Everything You Need to Know About Clipping Dog Nails

The dog's claws/nails grow, much like our own, so they must occasionally be trimmed. When trimming the nails, it can be difficult for certain dogs since their nails are translucent, while others have black nails. Additionally, it varies greatly from dog to dog because some dogs' nails develop more quickly than others.

How are dog's nails/claws structured?

A dog's nail consists of various components:

  • Nail plate: This is the visible portion of the nail that protrudes past the toe. It is formed of keratin, a tough protein.
  • Nail bed: Underneath the nail plate is the skin. Due to the existence of blood vessels, it is the area that is pink in hue.
  • The quick: This is the nerve and blood vessel that pass through the nail's middle. It is in charge of giving the nail food and giving the nail bed its pink hue.
  • The nail fold: This is the skin that envelops the nail's base and aids in holding the nail in place is known as the nail fold.
  • The nail matrix: This is the area of the nail where new nail cells are generated. Under the skin, it is found at the nail's base.
  • The dewclaw (wolf claw): This is a nail that is higher up on the leg and does not make contact with the ground as the dog walks. Some dogs have dewclaws on their front legs, while others have them on their back legs. 

How often should the nails be cut?

As previously stated, how the nails wear out and how quickly they grow varies from dog to dog. There is no rule of thumb that says you must cut your dog's nails once a month, for example; you must keep an eye on yourself and know how the dog wears them out. Does the dog prefer to walk on grass if it lives on a farm, or does it prefer to walk on asphalt if it lives in the city?

However, you must keep in mind that the dew claw/wolf claw/wild claw does not wear out like the other nails.When the dog walks or runs, the dewclaw does not come into contact with the ground because it is not a functional digit. The dewclaw is more prominent and well-developed in some breeds, while it is smaller and less noticeable in others.

Dewclaws may be surgically removed in some cases, either as part of the dog's spaying or neutering procedure or as a separate procedure. This is usually done for cosmetic reasons or to keep the dewclaw from getting caught on something and injuring the dog. Some argue that removing the dewclaw can help prevent inherited health problems like hip dysplasia. Others, however, believe that dewclaws serve a purpose and should be retained. There is some debate about the benefits and drawbacks of dewclaw removal, and the decision to have the procedure done is ultimately up to the owner.

How are the nails cut?

The best tools are always at the disposal of the veterinarian, but if you decide to do it yourself, make sure to choose nail clippers that won't fray the nail. It is crucial to have a nail clipper that matches the size of the dog's nails because there are many sizes available. The nails must be trimmed so that they are flat against the surface. The nerve (the red area) must not be cut since it will bleed and injure the dog.

Veterinarians always know what they're doing, but if you cut off too much by accident, it's crucial to have a solution that can be used to stop the bleeding. Preferably, this situation should be avoided.

Some dogs dislike having their paws touched, which is why it's a good idea to begin doing so when they're puppies. This will make it easier when the dog gets older and needs its paws clipped. Even if the staff at the animal clinic knows exactly what they are doing, having a dog's nails clipped can be a horrible experience for a dog who does not like it. It can be a very stressful experience for the dog, and in the worst case scenario, it can resemble an assault on the dog if it needs to be held firmly. 

A dog may dislike having their paws handled for a variety of reasons. Some dogs' paws may be sensitive or ticklish, while others may be anxious or fearful of being touched. Some dogs may associate having their paws handled with unpleasant experiences, such as having their nails trimmed or suffering a paw injury.

If your dog dislikes having their paws touched, be patient and gentle when attempting to touch their paws. Starting with very brief and light touches and gradually increasing the duration and intensity of the touch over time may be beneficial. You can also try rewarding your dog for allowing you to touch their paws, which can help create a positive association with the experience. If your dog remains anxious or resistant to having their paws handled, it may be beneficial to seek the help of a veterinarian or a professional dog trainer who can help you work through the problem.

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