The first trick to trimming your puppy's nails is a good sharp pair of nail clippers. We will show you what we like on your puppy's next visit.
The second trick is to make sure you have styptic powder on hand in case you accidentally injure your puppy's "quick" (the blood vessel in the nail) and the nail begins to bleed. Even the most experienced nail trimmer slips once in a while! Styptic powder can be purchased at most pet stores and pharmacies.
The third trick is to have someone help hold or distract your puppy. Treats help to not only distract your puppy, but also to make the experience more pleasant. Use plenty of positive reinforcement if your puppy is behaving properly. However, if your puppy is trying to bite you, say "No" firmly and try again.
How do you actually trim nails? It's pretty simple (especially if your puppy has white nails!)
- Start by holding your puppy's toe with one hand and the nail trimmers in your other hand.
- As the nail grows, it will narrow and curve over like a hook. Cut only the "hook" or tip of the nail right where it begins to curve, avoiding the quick. In white nails it's easy to see the pink quick.
A nail trim can be intimidating if your puppy has dark nails and you can't see the quick to use as a guide. Again, look for the hook. If you're uncertain despite our demonstration given during your puppy's last visit, please call us. We would be happy to teach you how to trim your puppy's nails.
One of the most important things you can do for your puppy is to be positive, patient and encouraging. If your puppy is struggling, don't push the nail trim; clip a few and then take a break. Use plenty of encouraging, soothing words and treats! Start right from Day 1 and get your puppy used to having its toes and feet touched, even if you have no intention of trimming its nails. Desensitizing your puppy to nail trims will make the experience much more enjoyable for both you and your puppy!
Some owners never feel comfortable doing nail trims on their own pet and that's okay. Simply call us at (978) 453-1784 and schedule a nail trim! Nails usually require trimming every 4 – 8 weeks depending on how short you want them and how fast your particular pet's nails grow.