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Trimming Your Dogs Toenails.

How to Properly Trim Your Dogs Toenails.

Trimming your dogs toenails is a much harder task than people would expect. You have to be very precise, and guard your dog from sudden movements that could cause you to execute the cut incorrectly. Before we go into details, lets break down what a dogs toenail consists of.

What is inside your Dogs Toenail.

dog toenails


Above, the interior structures are shown, along with the suggested angle to remove the “roof” of the nail, while not harming your fluffy friend. On the black claw, the interface between the sensitive and insensitive nail is usually chalky and white. On the right is a close up view of the inside of the nail. On the cross section, the sensitive area will look glossy like human flesh. You should start with the hind feet, because the nails tend to be a little shorter and less sensitive than the front feet. Remember you cannot make an accurate cut on a moving subject- so make sure your dog is steady the whole time you are trying to trim. You should also make nail trimming a happy, painless experience that your dog can look forward to in the future. Give them lots of kisses and treats with a positive attitude.

Consequence of long toenails.

The first consequence of long toenails is painful feet. When your dog’s toenails contact hard ground, like a sidewalk or your kitchen floor, the hard surface pushes the nail back up into the nail bed. This either puts pressure on all the toe joints or forces the toe to twist to the side. Those toes will become very sore and arthritic to the point where the slightest touch is painful to your dog. Cutting toenails short can be like a miracle cure for your dog whose hind end has become painful, weak and over-used.

Tools You’ll Need to Trim Your Dog’s Nails

 1. Dog Nail Clippers – there are several styles of dog nail clippers on the market including a guillotine-style nail clipper (easiest to use, especially for small breeds), pliers-style nail clipper (better for larger breeds), and a scissors-type nail clipper.

2. Dog Treats – having some treats on hand to reward your dog after each nail is a good idea to make the experience more positive, for your dog and for you.

3. Styptic Powder or Other Clotting Powder – just in case you cut too short and there’s bleeding. Miracle Care Kwik Stop stypic powder is one that stops bleeding fast and offers benzocaine. Baking soda, baking flour and cornstarch also work if you’re in a bind.

Steps to Trim Your Dog’s Nails.

Step 1- Handle your dog’s paws often and introduce the nail clippers to them often (without cutting). Use a ton of praise towards your dog and give them delicious treats. Get a quality pair of clippers with a guide that will help you avoid cutting the too deep.dog toenails

Step 2- Hold your dog’s paw firmly but gently. Cut the nail below the line at a 45 degree angle, taking off small amounts of the nail at a time. This is where that guide on the nail clipper is going to come in handy. You can safely cut the nail right to the guide.dog toenails

Step 3- Trim only until you see the white inside of the nail with a small black dot in the center. If you do not see the white, you can cut a bit closer. Be careful though, take a small amount off or you will cut too deep injuring your pet. After cut correctly your dog will have healthy nails for her future walks around the neighborhood. Check and cut your dog’s nail roughly every 3 weeks.

We hope these tips will ensure a smooth process for you and your pooch next time you cut their nails. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, feel free to reach out to us here at Ruffger’s.


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