One of the most basic yet most difficult things that we do for our pets is trimming their nails. So many pets do not enjoy their feet to her toes being touched and it can make for a very stressful time when you need to trim their nails. Most of the time once a month is a good amount of time to go in between nail trims. It will depend on how much your pet is walking on hard surfaces like blacktop or concrete to file the nails down. Here are some tips and pointers on how to make trimming your pet’s nails as stress-free as possible.
The first thing is to start them as young as you possibly can. Start touching their feet whenever you can, holding their foot touching their toes and wiggling their toes so they become accustomed to their feet being messed with. The pet that has never had their feet touched will not like it when you go to try to trim their nails.
Always make touching their feet a good experience. As you’re touching their feet you can give them a treat or give them praise. Never make it a bad experience so that when the time comes to trim their nails they do not become leery.
When you go to actually trim the nails make sure you have a good quality nail trimmer. The guillotine style nail trimmer is not a preferred trimmer for any pet’s nails. Instead of a nice quick cut it can pinch and be uncomfortable for the pet.
Also, when cutting the nails try to have the pet sit as still as possible so you can see what you are doing. If you need to have a second person to help you keep your pet from moving then be sure to do that. You don’t want yourself or the pet becoming too stressed and having it become a bad experience.
In the middle of the nail is the “quick” or the blood supply that goes to the nail. If you cut too far back you can make them bleed. You want to stop just before you get to that spot. You will see a dark spot in the middle of the nail and that is your queue as to when to stop cutting. If you do happen to make them bleed it is okay. There are many home remedies for getting it to stop bleeding, some of which are putting cornstarch on the nail or using a bar of soap and pressing it against the nail or sugar. In the hospital we use a powder called quick stop to get it to stop bleeding.
The biggest thing to remember is to make it a pleasant experience for your pets so they do not become scared. Even if you do not actually trim the nails at home and choose to have it done when they come into the hospital, continue training them at home that having their feet touched can be a rewarding experience.
How to trim nails – Video