Subscribe To Natural Wonder Pets Health Blog for Free!
How To Trim Dog Nails by Gary Le Mon
Have you ever clipped your dog’s nails only to have him yank his foot away and yelp out in pain? If so, rest assured you are not alone. Many pet owners have experienced similar situations with their dogs. It is often hard to know the correct way to trim dog nails without causing pain. But with proper instruction and a little practice, you could soon be as good as a professional.
Dog Nail Anatomy 101
To get a good understanding of proper toenail trimming techniques, you must first understand basic dog toenail anatomy. Dogs have four toes, also called pads, each having a toenail. In many breeds there is also a fifth toe located on the inside of the leg. The toenail for the fifth toe is called the dew claw.
Dog nails are very similar to human fingernails and toenails. Once the nails have grown out, the ends are dead and painless when trimmed. But trim too close and you will cut into the quick, which is the living tissue of the nail bed.
Some dogs have white toenails while others have dark brown or black toenails. The quick of the toenail is easy to see in dogs having white nails, appearing as a dark line. However, it is nearly impossible to see the quick in darker colored nails. Dogs, like humans, experience pain if their nails are cut into the quick. This causes a burning sensation, throbbing pain and bleeding, which will leave the nail and quick sore and sensitive for days.
Dog paws are all fundamentally the same except for variations in shape and size. Their toenails, however, will grow at different rates depending upon activity levels and the type of surfaces they inhabit. Dogs who spend a lot of time roaming outdoors or on concrete, asphalt, or other abrasive surfaces will have some natural wearing and trimming of the nails. They may not require manual trimming as often. However, these circumstances may also contribute to dog nail sharpening. Even if there is no need for a trim, filing or buffing may be required to take away the sharp edges.
Why is Dog Nail Care Important?
There are many reasons why it is important to regularly trim and care for your dog’s nails. Not only does improper care cause health problems for the dog, it also causes problems for you and your belongings. Proper dog nail care helps to prevent a number of potential problems, which include:
• Ingrown toenails – causing redness, swelling, and discharge having a potent odor
• Sore feet and legs
• Joint pain
• Discomfort when walking
• Scratches to you, your furniture, and floors
• Punctures to soft floor coverings such as linoleum and vinyl
• Picking and tearing of furniture fabric, carpet, and rugs
What to Use When Trimming Your Dog’s Nails
There are several types of manual trimmers as well as a motorized rotary tool available. When selecting a trimmer, you should choose the one that best suits your dog’s size and one that you feel comfortable using. Most of all, you should remember never to use regular fingernail clippers to trim dog nails.
Although your dog’s toenails grow much like your fingernails and toenails, dog nails grow rounded versus flat and they are much thicker. Using regular fingernail clippers to trim your dog’s toenails will result in pinching of the toenail, which may then cause it to break, crack, and split into the quick. This is followed by pain, bleeding, and jagged nails.
When preparing to trim your dog’s toenails, you should have the following items ready for use:
• Manual or rotary clippers
• A product to stop bleeding – a coagulant such as styptic powder or pads
• Nail file
• An enamel nail polish (non-toxic) made for dogs
Pain Free Toenail Trimming
Dog nails typically require trimming every three or four weeks. When executed properly using the correct tools and technique it can be a pain free experience for both you and your pet. The basic trimming technique is:
1. Hold your dog in your lap or to the side if the dog is large. Pet and reassure him as you wrap your arm around the middle of his body. (If you are right-handed, use your left arm and if you are left-handed, use your right arm.)
2. After wrapping your arm around your dog, hold his foot in your hand with your thumb on top of the toe of the toenail you are preparing to clip. Continue to talk softly to your dog, reassuring him.
3. Follow the placement directions of your clipper of choice and, with a steady hand, clip a small piece of the nail off at a 45 degree angle.
4. Look at the nail. If you see a dark spot in the center of the nail this is the quick and you should avoid cutting into the quick. If you do not see the quick, trim another small piece of nail and recheck for the quick. (If you accidently cut into the quick, immediately apply a blood coagulant to stop the bleeding.)
5. Repeat the same procedure for each toenail including the dew claw. Depending on the anxiousness of your dog, breaks may be required to calm him down and further reassure him. (Release his foot but keep him in your lap and pet him, beginning again once he is calm)
6. File any rough edges and apply a coat of enamel nail polish to each toenail. Then move on to the next paw.
7. Repeat entire process, trimming the toenails of all four feet.
8. Praise the dog and reward with a treat.
Although trimming your dog nails can be a daunting task, filled of apprehension and uncertainty, you can master the process by using proper tools, staying calm, and practicing proper technique. Once you gain your dog’s trust and develop a regular routine for trimming his nails, the entire process will become more relaxed and comfortable for both of you.
