Not every four-legged pet can easily endure the process of clipping claws. Most dogs feel uncomfortable and try to avoid this procedure in every possible way. But the owner must understand that if the dog does not spend most of its time on the street, then claws cannot be cut off.
- Why cut claws for dogs
- How to train your dog to cut its claws
- How often do you need to trim your dog’s nails?
- How to trim your nails correctly
- First aid for injuries
Most hosts prefer going to a specialized clinic. There is an opinion that it is impossible to perform the procedure on your own and you should only trust a veterinarian.
In fact, the situation is somewhat different. Any owner can easily trim the claws of his pet himself. To do this, you just need to familiarize yourself with the theory, get the right tool and practice a little.
Why cut claws for dogs
Long gone are the dogs that daily accompanied their owner on hunting, pasture and long walks.
Most urban animals go out for a walk only for a short time. And the main part of the day lies on cozy mats, comfortable armchairs and sofas, and smooth parquet or laminate does not contribute to grinding the claws to a physiologically correct state.
As a result, the claws continue to grow back and after a short time they begin:
- Cause discomfort when driving. Due to the strongly regrown claws, the dog puts its paw incorrectly, trying to weaken the pain. This causes curvature of the joints, uneven load on the musculoskeletal system. Gradually, the gait of the animal forms an irregular one, running becomes difficult;
- It’s no secret for owners that dogs have a 5th toe on their hind legs. Some immediately remove it even as a puppy. And many leave and do not attach importance to the fact that the growing claw should be trimmed. Otherwise, it grows back and begins to cling to bedspreads or capes. And when walking, it causes discomfort. In some cases, when running or moving quickly, the claw clings to objects. As a result, the dog can tear soft tissues or severely break off the claw;
- In some cases, strongly grown claws can grow in and cause additional pain and discomfort to the four-legged pet;
- Stress and misunderstanding. Strongly grown claws make loud noises when the dog moves on laminate, parquet or other covering. This creates particular discomfort at night, and the owner can not restrain himself and scold the four-legged pet, who simply went to the bowl to drink.
It is important: Experts recommend consulting your veterinarian before attempting to trim your nails. A specialist will help you determine the optimal length and tell you how to correctly perform the procedure.
How to train your dog to cut its claws
Experienced dog handlers and veterinarians claim that there is no difficulty in the procedure itself. A much more serious test for the owner’s nervous system is training the dog to it. Not every pet is ready to calmly respond to this manipulation. Therefore, the training process is of great importance.
Cynologists recommend getting down to business only in a calm state. If the owner is excited, nervous or angry, then his mood is transmitted to the dog with lightning speed. The dog does not understand what this state is connected with, but it becomes unbalanced, refuses to sit still, pulls its paw out of its hands, and it will be very difficult to cut its claws.
It should be taught gradually. This is the basic principle. If the dog is calm and relaxed, then you should take his paw and, after trying on, trim one claw. Do not insist and force. If everything is done correctly, then the pet will not even be on the alert. Praise generously and trim off another claw the next day.
A somewhat different situation arises if you become the owner of an adult animal, which begins to get nervous at the sight of a claw cutter and flatly refuses to give a paw.
In this case, veterinarians recommend acting according to a specific algorithm:
- Prepare the tool and let the animal sniff it. After that, put everything in the box;
- When the type of claw cutter, nail file and other devices ceases to irritate the animal, it should proceed to the next phase;
- Teach your pet to give a paw on command and then touch it with a claw cutter. The dog must get used to the idea that there is nothing wrong with this procedure;
- Immediately before cutting, you should sterilize the tool, clean your hands and examine the dog’s paws;
- If the pet is sitting quietly, then it is necessary to trim one claw. It is important not to cause him pain and discomfort. After it is necessary to give a treat and praise;
The next day, the procedure is also repeated with one claw.
It is important: The entire manipulation of trimming claws on 4 paws will initially take a lot of time. But as soon as the animal gets used to it, it will be possible to do it in one go.
How often do you need to trim your dog’s nails?
Veterinarians do not give a clear answer to this question. The frequency of the procedure directly depends on the dog’s lifestyle, as well as on the surface on which he moves.
