If you have experience trimming your dog’s nails, that’s great! If you don’t, here are some tips if you feel confident to learn how to trim them without “quicking” them. Some dogs are totally indifferent to having their nails trimmed, and other dogs dislike it with a passion. Most will fall somewhere in between.
First, always groom your dog in a secure location where you both feel safe. Once you and your pup are settled, begin by picking a foot and lift it gently but with a firm grip. Hold each nail individually while you trim, if possible.
Trimming a white nail is fairly easy, since the pink of the quick can be easily seen. Place your nail trimmer at the point where the pink stops. Commit to the spot and quickly make your cut.
Black nails are a bit more challenging because the quick cannot be seen from the outside. Start by lightly clipping off the “hook,” or very tip of the nail. Now look at the end of the nail. There will be a darker black circle in the middle of the nail bed. This is the blood vessel, but not the part that bleeds. Continue to cut off very small sections until the darker circle covers most of the nail bed. Once you have gotten to a small white dot at the center that is as far as you can trim without cutting into the quick.
If You Trim Too Far
If you don't feel confident trimming your dog's nails without cutting into the quick, you really should find professional help. if you happen to lightly quick your pup, don’t panic--it won’t cause any serious pain or problems and you will just need to quickly stop the bleeding. If you don’t have any styptic powder on hand (who does?), then corn starch will do the trick to help. Pinch it onto the nail and apply pressure to stop any bleeding.
It’s important to note that if you clip too far, you will need to get to a vet immediately to properly care for the nail and stop the bleeding. At the end of the day, If you do not feel comfortable trimming your dog’s nails, it’s ok to wait to see your groomer or vet. Keep in mind your pup’s nails should be trimmed at least every six weeks.