Copyright 2007 - 2015 Natural Wonder Products Corp - All Rights Reserved
Information provided on this web site is intended for educational purposes only. Any statements made have not been evaluated by the FDA. No information provided on this web site is intended to prevent, diagnose, treat, or cure any symptom or disease. If you have questions about medicinal herbs or their chemical constituents, please see a licensed medical professional.
UNSOLICITED TESTIMONIALS From Our Doggedly Loyal Customers:
My only regret is ...
"I am the kind of person who always speaks up when I think I'm not getting my money's worth for anything. I am also not hesitant to give praise where praise is due.
With that said I bought some of your
DentaSure teeth spray
for my cat. I received it at the beginning of this week. After 3 DAYS of using this product her teeth have already gone from a scary looking brown and very unhealthy to a light shade of yellow.
I am absolutely blown away by how fast this product has helped her teeth improve and the fact that it's all natural is huge to me (the vet has been pushing me to pay $720 for a cleaning including anesthesia!!).
My only regret is not finding you guys sooner!! Keep up the great work!!!!" ~ Fred Brennan, Waymouth, MA
I am amazed!
"We have 3 dogs. One is almost 10, the second is 2 but is fighting Valley Fever right now and the third is 2 also.
We put the VF dog on antibiotics as soon as she began coughing. The old man never really started but I seem to remember he has had Kennel Cough before so he may now have some immunity.
The third dog started to cough on Thursday and by Saturday it was just awful to listen to. She was trying to hack up a lung and leaving foamy puddles of spit ALL OVER our house.
Thank goodness your
arrived so fast. It came in the mail on Saturday afternoon. I immediately dosed all 3 dogs.
Overnight the cough was drastically reduced. I am amazed! I am continuing to treat all 3 dogs for another week.
Thanks for an incredible product. Please do not hesitate to use this review on your website." ~ Lyn Chambers, Phoenix, AZ
We are pleased with the cedar and peppermint flea spray - it seems to perform as promised & that's a big deal here in Florida which is flea central.
Finally, a practical alternative to the nasty spot style flea pesticides. I will recommend this to my friends who (like us) don't want to use the traditional toxic treatments.
My dog also smells woodsey, a lovely side benefit. We sprayed the house and the combo is working. THANKS!" ~ Michelle G., Ft. Myers, FL
Do we ship to your country? After adding your items to our shopping cart, Proceed to Checkout. In the Shipping Information area, click on the Country drop-down menu. If you see your country listed, that means we ship to it. However, any applicable taxes/duties imposed by your country are your responsibility.*
For the first time in 2 years, no coughing!
"I have two dogs that have kennel cough. I bought the
for the immune system and the kennel cough. The medicine arrived today and for the first time in two years, no coughing!" ~ Kerry Jacques, Temecula, CA
I would also like all pet lovers to know ...
"I just want to thank you for your wonderful products and caring nature.
We made the decision to put Oreo to sleep on Tuesday. She was much worse Tuesday morning and it was time to let go. It was very hard as my husband and I wanted so bad for her to go on her own, but it was the right decision.
I know that your products helped give her a little more quality time with us than she would have had without them. I would also like all pet lovers to know the importance of spaying and neutering as early as possible - preferably before the first heat cycle - to decrease the chance of getting mammary gland cancer. Studies show mammary tumors in cats are 80% likely to be cancerous.
If I would have known about this risk, I would have started Oreo on the
for cancer as a preventative measure long ago. I am going to continue giving it to my other 2 cats at least once or twice a week to hopefully prevent them from getting cancer.
Again, thank you so much for your kindness and compassion."
~ Jane Hicks, Thomasville, NC
WE SHIP US POSTAL SERVICE PRIORITY MAIL and FedEx (FedEx Overnight delivery available ONLY when order is received no later than 2:30 PM Arizona time) DOMESTIC AND INTERNATIONAL SHIPPING
On a scale from 1 to 10, TripleSure gets a 12
“I just received my order of your flea and tick spray. Ok, at first I was skeptical, but now my wife and I are impressed. We see fleas or ticks on our German Shepard “Bumpers” or our Cocker Spaniel “Bella,” they get sprayed and – “Voila!” – dead fleas or ticks.
The buy one get one free was a good deal. A little pricey, but if you want the best this does what it claims and is worth the money.
I want to thank you for making a product that actually works. On a scale from 1 to 10,
gets a 12.”
~ George and Brenda Campbell, Defuniak Springs, FL
I plan to encourage my friends to try it
from my order of a week ago is already working on my 2 maltese's teeth and they both like it, making the job of cleaning their teeth much easier for me and is much more effective than trying to brush.