If a four-legged pet lives in the comfortable conditions of an apartment, walks on a tray and moves only on parquet or laminate, then claws must be cut quite often. And if the dog leads an active lifestyle, spends a lot of time in the yard, walks and accompanies its owner everywhere, then the procedure should be performed much less often. After all, the claws are grinded in a natural way and only sometimes there is a need to make a correction.
Veterinarians remind that there are blood vessels inside the claw. The longer the claw grows, the longer the blood vessel will be. Therefore, it is so important for the owner not to allow it to grow to excessive length. In this case, it will no longer be possible to adjust the length without the risk of damaging the vessel. This is directly associated with pain and discomfort for the pet.
Cynologists recommend refusing to use classic scissors or nippers when correcting claws.
In a veterinary pharmacy or specialty store, you should purchase a tool called a claw cutter. With one click, it is possible to cut the required length without the risk of damage to the claw or its splitting. The size of the tool should be selected according to the breed of the dog.
Currently, on the shelves of veterinary pharmacies and specialized stores, you can find only two types of claws:
- Scissors. This design has two blades, one of which is bent into a hook, and two handles. Some models are equipped with a limiter;
- Guillotine. The models differ in one plate, in which a hole for the claw is provided, and also equipped with a lever handle.
It is important: Also in your arsenal you should have a nail file with which you can file a claw. And also small scissors with rounded edges to remove hair between the toes.
How to trim your nails correctly
In order for the claw cutting procedure to pass for the pet with minimal discomfort, the owner should remember a few rules:
- Preliminary examination of the paws. The presence of cracks, wounds, damage to the pads, or splitting of the claw indicate the need to visit a veterinarian to prescribe a course of treatment;
- Black claws are the most difficult option to trim. Light or beige ones allow you to see the pulp and greatly facilitate the procedure. The pulp is a darkened area containing blood vessels;
- Place your pet’s paw on the floor. The claw cutter should be at an angle of 450 and not reach 1-1.5 mm to the beginning of the pulp. The maximum cutting step is no more than 0.5 cm;
- For animals with black nails, the procedure will have to be performed very carefully and no more than 0.5 cm for each cut. When lighter areas of the claw appear, you should stop.
It is important: In some cases, a groove located on the lateral surface can serve as a guideline for the approximate location of the pulp in an animal with black claws. Veterinarians recommend focusing on it and trimming it carefully, leaving the claw slightly longer.
First aid for injuries
Even experienced owners may experience a situation where pruning becomes stressful. This may be due to a huge number of factors, ranging from a blunt instrument to a sharp sound outside the window, which frightened the pet.
It is important to remain calm and have a clear idea of the sequence of actions in the event of an injury.
If the trim is too short, there is a high risk of damaging a large number of blood vessels. In this case, there is profuse bleeding and severe pain;
It is the owner’s job to stop the bleeding and calm the dog down. Try to distract your pet. Do not shout at him, because the animal is in severe pain;
Using a brilliant green, alcoholic iodine solution or other alcohol-containing antiseptics will only increase the pain. Therefore, many breeders prefer to treat open wounds with antiseptic powder.
Perhaps our article will be useful to you: Home veterinary first aid kit for a dog
It is important: If there is an injury, and there are no necessary medications in the first-aid kit, then experts advise to stop the bleeding with the help of flour.
Undermining the claw
This situation arises in the case of unsure actions of the owner. The slow squeezing of the claw by the owner, combined with a sharp jerk of the paw at the time of manipulation, can lead to a disastrous result.
As a result, the claw is caught in the instrument and the skin and soft tissues are torn. The owner should:
- Remember that this is very painful for a four-legged pet. Therefore, he will try to break free and run away;
- The injured limb should be tied with gauze or a tourniquet around the metatarsus;
Raise the limb up to stop bleeding;
- Apply cold to the injured paw. This can be an ice pack, food or fruit from the freezer;
- Open lesions should be treated with lidocaine. In its absence, this drug can be replaced with novocaine;
- If the wound is too large or it is necessary to suture the gap, then you should immediately seek help from your veterinarian.
It is important: Before putting yo or frozen foods from the freezer, they should be placed in a bag and then wrapped in a towel or cloth. This will help prevent hypothermia. Also, do not hold the cold on the injured limb for a long time to avoid frostbite.
The owner should remember that if an injury occurs, the dog must be left alone and not to continue the claw trimming procedure for a period of 5-10 days.