Trimming our pets’ nails is an important part of their hygiene. Keeping their nails’ at an appropriate length will not only help them walk and run around with ease, it will also help them avoid bacterial infection. But when you do it, it has to be with care.
You have to avoid cutting the quick or you will end up giving your dog a bloody paw and a bad experience. This task can be easy if your dog has white nails, but it’s a different story for dogs with black ones.
Looking for the quick in black dog nails is truly challenging because of the color. Even professional groomers may sometimes cut it accidentally, so the only way to avoid it is to cut the nails little by little. It is also important that you use the right tool in doing so.
Tools to Use in Trimming Black Dog Nails
Never ever use scissors in cutting your dog’s nails. Dog nails are too thick to be cut by scissors so doing it might leave the nails cracked or crushed. There are tools intended for cutting your dog’s nails. You just need to find which one works best for you.
1. Guillotine Nail Clippers
These are by far the most recommended nail clippers for dogs especially for small to medium-sized breeds. These should also be used if your dog suffers from arthritis. These tools are similar to a guillotine.
It has a hole where you can put your dog’s nail. When you squeeze the handles, a single blade comes down and does the cutting. Make sure to cut the nails little by little, especially if it is your first time, so as not to cut the quick.
2. Scissor-type Nail Clippers
The scissor-type nail clippers look like what the name suggests. The only difference is the notch found at the tips of the blade and that it was made specially for dogs’ nails.
It is often used for small to medium-sized dogs because of its cutting ability. If you have a bigger dog or your dog’s nail is thicker than usual, it is not suggested.
3. Grinder-Type Clippers
Grinder clippers are the safest to use among the tools, so it is highly recommended to inexperienced pet parents. These work like sandpapers or nail files, so cutting doesn’t happen. Grinder clippers simply polish the nails until you get the length that you want.
It works slowly and safely so you’ll surely avoid cutting the tip. All you have to worry is the heat as it tends to be very hot with continuous use.
Cutting you Black Dog Nails
Upon choosing the right clippers for your dog, the next thing that you have to worry is how you are going to be successful in doing it without causing harm to your dogs. Here are the steps in how to safely cut black dog nails.
1. No matter what tools you are going to use, the first thing that you have to work on is to make your dog feel comfortable. It is also important that he is at ease with you holding his paws. So prior to this, pet your dog regularly and touch his paws.
2. When it is time to cut your dog’s nails, make sure you have everything you need: nail clippers, safety scissors, flashlight (just in case you need it), nail file (for polishing), dog treat and styptic powder. Yes, you need to prepare a styptic powder just in case. If you don’t have any, baking soda, or powdered cornstarch would suffice.
3. Be in a place free of any distractions and with enough lighting. You also have to make sure that the room makes your pet comfortable. Moreover, stay calm from the beginning to end to guarantee your pet that it’s going to be all right.
4. Let your dog be in a comfortable position and slowly hold out its paw. If the paw has fur around it, take it out of the way or cut it using the safety scissors until the nails are clearly exposed.
5. Separate the toes gently. Hold each of the toes firmly but gently with one hand and the clipper on the other hand. Make sure that the blade faces you so it would be easier to define how much of the nail you are cutting.
6. Start cutting your dog’s nails. Since you are dealing with black nails, cut the nail little by little. Normally, a cut will leave a nail with white crumbly nail. If you see it, you may continue cutting the nail.
7. The more you cut, the lesser white crumbly nail you will see. If you see a black spot with a little white surrounding it, that’s the cue for you to stop as it is already a part of the quick.
8. Polish the crumbly part with a nail file. And wrap it up with a treat.
9. In case you accidentally cut the quick and your dog’s paw start bleeding, stay calm and tend it immediately with styptic powder to stop the bleeding and calm you dog.
How often should dog nails trimming be done?
The frequency of trimming your dog’s nails depends on various factors like dog breed, age, lifestyle or health conditions. You can always ask for your vet’s advice on this. If not, make sure that your dog’s nails don’t interfere with its daily activities like walking or running around. Another simple rule is, cut your dog’s nails when they are already touching the floor when they stand.
The dog’s nails are often neglected as they are out of the picture most of the time, and people tend to focus on other visible things like the fur and the condition of their dog.
Without realizing that this simple negligence may lead to something serious in the future. Whatever the color of your dog’s nails are, make sure that you care about them, too and don’t forget to cut them when needed.