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Clipping Your Dog's Claws
December 15, 2020

Does your canine pal sometimes scratch you when he affectionately puts his paw on your leg? Do you hear that telltale clicking noise when he runs into the kitchen hoping for a piece of cheese? If so, Fido may be in need of a pawdicure. A Kerrville, TX vet offers some information on clipping your dog’s nails below.

Why Clipping Is Important

You’ve probably at some point experienced that discomfort you get when your toenails get too long. This happens to dogs, too! However, Fido can’t cut his own nails. If they get really long, he may adjust his gait to compensate. That puts extra strain on his bones and joints. Over time, this can contribute to or aggravate painful problems like arthritis and hip dysplasia. Long nails also make it hard for Fido to gain good traction on slippery ground. Plus, they can snag and tear on things, which is basically the doggy equivalent of tearing a fingernail too far down. Ouch!


Clipping your dog’s claws may not be rocket science, but there are some things to keep in mind. As you may know, if you cut too far, you could cut into the quick, which is where your pup’s nerves and blood vessels end. As one can imagine, that can be quite painful for poor Fido. (It also won’t make him any more fond of getting his nails trimmed.) One thing that can help is to get clippers with sensors. These indicate exactly where to cut, taking the guesswork out of the process. You can also ask your vet to demonstrate proper techniques. Or, just make Fido a ‘peticure’ appointment! 


Getting dogs to sit still can be challenging on its own. Teach Fido that he will get a yummy treat for letting you handle his foot. You’ll also want to shower your pup with praise and compliments when he gives you his paw, to really drive the point home. Keep doing this until he’s more open to the process. Then, get him used to the clippers. At first, just run them over your dog’s nails to desensitize him to that. The next step is to make them click, so he becomes familiar with the sound. Then, just start clipping one nail at a time.

As your Kerrville, TX veterinary clinic, we are dedicated to keeping your beloved pet healthy. Contact us anytime!