Illustration for article titled How To Safely Cut Your Dog's NailsPhoto: Jus_Ol (Shutterstock)

Cutting your dog’s nails is one of the most difficult parts of the grooming process. Your nail beds have a so-called “fast“- Tissue that grows in the nail and connects to nerves and blood vessels – and if you cut too much off the nail, you can cut in the quick and injure your pup.” Plus, not all dogs want their paws treated, which can make the process doubly difficult – but it is necessary, so we’ve put together some expert advice on trimming your dog’s nails without triggering a visit to the vet.

When Should You Cut Your Dog’s Nails?

The dog’s nails grow at different rates depending on the dog, so there is no set time frame. The pet side Daily puppy suggests trimming your dog’s nails once a week or every two weeks. vet Dr. Valerie Patton with the Campus Commons Veterinary Clinic In Sacramento, CA, it is said that the frequency of nail cutting depends on how often the dog’s nails wear while playing. However, if you can hear the dog’s nails clicking the floor as it walks, it is a sign that it is time for a trim.

Expose the nail and identify the quick one

To reiterate (because you wouldn’t want to be without this), a dog’s nails have a hard surface that surrounds an expanse of tissue known as the fast. This tissue is extremely delicate and can bleed quite a lot if punctured. Before cropping, identify the quick access and make sure you don’t cut into it. You also need to leave enough nail intact to surround the quick one as you also don’t want the fabric to be exposed to the elements.

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To accurately access the nail, press down on the pad of your dog’s paw, exposing the full nail for easy nail identification. It’s harder to quickly see if the dog has darker or black nails. In this case, look at the bottom of the nail. “You can see a groove in the nail where the hard nail turns into a softer inner tissue,” says the pet agency Standard poodle owner advises.

If you can’t easily determine where the quickstart begins, Dr. Patton suggests “taking little chunks” over time to make sure you don’t hit him. The faster you can grow further into the nail, the longer you will let your dog’s nails grow, for better or for worse. Trimming your dog’s nails weekly should prevent this growth, she adds.

Bring the right tools and dog grooming treats

Safe nail cutting starts with the right tools. Dr. Patton suggests the type of nail clippers that look like pliers. The clippers should also be sharp – this will allow for a precise cut and reduce the chance of injuring your pet. (She even suggests buying brand new hair clippers as soon as your old ones get bored.)

For dogs who do not sit well during their grooming sessions, create a comfortable environment for them and “bring treats with you,” suggests Dr. Patton in front. Make sure to cut small pieces at a time, especially if your pet is squeamish or fidgety. If you end up feeling uncomfortable on your own, take them to the veterinarian or a professional zoo keeper. Because nothing stings more than accidentally injuring your own dog (although your dog may disagree).