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Cut the claws on the dog

March 7, 2022 - Reading time: 6 minutes

Cutting nails is part of the basic care of dogs. Unfortunately, many four-legged friends don't like tweezers anywhere near their paws. A dilemma for dog owners who do not want to cause their pet stress. Due to his nervousness that the dog might recoil or bite as he cuts his claws, he also increases the stress on the four-legged friend.

Here you can read about why declawing needs to be regular, when is the right time, and how to do it without whining.

Claws grow throughout life and can cause problems if they are too long

Dog claws are made of horns, just like human fingernails. They grow throughout life. When romping, playing, and running, dogs' claws naturally wear down a bit. But in many dogs, the claws grow faster and become too long.

Dogs that reside in rural areas with soft surfaces such as fields, meadows, and forests and city dogs that only know short walks in everyday life or less active dog breeds such as Pugs, Maltese, or Pekingese are particularly affected by claws. too long. If the claws become too long, the following problems arise:

Claw Injury: If the claws become too long, they interfere with the dog's running, playing, and romping. The too-long claw can break, tear or twist. A broken claw is very sharp and can hurt your head or neck if you scratch it. A crooked claw can get caught and rip off completely. The fact that there is a claw injury can usually be seen in the dog's behavior: the four-legged friend limps, does not want to step on his paw, or licks it intensely.

Ingrown Toenail – Excessively long claws can grow on the fingertip or adjacent toe. The wound is very painful and easily inflamed.

Altered gait pattern and damage to posture and joints: Dogs with claws that are too long can no longer walk comfortably. To escape the pressure and pain, try to relieve the affected paw. This changes your natural gait pattern and the joints are stressed on one side. Lifetime damage can occur.

How do you know it's time to cut your claws?

Dog claws that are too long can be recognized by the clicking sound on hard floor coverings such as tiles and parquet. Leg tilt or lameness (stiff, limp gait without rolling legs) are also clear indicators that the dog has claws that are too long and suffers from length.

If you want to check if the claws are too long, you can check if they touch the ground when the dog is upright. If they touch the ground, you have to cut off the claws.

By the way, it is not enough for the dog to bite its claws. It is not a substitute for nail trimming. There are two reasons for this: chewing with your teeth can lead to sharp edges, ragged ends, and injuries. Also, blood vessels and nerves grow deeper and deeper into the claw if the claws are not trimmed regularly. Over time, this makes it increasingly difficult to cut the claws short enough without damaging blood vessels and nerves.

How often dogs need to be declawed varies. The claws of younger dogs grow faster than those of older four-legged friends.

Cut the claws on the dog

Claw cutting: how to do it?

If you have a lazy dog, you can trim the claws yourself. The dog should lie quietly on its side. Strong nail clippers, nail trimmers, electronic nail sharpeners, and nail files for filing sharp edges are available from specialty stores for different sizes of dogs.

It is important not to shorten the claw too much, because part of it is supplied with blood.

To avoid injury when cutting the claws, the pliers should not get too close to the "living" part of the claw.

It is recommended to shorten the claw in several small cuts.

With light-colored claws, the red line or pink-red area (perfused with blood) is quite easy to recognize.

May be more difficult with dark claws. A headlamp or flashlight is always helpful.

You should also have a pair of blunt-tipped scissors handy so you can quickly trim any pesky hairs between the pads.

In addition to the five claws on the front feet and the four claws on the hind feet, some dog breeds also have a so-called wolf's claw (dewclaw). It sits slightly raised on its hind legs and never touches the ground. Since it can grow, the wolf's claw must also be trimmed.

If the dog is reluctant to have his paws touched, he has black claws, or if the dog's owner prefers to leave the task 

In the hands of professionals, the cutting of the claws can be done in the veterinary clinic or the canine hairdresser.

Tips for trimming your dog's nails

A few tips will help make trimming your dog's nails a routine that he accepts without problems.

Tip: regular paw check. It is helpful to accustom puppies to extensive handling and observation of their paws and claws from an early age. Animal experts recommend checking the paws at least once a month for the rest of its life. Problems with the claws and toes are also quickly noticeable.

Tip: get used to the claw pliers. Whether it's electronic claw sharpeners or manual nail clippers, the tool of choice should be no stranger to the dog. It is better if the dog sees the tool nearby in everyday life and when he plays. In this way, the animal reacts more calmly when cutting its claws.

How To Trim Dog Nails Safely - YouTube

Tip: calm and reward.

The dog reacts to the behavior of the master and the master. If they are calm and relaxed, the dog can relax too. Hugs before and during the procedure give the four-legged friend a sense of security that everything is in order. A reward after declawing makes the dog quickly forget about declawing.

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