In the consulting room we often get questions about nail cutting in dogs. In this video we show you how to determine whether it is necessary to cut the nails and how you can best do this.
As a rule you can best maintain that when your dog is in a straight position, the nails should not just touch the ground. If that is the case, you do not have to cut the nails. If the nails hit the ground and the toes are crooked or up, the nails are too long.
To cut the nails of your dog you need a sharp nail scissors. These are available in different forms from your veterinarian.
– For the cutting of the nails of the foreleg, it is best to let your dog sit or lie down. Cutting the nails of the hind leg is best done in a lying position.
– With one hand, take the lower leg of the dog, with the toe to be cut between thumb and forefinger.
– With a light colored nail you will see a pink colored part and a lighter part. The pink part contains the “life” of the nail. You should avoid this part; it is painful and can lead to bleeding. Cut the nail into the light part, a few millimeters from the pink part.
– With dark colored nails it is more difficult to determine where life is. First cut any existing light nails to get a sense of where the nails’ life is with your dog. If you are going to cut the dark nails, do not cut the nail directly, but first increase the pressure with the nail tongs. If your dog pulls the paw back, then you are probably in life. Repeat this a bit lower until the dog does not retract the leg.
If you accidentally cut into the life of the nail, it usually leads to a severe haemorrhage that can look serious. Yet this is relatively harmless and these bleeds stop automatically.
Also think of your own safety when cutting the nails and never keep your head close to the head of the dog when cutting.