May 31 2016

How to Trim your Pet’s Nails

Have you ever tried to trim your pet’s nails? Sometimes it may not be the easiest with some pets so here are some tips for you.

First, remain calm and positive. Pets can sense when someone is nervous. Sometimes trying to figure out how you will be catching your pet, to cut their nails without them finding out what you are doing can be nerve racking, and they can sense that.

Next, know the anatomy of your pet’s nails. Some pet owners get nervous as they do not want to cut the nails too short as they do not want them to bleed. As you see in the diagram, there is a quick in the nails that can bleed if they are cut too short. Sometimes it is harder to see in pets with black nails. The trick to being able to trim nails short without making them bleed is to ensure to push that quick back. Maintenance trimming helps with that along with nail filing.

Starting to handle a pet’s paws when they are young is vital to the ease of handling a pet for their nail trimming as they get older. If you never touch a pet’s paws until they are getting a nail trim by you or the groomer, the pet may tend to fight more. If you make the paw touching a regular, relaxing and rewarding part of their day, then when you go to do their nail trim, the pet may be more willing to give your their paw without a fight. A good time to touch your pet’s paws is when you are cuddling with them. As your petting them, include their paws. Touch them gently, separate the toes, rub the bottom of their pads, and as you are doing this, use positive words, like good boy, etc., and include treats if needed.

Using the right tools for the size of your pet’s nails is important. You do not want to use a large trimmer on a petite pet or tiny nail trimmer on a huge pet. If you are not sure which size is proper, your groomer or vet should be able to help you with this. Having Quick Stop Powder on hand when doing nail trim will help ensure to stop the bleeding if you do end up cutting in to the quick. You apply the powder on the bleeding nail for a few seconds and that should stop the bleeding. The other tool that can sometimes be used on your pet’s nails is a dremmel tool. This will file the nails more rapidly and reduces the chance of bleeding. It is suggested that if you are going to use this tool, that you get your pet familiar with the sound and look of the tool as sometimes it may scare a pet. You can also use a regular small file. Use this on your pet as part of your cuddling /petting session. You can do a few nails at a time during each sitting. This, again will push the nail quick back.

If you do not feel that you can cut your pet’s nails, our professional groomers and veterinary staff would be more than happy to do it for you. They can also teach you how to properly trim the nails yourself if you want them to show you how. Call to schedule (714)771-3261


written by: Susan Lopez from Pet Hospital

pethospo | Pet Wellness

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