Cutting Dog Claws

Is it really necessary to cut a dog’s claws? This topic is a subject that is often the subject of debate among dog owners. We can already tell you one thing. There is no correct answer to this question, yes or no. Whether it is necessary to clip your dog’s claws depends entirely on your four-legged friend.

Many dog ​​owners have never had to clip their pet’s claws. Others have to trim them back to the proper length every three to four weeks. You should always keep an eye on your dog’s claws.

But how can you cut your dog’s claws? We will show you here, detailed instructions and tips on the right “tool”.

When are a dog’s claws too long?

The length of the claws contributes to the well-being of your pet. So dog claws must be the right length. If the length of his claws is not right, your dog can no longer move freely.

They must be neither too short nor too long. Claws that are too long make it difficult for your dog to walk. They can even lead to misalignment of the paws.

If the claws are too long, your dog will assume a protective posture due to possible pain. To relieve their toes, dogs usually put their paws at an angle. However, this causes muscles to tense up. In the long run, this leads to postural damage in your four-legged friend.

Your dog can also experience pain if the claws are too short. Did you clip the claws too much? Then, most likely, the life of the claws is damaged. The part of the claws supplied with blood is called life.

Should the so-called life be injured, the claw will bleed profusely. The injury causes your dog pain. In addition, dirt can easily penetrate through the open wounds on paws and claws. This can cause inflammation.

However, I don’t want to paint a horror scenario with this. And end up keeping you from clipping your dog’s nails and going to the vet every time. On the contrary, with a little practice, you will easily be able to take care of the claws yourself.

How to properly trim a dog’s claws?

Normally, the claws will wear out by themselves as you walk. Are you very active with your dog? Then he wears his claws evenly during the walks. If so, you’re lucky and don’t need to do anything.

However, that can change with age. For example, your four-legged friend might be less active due to his older age. Then dogs don’t need as many walks. At the same time, you may need to get the claws in the right shape now and then.

There are various tools for trimming the claws. Claw scissors are best. To protect your dog, please only use special scissors, claw grinders, or claw clippers. Nail clippers work very well for smaller dogs.

Replacement equipment such as side cutters or secateurs is not a good idea. With it, you can squeeze the dog’s claws or damage the delivery. And they can otherwise injure your dog.

Use the manufacturer’s information to select the correct variant. This depends on the size of your dog. Because the large, hard claws of a Rottweiler require a different tool than the claws of a Pomeranian.

Claw care as a step-by-step guide

How to trim the claws correctly:

  • Get your dog used to nail clipping early on
  • Cut off just a few millimeters
  • Cut diagonally from below
  • Examine dark claws with a flashlight
  • Reward your dog with a treat after the procedure

Can you cut a dog’s claws yourself?

Claw trimming works best when your dog is used to clipping its claws. In the beginning, of course, this is not possible. It is best to practice with your puppy. Or as soon as your dog moves in with you.

To do this, run your hand over your dog’s paws from time to time. And take your paw in your hand for a moment. This will get your dog used to being touched. He will not find it uncomfortable if you tamper with his paws and claws. If your dog can give paws, all the better.

For long-haired dogs, feel free to trim back the fur between the toes a bit. This gives you an unrestricted view. And you can work on your four-legged friend’s claws undisturbed.

If your dog has light-colored claws, you can usually see immediately where the life of the claw begins.

Start at least 1-2 mm below. Clip or cut your dog’s claw in one go. You should always cut diagonally from below. And they should only ever shorten a few millimeters.

If your dog has dark claws, a flashlight can help you. Shine the light on the claws from behind. Now use a pencil to mark the spot on the claw where the blood-perfused part ends. So you can be sure not to hurt your dog.

Cutting is much easier when your dog sits or lies in a raised position. Tables or, for example, the washing machine is suitable for this. Experiment with what is best for you and your dog. What are you most comfortable with?

Cut, file, or grind claws?

Sometimes it even suffices if you file the claws back a little. When filing, the risk of injury is significantly lower. And regular filing will keep your pet’s claws the right length and shape. Nevertheless, check beforehand exactly where life ends.

You can use any commercially available nail file for filing. With the coarser file side, you probably have less effort. This will remove more of the dog’s claws.

It’s even easier with an electric claw grinder. There is also only a very small risk of injury with these devices. Trimming is done quickly and effectively. You only need about five seconds per claw.

If you still don’t feel confident filing and cutting, then let your vet take care of the procedure first.

How much does a claw clipping at the vet cost?

Often, veterinarians do not charge a separate fee for declawing when the service is part of another treatment. According to the scale of fees, veterinarians can charge around 6 to 7 euros for all four paws. There may also be a small surcharge. These low costs should not speak against professional nail care.

The best thing to do is watch your dog’s claws being clipped. Ask questions and let them show you how to use the claw scissors. After that, you can very well do it yourself.

After all, cutting a dog’s claws only requires a little practice. The basic principle works like cutting nails. You will certainly be just as careful not to injure the nail bed.

How often do you have to clip a dog’s claws?

As a rule, it is sufficient to trim the claws once a month. But only as often as necessary. Dogs don’t need a weekly pedicure. And depending on the activity, you can increase the spacing as the claws wear out on their own.

In the meantime, you can easily check whether the claws are too long: does at least one piece of paper fit between the tip of the claw and the ground when your dog is standing? Then you have found the perfect claw length for your dog.

The dog’s claws should not touch the ground. Having the claws on the ground restricts your dog from running. Your dog’s paws mustn’t arch upwards. And that he can unroll the bales properly.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should you clip dogs’ claws?

Dogs’ claws grow throughout life, but they also wear down over time as they run. Nevertheless, the claws must be trimmed regularly.

When do you have to cut your dog’s claws?

In most cases, you will hear it when your dog has claws that are too long. Then it makes a clicking noise when walking over laminate or tiles. This is a sure sign that you should clip the claws. The claws should be no longer than the ball of the toe that goes with them.

How short can you cut a dog’s claws?

If you hear your dog’s claws clicking or even bending to the side when you walk, then it’s high time to trim them. At least one sheet of paper should fit in between the claws and the ground. Overly long dog claws prevent your darling from moving.

How do you recognize that a dog’s claws are too long?

The length of each dog should be observed – if a clear clack-clack-clack can be heard when putting the paw down and you can hear the claws slipping sideways when rolling, then this is usually an unmistakable sign that the claws are too long.

What happens if you don’t clip a dog’s claws?

Nails that are too long are not only painful, but they can also lead to poor posture, as your dog will inevitably have to shift its weight onto the back pads of its paws. At worst, this can even lead to lameness over time.

How to cut black long dog claws?

Particular caution is required when cutting dark or black claws on dogs. Due to the color pigments embedded in the claw, the blood vessels in the claw are barely visible or not visible at all. Therefore, when trimming the claws yourself, you should be very careful with claw clippers.

Who cuts the claws of dogs?

Of course, you can have the claws trimmed at a veterinarian or in the grooming salon.

Can I file my dog’s claws?

Well suited here are electric files, which have a protective cap in which only the claws fit. Alternatively, you can also wet your hair and brush it back or pull a nylon stocking over your paw so that only the claws stick out.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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