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How to clip a dog's nails.

First time you do it I would recommend that a vet or vet nurse shows you how. It is not something to do if you are hesitant or unsure.

Get someone to restrain the dog well for you – remember even placid dogs can bite in fear/pain so if you think your dog could be
unpredictable ask the restrainer to hold the dogs head firmly or slip on a muzzle.

Use a decent pair of clippers and have some cotton wool and a Styptic pencil handy just in case. Trim the nail confidently and quickly level with the pad as you hold
the paw in a natural position. Trim the nail a tiny bit first if you are worried and gradually increase the amount you trim. There is a large quick in each nail – you can see it easily with white nails – it's the pink area – but black nails you have to use an educated guess. The quick is a collection of blood vessels and nerves. If you cut into it you will cause pain for the dog and it will bleed a lot. To stem the bleed apply direct pressure with cotton wool then use the Styptic pencil to stop the bleeding. Remember the pencil will stain anything from hands to clothes to the floor and it takes forever to get rid of the marks. Cut quicks will upset the dog and he/she will not forget it and may play up each time there after so
it's really important to get it right which is why I recommend being shown in person first.

Nails are worn down more by walking on hard ground. You can file a dogs nails using an emery board which is less intrusive and most dogs don't mind – although this only takes a bit off and smoothes the nail. Always remember to do the dew claws as these do not come into contact with the ground so are the most important nails to trim. Talk to your dog and don't rush the job. Treats and gentle encouragement will help to reassure your dog.

Most vets charge around £15 if vets clip nails if vet nurses do it then the charge is around £5.

How often to trim depends on your dog and what ground your dog mostly exercises on. Most dogs though need a nail trim every 3 months or so. Some never need it.

I hope this guide helps.

supplied by Jenny Ahearne,
Veterinary Nurse see http://www.vetpro.co.uk


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