Nail Trimming on Your Pet: How to Do It Right


A surefire way to get a pet to hate you is to bring out the nail clippers and try to trim their nails while they’re still wiggling around. Trimming nails is an important part of pet care, but it isn’t always the most fun thing in the world!

However, there are some ways that you can make it easier on both you and your pet, which we’ll cover here.

Here’s how to trim your pet’s nails safely and efficiently.


Why trim pet nails?

Trimming your pet’s nails will help prevent them from scratching themselves or family members with their sharp claws. This can lead to skin infections, hair loss, and bleeding.

Also, trimming nails regularly will help make it easier for the vet or groomer when they need to do other things like administer medications or get a good look at the paw pads.

Nails that are long can be difficult for a person with arthritis who has trouble gripping things tightly. They can also cause problems for people with diabetes whose circulation is not what it used to be.

The best time to cut nails is after a bath when they are softest, but you should never cut wet nails because they could splinter and cause pain or infection.

You should always use a nail clipper designed specifically for pets. The clipper should have a guard so you don’t clip too much of the nail away and create an ingrown nail which may lead to infection or discomfort.

It is important to hold the paw gently in one hand while clipping each nail. Keep the clipper blade parallel to the floor as you move around each claw, cutting off just enough so that there is no space between it and the pad.

Be sure not to touch the quick (a vein inside the nail) or press down hard on top of it–you’ll know where this is by seeing a pink area next to white tissue in some cases.


When do you need to trim your pet’s nails?

You should trim your pet’s nails anytime you see the quick (the pink bit that shows near the base of your pet’s nail). If you wait too long, your pet will have painful tears in their paw pads which could lead to infections.

You might be hesitant at first because this process can be uncomfortable for both of you, but it will save you a lot of trouble in the long run.

There are many methods to trim your pet’s nails, but if you are looking for an easy way, there is a product called PediPaws that is specifically designed to safely and effectively cut through the toughest dog and cat nails.

The PediPaws kit includes a specially designed pair of clippers with safety features so they won’t snap and break like regular scissors; as well as an emery board file so you can file down any rough edges left by the clippers.

Once you get comfortable using these tools, you’ll find it’s not only easy but also quite enjoyable to give your pets a manicure! 

What size do I need?

Your pet’s nails grow about 1⁄2 inch per month, so make sure the trimmers are sharp enough to cut through your pet’s nails without being too tight or loose.

If you find yourself struggling, try cutting off just the tip of your pet’s nail instead of cutting them all off at once.


How should you trim your pet’s nails?

It’s important to keep your pet’s nails trimmed, and the best way is by using dog nail clippers. You should get a pair of clippers that are specifically made for trimming dog nails because human nail clippers may not work as well.

When clipping your pup’s nails, make sure you stand in front of them and that you’re holding their paw securely.

The safest way to do this is to wrap one hand around the stomach with the other hand holding their paw with the fingers between the toes so that you can see where you want to cut.

Use your thumb or index finger to push down on top of one nail so it’s easier to see and then use either end of your clipper blade against its underside and press down hard enough so that it cuts through easily.

If needed, use a lubricant such as petroleum jelly or vegetable oil before cutting each nail. To avoid accidents, be careful not to cut too far down the nail or too close to the quick (the pink tissue).

Once you’ve clipped all four paws, wipe away any hair from around the area where you just clipped.


How much does it cost?

If you plan on trimming your pet’s nails at home, purchase a nail trimmer that is made specifically for dogs or cats. You can find some pretty good ones at most pet stores or even big box stores like Target.

Depending on the size of your animal, it might take one or two trimmings before they get used to having their paws handled and become accustomed to it.

Be gentle with them and remember, they’re trusting you to do this so don’t go too fast! 

If your pet won’t allow you to trim their nails at home there are other options. Your vet should be able to help if the situation becomes unbearable or painful for your dog.

Keep in mind though that not all vets will provide this service so make sure when selecting an animal hospital for your pup that it offers these services as well as boarding facilities.


Tips to make nail trimming a positive experience for you and your pet

If you are faced with a situation where you have no other option but to trim your pet’s nails, it is best that the process be as quick and painless as possible.

You may not enjoy this chore, but chances are your pet doesn’t either! Here are some steps for a successful nail trimming experience:

Trim the nails of both front paws at once – since dogs use their front paws for most of their day-to-day actions, such as scratching and digging.

Don’t forget to clean out any debris from under the nail first by using a dog nail brush or toothbrush (or even an old toothbrush).

Use a clipper specifically designed for pets. They’re much safer than human clippers because they don’t cut so close to the sensitive skin around the nails.

Be careful not to clip too close, because if you do, there’s an increased risk of hitting live tissue. A safe rule of thumb is to leave a space between the end of the nail and where you want to cut it. 

This will give your pet enough room to wiggle their toes without having them get in contact with sharp blades. 

Always hold your pet’s paw securely, just like when giving him or her a pedicure. And remember that each foot has four toes, which means you’ll need two strokes per toe (one on each side) before moving on to the next one!

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