Pet Tips

Clipping Dog Nails and Cat Nails – Pet tip 184

Did you know that it is recommended that you clip your dog’s or cat’s nails every 3 to 4 weeks? Feeling like a neglectful owner now? Don’t feel too bad; most of us seem to forget about our pet’s nails until they become impossible to miss. Here are three things that you can take away from this article that will stop you from unconsciously putting off nail trimming until it has become an overwhelming task.

1) Nail trimming is not painful for your dog or cat; make it fun!
This is an important frame of mind to keep when trimming your pet’s nails. Your pet is finely in tune with your emotions, if you are stressed your pet will be stressed as well. A stressed pet is not an easy candidate for nail trimming and will make your job a lot harder by pulling their paws away. They may try to get away from you, hide, and possibly bite or scratch you because they are so scared. To prevent your pet from acting this way, trim their nails regularly from a young age. Be sure to talk gently to them and reward them with treats for behaving. When their nails are all done, make a huge fuss over your baby and tell them what a good boy/girl they were.

2) Don’t make more work for yourself; get a good sharp pair of trimmers.
The difference between a dull pair of clippers and a sharp pair is just mind-boggling. You really would be surprised at how much easier it is to clip nails with sharp scissors or guillotine style clippers than dull ones. So, why make more work for yourself when it can easily be prevented? If your trimmers are dull and need to be sharpened, do it, or buy a new pair. Do not try to cut nails with dull scissors – they can pinch the nail causing unnecessary discomfort. One bad experience is often enough to cause your pet to be afraid of nail trimming, and next time you may have quite the struggle on your hands.

3) Do not be afraid, a mistake is easily corrected.
Many pet owners are afraid that they might cut the nail too far and cause their pet to bleed. It’s scary, especially the first time it happens, but it isn’t enough to stop you from cutting your pet’s nails. For those who are concerned about this, purchase some styptic powder to stop the bleeding. There are other products available as well that will quickly stop bleeding, and your pet will be just fine. Learn from your mistakes, and have comfort in knowing that even veterinarians who have clipped thousands upon thousands of nails still cut into the quick (red vein in the nail) occasionally and cause bleeding. It is nothing to be ashamed or afraid of.

Keep these three things in mind and you should feel more comfortable trimming your pet’s nails. If you are a rookie at nail trimming, it makes sense to ask your veterinarian or a groomer for a demo. Though it may seem like a trivial thing to do, this regular nail trimming every 3 to 4 weeks will keep your dog or cat vastly more comfortable. What happens when their nails get too long is that they get in the way when the dog or cat is walking, eventually becoming awkward and very painful for them. Additionally, long nails are more likely to split than short trimmed nails and this causes a lot of pain for your pet. In extreme cases, the nails can also curl and grow up into the pad of the paw. Imagine your own fingernail growing into your hand. If this happens to your pet it is very serious and extremely painful. By regular clipping or trimming, these things are easily prevented, and also give you additional bonding time with your pet.

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