Wish I heard about it (on tv) long ago! I plan to encourage my friends with dogs or cats to try it.
Thank you for your immediate response to my inquiry. You are very efficient!
~ Joyce Snelling, Sun Lakes, AZ
Nice to have found a product that works
"Just wanted to let you know that my 3 year old Pomerian no longer has any dark tear stains after using your Tidy Tears formula. What a relief.
As a retired dog groomer I knew most products were not successful and I wished I had answers for my clients who lived with these tear stains. I did not want my dog to have to live with it also.
has all natural ingredients which I look for for my pets. Nice to have found a product that works after all these years in time for my Pom."
~ Marie Cherry, Altoona, FL
Your products and customer service are first rate
product and customer service are first rate. I have been using it on my Wire Haired Pointing Griffon for the past 10 months. Living in Minnesota we are in prime tick country. My dog has been in the thick of them on extended canoe trips, hunting in tall grass and daily trips along the Minnesota river trails.
TripleSure has prevented ticks & fleas. Granted, after water activity, it must be re-applied. However, this is a small price to pay considering not having the questionable chemical cocktail running through her from the standard systemic solutions such as Frontline. I have found that performance is enhanced if I take a minute to work in the spray by hand & finish it off with a light brush. Griffons have a double coat. My guess is that other breeds won’t need this."
~ K.C. Carpenter, Minnesota
I will always shop with you
"Thank you so much for offering these alternative solutions for really dangerous drugs vets give dogs and cats. I will always shop with you, and tell others."
~ Robin Kincaid, Port Orchard, WA
I shall spread the word as much as I can
"I am very happy with the way my 9 year old lab has responded to your
We were considering much more invasive methods, and now I am so happy we found your herbal remedies.
We are all the way from Istanbul, Turkey, and find ways to carry the remedies with us or with people coming from the US to Turkey. I really do think you are doing a great job for dogs and cats. As an animal lover I shall spread the word as much as I can."
"I wanted everyone to know that this product is amazing for dogs with Cushing's. My dog looked terrible -- pot belly, bones showing, dry coat, back legs with no strength. We have used this for 3 weeks and it has made a tremendous difference... Getting ready to order 3 months supply. Wonderful product."
~ Tammy Perry from Virginia
Primalix Blood-Sugar Balance ... it's a life saver!
"About 3 years ago my cat Timmy was diagnosed with diabetes. The vet put him on insulin injections which were a disaster and his health deteriorated greatly and he exuded a horrible odor.
I had my doubts about him being treated as a Type 1 diabetic as in the human population over 90% of people have Type 2, non-insulin dependant, diabetes.
So as my cat Timmy was practically dying in front of me I ordered your Primalix for cat blood sugar control. Within a short time of being on Primalix he recovered and also recovered from his diabetic neuropathy so he was able to jump again.
He has been on Primalix now for almost 3 years and the results have been wonderful. Also our vet is amazed at his progress.
I would, without hesitation, recommend any pet owner whose pet has blood sugar control problems to go onto Primalix----its a life saver!
"I bought this product about 5 days ago, It is Amazing! I have both dogs and cats and everything I used was NOT working until Now! I see no fleas and nobody is scratching themselves to death!
is a Godsend. If you have a problem with fleas do not hesitate to buy this product. I am now a customer for life! Thank you Natural Wonder!"
~ Susan Fussell, Jupiter, FL
Thank you for what you are doing for animals and the world!
"I have been using your TripleSure flea and tick spray and do very much love it. All you stated is TRUE, I can not thank you enough for making my life and my pets life more enjoyable. THANK YOU for what you are doing for animals and the world!!!"
~ Terree W., Atlanta, GA
"C-Care: CURE FOR TUMORS"
"Just a note to let you know that Taylor's breast cancer is completely gone. This was on only one bottle of C-Care. She had tumors the size of pecans in both front teats. 4 years ago when she was 9 years old, she had a tumor the size of a Nerf football on her side. The vet said nothing could be done. It took 4 bottles of C-Care, but cancer completely cured. This is such a marvelous product, I tell everyone about it as cancer seems to becoming so common in our doggies.
Thank you so much for your research & efforts to help our precious babies. Seeing Taylor run and play, and play with toys at 13 years, is more than I could have ever hoped for! Please use this note to let others know that this product really really works. Thanks again so very very much!"
~ Patricia Gregg Cox - Ballinger, TX
All testimonials on this website are unsolicited and given by actual customers who use our products. They are not related to or affiliated with Natural Wonder Products in any way, nor have they received any form of compensation for their testimonies.