The sight of dogs and cats going completely ballistic during a simple nail trim is quite disturbing and surprisingly way too common. Unfortunately, many owners seem especially afraid to even attempt trimming their pet’s nails themselves.
There are several benefits to trimming your own pet’s nails and it can even improve the bond you share. By beginning the process early, educating yourself and following the tips below you will not only save time and money but also prevent your pet from developing the behavioral issues that can turn a nail trim into a complete nightmare for everyone involved
- Even if you decide to have your vet trim your pet’s nails it is still recommended to start handling and touching your pet’s paws immediately upon bringing them into your home. This helps them remain calm and comfortable during the process making it much easier to trim.
- Select the appropriate style and size of nail trimmers and file specific to your pet.
- Choose an open area in your home that your pet is most comfortable in.
- Make sure your pet is relaxed and that you talk to them throughout the entire process for comfort.
- Always keep styptic powder nearby and ready to use in case the nail starts to bleed.
- Until you are comfortable on your own it is recommended to have a second person with you to help restrain your pet so you can focus on the trimming.
- Do not let your pet watch you trim as they will become more curious or even fearful of the sight and sound. In fact you might even notice that your pet is calmer while you trim the back paws. This is because they have less of a view and are further away from the noise.
- Before you attempt to trim make sure you can properly identify the quick, or end of the vein, on your pets paw. Since the quick is a pinkish color you can easily see it on light colored nails but with dark colored nails it can be challenging because you must slowly trim each nail until you locate it. If you cannot find the quick ask your vet before you start.
- Begin by slowly trimming each nail just before the quick. If the nail seems dry and/or split be extremely careful while trimming or use a nail file instead.
- If you accidentally cut too far the nail will bleed. Do not panic. If you get nervous your pet will sense it so relax and calmly pack the area with styptic powder and make sure to keep your pet confined until it stops bleeding completely. Failure to do this will result in your pet tracking blood throughout your home creating an absolutely frightful looking crime scene.
- Typically you should trim your pets nails at least once a month but this will vary depending on what type of surface your pet walks on and how often.
- When you have successfully finished trimming do not forget to praise and/or reward your pet and yourself for a job well done.