Vet Buzz: Nail Trimming Tips

By: DogTrekker Staff
Dog with nails that need trimming

By Dr. Lauren Coulson

Keeping your pet’s nails trimmed is more than just a pedicure and to eliminate that annoying clicking on your floors when they walk! If your pet’s nails are not properly trimmed, they can grow back around into the pad and cause infection and be incredibly painful. Also, dogs can easily catch overgrown nails and tear them, leading to pain and possible infection. Lastly, long nails can cause arthritic changes in toes if not properly trimmed.

Owners often want to try to trim nails at home but are nervous about the process. It can be daunting, but with patience and practice, anyone can learn!

First, you need the proper equipment; nail trimmers! There are several different styles and it is really just personal preference.

Be sure to pick the appropriate size for your dog or cat, and that they are sharp. Pet store employees should be able to help you with this process.

Next, your pet should be on a regular schedule to ensure that his or her nails never become overgrown. It is different for every animal and often depends on how active they are. Do their nails get filed down on concrete or are they carried around a lot?

White/clear nails:

trimming dog nails
Photo courtesy: Truro Veterinary Hospital

Approach from the sides and remember the quick (pink blood supply) extends farther than the visible portion. Give yourself extra room. Be conservative at first!

Doggie-Pedi? Photo Credit: S P Photography (CC)

Nail trimming. Photo courtesy: Truro Veterinary Hospital