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Does Clipping Dog Nails Make You Cringe?

› Clipping Dog Nails

I get it, I do. But bear with me here. Learn to clip nails for the health of your dog.

It may as well be major surgery for some. Most dogs start off hating to have their feet touched or manipulated and owners hate to take the risk of hurting their pups. 

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Puppies bounce around and fling head and feet in every direction, giving you a moving target to deal with. You would think they had twelve legs and two heads at times.

Screaming and screeching at the slightest confinement is not uncommon in the beginning.

Most of it is smoke and mirrors (or “Sarah Bernhardt” as my parents called any over-the-top melodrama)

Is This Little Act Familiar?



I don’t know about other dogs, but at some point, mine accept grooming as part of life. They don't find it as much fun as rolling in deer poop, but life is full of little disappointments.

As with most things, it’s a matter of getting them used to an activity by frequently exposing them to it. That and lots of treats!



You can use a nail clipper but it puts you in an “all or nothing” position. You clip or you miss, no in between.

The good thing is they are quiet and quick. I find the scissors type nail clippers easier to position the nail compared to the guillotine variety.

Accidently clipping the quick requires you have some sort of anti-clotting substance on hand, just in case you snip the quick and the nail begins to bleed. I’ve tried the styptic gel but prefer styptic powder as it is less messy.

If you don’t have a clotting powder it will be difficult to stop the bleeding dog nails. No they won’t bleed to death but it takes pressure on the tip of the nail and time to clot the end of the nail. 

One of my puppy owners (Thank you Lauri and Stan) told me that taking the nail and scraping it over bar soap clogs the bleeding ASAP. Great, inexpensive trick!

When trimming really long nails, I start with clipping and then switch to grinding to get it as short as possible.

Why Trim Dog Nails Short?

Long nails hurt. Imagine gluing corks to the bottom of each of your toes so that your toes were elevated. Then try to walk. Get it? Eventually they get so long they twist sideways taking the toes right along with them.

The longer you let the nail grow, the longer the quick also grows. But you can get the quick to recede by trimming frequently.

White nails are obviously easier to trim than black because you can see the pink quick inside. However, even with black ones, if you clip off a little you will notice that the end of the nail is all white and dry looking. As you clip further down you will see a black center emerging. That is when you stop.




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Funds will go towards website expenses, researching new products to see if they are worth recommending and trying new natural alternatives to canine health care.

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Perhaps trimming dog nails with a grinder would be easier for you. It's certainly worth a try if clipping just doesn't do it for you.

Or, as always, your pup is more than welcome to get groomed here at Yankee.

But now that you've clipped the nails, I need to give you some dog grooming instructions to trim the coat around those lovely feet 

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