps and that requires a lot of time and patience. For example;
- Show the nail clippers , your dog looks at it, but does not experience stress or fear yet -> reward with treats
- Let the dog sniff the nail clippers , your dog looks at it, but does not experience any stress or anxiety yet -> reward with treats
- Just touch your dog’s paw , your dog is not experiencing stress or fear yet -> reward with treats
- Put your hand on your dog’s paw , your dog is not experiencing stress or fear yet -> reward with treats
- Hold your dog’s paw for a while , your dog is okay with it and does not experience stress or fear yet -> reward with treats
- Hold your dog’s paw a little longer with nail clippers in sight , your dog looks at it, but does not experience any stress or anxiety yet -> reward with treats
- You only start cutting once the previous steps have been taken.
Acclimating your dog to nail trimming is done in small steps. It is best to spread this over several training sessions. Don’t expect the training to work after 5 minutes. Sometimes you need to take a step back to make sure your dog doesn’t experience any stress while clipping its nails. Take the time to carry out the training properly, then you can reap the benefits later.
Can you cut a dog’s nails too short?
You cannot cut your dog’s nails shorter than 2 mm. Also remember that dogs need their nails. Nails give grip when standing, walking and running and digging. After clipping the nails, have your dog stand on 4 legs for a while to see if the nails touch the ground. If you can slide a sheet of paper under it, it’s short enough.
You may consider opting for Pet Insurance!
Accidents and emergencies happen and being prepared is a crucial step in being a responsible pet owner. A pet insurance policy is something every dog parent should have. You can call our team at Toffee at +91 9389 9389 38 if you would like to know more about buying a Pet Insurance policy for your Dog.