Is Dog Nail Trimming Important in Hingham, MA?

Regular dog nail trimming and maintenance is an important part of your dog’s overall health in Hingham, MA. Very long nails can become overgrown and grow into the footpad, causing pain and possible infection, and broken nails can also be painful and susceptible to infection.

Dog nail trimming in Hingham, MA

4 Problems Dog Nail Trimming Helps Prevent in Hingham, MA

One of the main reasons why dog nail trimming is so important is because it helps prevent your dog from developing bad health conditions. Long nails can cause several problems for your pet, which is why keeping your dog’s nails at a healthy length is plays a vital role in their overall health.

4 problems that regular dog nail trimming helps prevent include:

Splayed Foot

This is where the nails get so long, that they reduce traction and cause your dog to slip on certain surfaces.

Deformed Feet

Long nails can also cause undue strain on foot tendons over time, and as the long nails hit the ground, pressure puts force on the foot and leg structures.

Broken Nails

The longer the nails, the greater chance of your dog getting those nails caught on something and breaking them.

Ingrown Nails

Another drawback to long nails is the greater chance of developing ingrown toenails, especially the dewclaws. This is where the nails grow long, and curve inward, potentially puncturing and growing into the footpad.

Best Tools for Dog Nail Trimming in Hingham, MA

There are several types of dog nail trimmers, including scissors, grinder tools specifically designed for dogs, and guillotine types. You can use whatever type you are most comfortable with, or whatever works best for your dog.

Tools that you can use to trim your dog’s nails include:

Nail Trimmers

There are several items you should have in your dog grooming “toolbox,” such as nail trimmers. Most veterinarians in Hingham, MA don’t recommend the “guillotine” type trimmers as they tend to crush your dog’s nails, so it’s best to purchase a scissors-type nail trimmer.

Kwik Stop/Styptic Powder

This is a yellow powder that is used to stop nail bleeding if you happen to cut your dog’s nails too short.  Inside the nail of the dog is something called the “quick,” which is a path for vessels to carry blood to the nails.

Dog Nail Trimming Tips and Tricks in Hingham, MA

You want nail trims to be a positive experience for your dog, so positive reinforcement is always a good idea.

Below are listed some ways to make dog nail trimming a positive experience:

Treats and Lots of Praise

To make grooming a stress-free experience, start with short sessions, and reward your dog with treats.  For example, train your dog to sit or stand still while you brush her, and if she is still, reward her with treats and praise.

Keep Calm and Groom On

It’s also a good idea to keep calm and practice as little restraint as possible to help your dog relax. You may have to start with short sessions to get your dog used to being grooming, brushed, or sit still for nail trims, but the goal is to keep things stress-free.

Trim Nails Regularly

Perhaps the biggest challenge for pet owners in Hingham is dog nail trimming, especially since most dogs don’t like their feet touched. Regular walks on sidewalks and paved roads can help wear down your dog’s nails, but most dogs will need a nail trim eventually. Without regular trimming, nails on small dogs can curl back and cut into the paw pads, and if you can hear your dog’s nails click-clacking on your hardwood floor, it’s probably time for a trim.

Try to get your dog used to you touching her feet, her pads, and nails. Start slow, trim one or two nails each session, and gradually trim more nails if your dog lets you. You can invest in a Dremel-like nail filer, however, these tend to be noisy and a plain-old clipper is usually faster.

Steps for Dog Nail Trimming in Hingham, MA

Now that we’ve talked about some tips for how to trim your dog’s nails and what tools would be best to use, it’s important to know how you should actually cut your pet’s nails. If you’re a new pet parent in Hingham, or if you haven’t done this very often, you may not know that best ways for doing this and that’s okay.

You can have a professional groomer cut your dog’s nails or you can do them yourself, it’s completely up to you. Either way, you should be equipped with the steps on how to do this should your pet ever need a quick trim.

Below are 4 steps for trimming your dog’s nails yourself:

Gently and Firmly Pick Up Their Paw

First, pick up your dog’s paw gently but firmly, place your thumb on the pad of a toe and your forefinger on the top of the toe on the skin above the nail. Make sure none of your dog’s fur is in the way.

If your dog doesn’t like you touching his feet, get him used to it first before you start the trimming process. You could do this at various times during the day by rubbing or gently squeezing his paws.

Gently Push Your Thumb on the Footpad

Second, while holding your pup’s foot, push your thumb gently up and backward on the footpad, while pushing your forefinger forward to extend the nail.

Cut the Tip of The Nail

Third, start by clipping the very tip of the nail, cutting straight across. You can do this in small increments, shaving a little bit off at a time.

If your dog has dewclaws, don’t forget to trim them as well, as they tend to curl back on themselves and grow into the pad.

Avoid Cutting the Nail Too Short

Finally, try to avoid “cutting the quick,” making the nail bleed because it’s been trimmed too short. Many dogs who have pink nails make it easier for you to see the quick (it looks like a pink, or gray spot), but with dogs with dark nails, it’s more challenging.

For dogs with dark nails, trim a little bit at a time until you can see a black dot in the center of the nail, that means you are close to the quick.  If you accidentally cut the quick and the nail starts to bleed, pat the area with styptic powder or in a pinch, cornstarch.

If you have any questions about dog nail trimming techniques, ask your veterinarian or a professional groomer in Hingham to demonstrate for you.

See a Vet or Groomer for More Dog Nail Trimming Information in Hingham, MA

Regular dog nail trimming plays an important role in your pet’s overall health because having short nails can help prevent a number of health problems from arising in your pet. Whether you choose to have a professional groomer do this or you do it yourself, it’s important to keep an eye on the length of your dog’s nails.

At The Inn at Old Derby Animal Hospital, we provide this along with many other grooming services to help your pet feel and look their best. We understand that it can be difficult to cut your own dog’s nails, which is why we have a trained, compassionate, professional grooming staff that makes sure it’s the best experience possible for your pet. If you have any questions about this, or want to schedule an appointment to have your dog’s nails trimmed, never hesitate to contact us!

About Old Derby Animal Hospital

At Old Derby Animal Hospital, we practice veterinary medicine with the goal of helping you maintain a stronger, longer-lasting bond with your pet. Our full-service veterinarian facility in Hingham, MA combines the feel of a large practice without sacrificing that personal touch that we believe is essential to your pet's care. You have access to a wide range of medical, surgical, and dental services for your pet at our animal hospital, including luxury boarding and grooming at The Inn.

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