Nail trimming is an important part of a healthy personal maintenance routine for your pet. Nail trimming can be done by a vet, groomer, or even done at home. Nails trimming can be done more or less than average depending on your pet’s age. Being active helps with keeping nails trim naturally.

As pets get older, slow down, and become less active, they may need their nails trimmed more often. While your pets’ nails can be trimmed by a professional vet or groomer, it is possible to do them yourself at home too. If this is something you are interested in, continue reading for pet nail trimming FAQs.

As nails grow, they curl. This may lead your cat or dog in having difficulty walking as their nails grow towards their paw pads. In extreme cases, their nails may puncture their paw pads which can potentially lead to infections and other serious health problems.

Walking with nails that are too long can also be very uncomfortable for your pet. If you hear your dog’s nails clicking on the ground, this may be a clear indication that they need to be trimmed.

Generally speaking, cutting your pet’s nails around once every month is a good routine. When giving your pet a nail trim, it is important to not cut the quick of the nail. The quick is a vein inside the nail.  Cutting this is very painful and can harm your pet and can cause bleeding. If your dog has clear or white nails, you can clearly see where that vein ends. It will look like a pink shadow. You may trim up to just before the part of the quick begins. For dogs with black nails, the best method is to trim the nails little by little and regularly.

The quick grows as the toenail does. Cutting your pet’s nails regularly also helps ensure the quick will not grow too long. Waiting too long in-between nail trims makes it difficult to trim the nails without the possibility of getting to the quick. If you are nervous about this or your pet has not had their nails trimmed in a long time, going to a professional may be the best option.

Typical pet nail trimming FAQs from pet owners wanting to trim their pet’s nails inevitably include questions about what kind of tools are needed for trimming. Special clippers shaped to suit your pet’s nails are required. These are nail clippers designed for your pets’ unique claw or nail shape. Nail clippers for humans are designed differently and are for flat nails.

Your dog or cat’s nails are not flat and require a different shaped tool. Pet nail clippers come in different sizes and styles for different sizes and types of dogs. Smaller dogs and puppies’ nail clippers come in the form of nail scissors. For larger dogs, you will need stronger, thicker tools for the job.

If you are nervous, your pet may sense it and may become nervous as well. It is important to stay calm and collected and talk to your dog during the trimming and potentially reward your pet’s good behaviour with treats after. Nail trimming can be a stressful time for your pet and it is normal for pets to not enjoy getting their nails trimmed. Many pets do not like their paws being touched and can become skittish especially if they have had a previous bad experience with a nail trimming job.

If you are trimming your pet’s nails for the first time, have styptic powder on hand. In the event you do happen to accidentally cut the quick, dip the nail into the styptic powder to stop the bleeding. Styptic powder coagulates the blood and stops the flow. It creates a clog at the bottom of the blood vessel, preventing bacteria from entering and causing infection.