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Tips and Tricks for Trimming Your Pet’s Toenails

September 25, 2018

Tips and Tricks for Trimming Your Pet’s Toenails

Must-know dog and cat nail trimming tips 


How to trim dog nails and cat claws easily and safely

The most common reason for avoiding nail trims is worrying about ‘quicking’ the dog or cat. This means that you’re anxious about hurting your pet by cutting the nail too short.

Another very common reason that pet owners avoid cutting their dog or cat’s nails themselves is that their pet fusses. This creates a stressful situation for both the owner and their pet.

Some owners dread trimming their pet’s nails so much that they resort to paying for a professional to do it instead. 

The problem with this is that it can become very expensive - especially when you consider that your pet may need regular nail trimming sessions for the rest of their life.


Trimming a dog’s nails at home

Dogs usually need their nails trimmed every 3-4 weeks. Outdoor cats will usually be able to wear down their nails without intervention, but indoor cats (especially older cats and those with health problems) may need you to maintain their nails for them.

The good news is that it is perfectly possible to safely cut your cat or dog’s claws with very little stress or hassle. 

As you get more confident and your pet gets more used to these nail trimming sessions, you might even find it a welcome opportunity to spend some quality time with your dog or cat (trust us - it’s possible!).


Our top tips for cat and dog nail trimming

Here are our favorite tips and tricks for trimming your pet's toenails. Read on to learn how to trim dog and cat nails with ease!

1. Trim your pet's nails outside or in a well-lit room. It’s vital you have good light and can see well whilst cutting your pet’s nails. You’ll want to look closely and make sure that you are only going to cut the ‘dead’ part of the nail, which has no sensation.

2. If you need glasses for reading, use them for toenail clipping too. Similarly, short-sighted pet owners should make sure they wear their glasses (and that their prescription is up to date, if they have one!).

3. Consider your pet’s breed and coloring.It’s actually easier to see the nail structures on pigmented nails than on white ones. That means you’ll need to be especially careful if your dog or cat has white nails. 

On dark nails, the insensitive part of the claw will be marked out by a chalky ring that surrounds the sensitive quick.

4. Remember to stay parallel. Always keep clipper blades almost parallel to the nail. Never cut across the finger.

5. No toe squeezing!This one is pretty self-explanatory. Don’t squeeze the toes – that hurts!

6. Separate the toes.Use your fingers to separate the toes for clipping and hold the paw gently.

7. Don’t panic! None of us want to do anything to hurt our pets. However, despite our best efforts, occasionally accidents do happen.

Remember, no dog or cat ever died from a quicked toenail - so do your best to stay calm if this happens. If you ‘quick’ your pet accidentally, give a yummy treat right away to help distract them.

The treat will help to prevent them from developing a negative association with having their nails trimmed too. 

8. Make nail trimming fun. Do all you can to ensure that your pet associates having their nails trimmed with positive experiences. This can include praise, cuddles, stroking, and treats.

You can also do the nail trimming around the same time as they do an activity they really enjoy - for example, going for a walk to their favorite location, or playing a game outside.

This will help your dog or cat to see having their nails cut as positive, rather than frightening or irritating.

9. Choose your tools carefully. If you are going to trim your dog or cat’s claws at home yourself, it’s absolutely essential that you have the right tools to do so.
Poor-quality pet nail trimmers may break or rust, which could cause a hazard for your pet.
Old and blunt clippers may also be dangerous. If the blades aren’t sharp enough you will not be able to get a clean cut. This could tear the nail and leave jagged edges. 
The blades are also more likely to slip, as you will have to put more pressure on them to get them to cut through the nail. This may cause you to accidentally ‘quick’ your pet or even harm another part of their body. 
It is also not advisable to use nail trimmers designed for humans. They are unlikely to be strong enough to cut through your pet’s nails effectively, and they may also split or crack your dog or cat’s nails.
A good-quality pair of pet nail trimmers should be safe, reliable, and easy to use.

DakPets Dog and Cat Nail Trimmers have a veterinarian-approved inbuilt nail guard for complete peace of mind. They also feature a high-quality rustproof blade which is exceptionally durable, as well as an ergonomic easy-grip handle that gives you complete control throughout use.
You can grab your own DakPets Nail Trimmers here - and finally start cutting your pet’s nails with confidence. 

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