Many of us see our dog’s nails get out of control to the point of seeing them have a hard time walking. I for one, have a dachshund, who’s nails grow very quickly, and if left to long will start growing underneath their paw. You do have the option to take them to a groomer who may charge anywhere from $8 to $20 to cut and file their nails. Here are some quick, easy steps to do it yourself.
Guillotine-style scissors are the best in my opinion. They have a hole where the nail is placed. A blade slides up and cuts the nail when you squeeze the handles. Very simple. Word of caution, that if you have big dogs, their nails may not fit, and you will have to use standard scissors. These can be found at most stores besides pet stores.
Have a styptic powder ready to stop the bleeding if you accidentally cut the nail too short and into the quick. Even the best groomer will sometimes cut the nail to close.
Before you start cutting, identify the quick of the nail. The quick contains a blood vessel and nerve so avoid cutting it. If you dog has white, clear or light colored nails it will be easy to see the quick. It will be a pink tube that runs in the nail center. With black or darker nails, you will have to have a good light source to see the color change in the nail. Trimming less is the best start, because you can always clip more later. Cutting to much at first can cause the nail to bleed. Also, be sure and cut at a 45 degree angle.
You can file the nails afterwards with a hand held dremel tool with a sanding attachment, or a file.
While doing it, hold your dog in your lap or laying them on the ground on their side. Always comfort your dog with a soft voice and reassure them that everything is ok. A treat at the end will tell your dog that their nail treatment wasn’t a bad thing after all.