It is one of the frequently asked questions by persons who have dogs as pets or those who are just curious to know if there are special nail-clippers for them. What ever the reason, in this article, our aim is to produce a short but comprehensive answer in simple language

Nails:
Knowing nails is the first step, later comes the art of pedicure! Nails are dead tissues. In case of human adults nails grow at about 2-3 centimeters per year and they need a clipping every week or ten days on an average. The nails of a dog are harder and the intervals between two successive clipping depends on how a dog lives – if he walks a lot on hard surfaces, his nails will be worn away because of the friction from the surface. Thus, that kind of dog would require very little clipping from our side. However, as is often the case, if a dog mainly stays on grass, sea sand and other relatively soft surfaces, clipping his nail becomes essential.

If the growth of the nails of a dog is kept unchecked, it may lead to damaging pain in the paws of the dog, which could result into permanent damage to its limbs and even to malformation. To some, manicuring a dog is not an easy task, rather a complex and a tiresome one. If that is the case, a vet or a dog-groomer can be consulted. They specialize in this stuff.

Before we begin:
A hard outer cover on the nails of a dog safeguards the inner softer part which contains blood vessels and gentle nerve endings. Some dogs have tinted nails. In those dogs ‘quick’ can be recognized with by its pinkish color, this makes it easier to avoid cutting into it.

Black nails are more common and the quick is virtually invisible. Therefore knowing where the quick is, in this case, becomes essential. In these cases trimming off the nails by little nibbles is advisable.

How do I know it is time for a pedicure?
If the nails of your dog are clicking on the floor or if the dog has a problem walking on a carpet, it implies that it is time for a pedicure.

When should I begin clipping the nails of a dog?
Dogs sometimes behave like children. Have you ever tried to bathe a child? If you have, that experience is valuable! Because dogs are often reluctant to have their nails clipped. Experts say that a possible solution is to begin at a very young age – when your dog is still a puppy! This makes him accustomed.

Rewarding a dog is another way. Talk to your dog in a soothing voice when the nails are being chopped off and once the job is over, reward him with his favorite treat. The dog will gradually learn to at least put up with it.

What is needed?
It is obvious that our ordinary nail-clippers won’t work with the dogs so what is the way out? In fact, there is a whole variety of nail-clipper and trimmers available in the market for dogs. Stronger claw cutters are a better option for bigger breeds and basset hounds and softer ones can do the job for others. If you cannot decide for yourself, consulting a specialist is advisable.

Using a file on a dog is optional. If you can control the dog or if the dog is patient enough, nothing could be better, but if that is not the case, one can let the dog go. Then just take him on a walk and the nails would be rounded off naturally – remember friction!

Dew Claws:
Dew claws grow inside the legs of a dog and do not have a contact with the floor; thus, they are not worn away naturally and if left unchecked, sometime curl inwards, which is not good for the dog. This can be very painful for the animal.


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Lucas Beaumont
Generalist. Wikipedia contributor. Elementary school teacher from Saskatchewan, Canada.

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