How to Trim Overgrown Dog Nails
Look, it happens, I know! You have every intention of trimming your dog’s nails weekly, but other things pop up and proper dog grooming chores can get put off. And soon, you look down and notice long, curved daggers sticking out from your dog’s paw. Well, it’s time to address your dog’s long nails. Overgrown dog nails are extremely painful for your dog and it will only get worse if you don’t trim them soon.
Dog nails become overgrown for two reasons: dogs hate having their nails trimmed or the pet owners haven’t trimmed them.
If Your Dog Hates Nail Trims
If your dog hates nail trims, then check out this series on teaching dogs to tolerate nail trims. And if it seems daunting to trim your pet’s nails, imagine being a zookeeper faced with trimming a large carnivorous cat’s nails. Big cat or small dog, nails must be trimmed. And if a zookeeper can train a leopard to offer his paws for trimming, you can teach your dog not to fear it. It just takes time.
Please don’t force your dog to endure this process. It will only worsen his fear, which makes it more difficult the next time you trim his nails. Practice each dog nail trimming session with lots of rewards. Within a week, you’ll be clipping your dog’s nails back.
If You Just Haven’t Trimmed Them
Grab lots of super yummy treats or smear peanut butter inside a heavy plate. Now, grab your dog nail clippers and septic powder. Plan to clip your dog’s nails back during your first session. If you trim too much nail, then you’ll end up quicking them (bleeding). And know, quicking your dog’s nails is extremely painful and will cause him to hate nail trims.
When trimming dog nails, look for the hollow area (usually at the tip) under your dog’s nail. If it’s hollow underneath, then you can trim this portion off. When viewing your dog’s nail underneath, you’ll notice a gray gummy substance. This is the quick. Never trim the quick. By trimming the hollow part, the gummy substance (quick) will recede back toward the paw.
Create a Schedule
Your goal is to trim your dog’s nails to an acceptable length, which means nails don’t touch the ground when your dog is standing. For overgrown dog nails, you’ll need to clip long nails weekly. This gives the quick time to recede toward the paw.
Once your dog’s nails are finally at an acceptable length, keep trimming back his nails on a weekly basis. If you skip a week or two, your dog’s nails will start touching the ground. Dog nails grow quickly, so weekly maintenance is needed.
Make It Fun
This is so important. Give your dog lots of treats before and after trimming his nails. I literally give my dog a treat as I reach for his foot, and then another yummy treat after I trim a nail. Basically, you can’t reward this behavior enough!
Say no to tick tick nails clacking on your hardwood floors forever. Trim your dog’s nails weekly!