Clipping or trimming your pets nails can be a scary and stressful experience for them but it is essential for their health and wellbeing.
It is best to start them young. If you have a new young puppy (or kitten) we would recommend getting them used to having their paws being touched and handled. However, if they are teenagers or adults, it can be a bit more tricky, requiring some patience and treats!
We know some pets do not tolerate it at all, and for those we would strongly recommend bringing them into the clinic for a nail trim. Please call beforehand to make sure we can fit you in.
Nail clipping at home
If you want to try it at home, we suggest having an appropriate set of clippers - dog and cat nail trimmers are different and human clippers generally don't quite cut it.
Hold the paw gently but firmly in your hand, and (this is easy if your pet has white nails) trim off very small amounts at a time, avoiding the 'pink' part, or the quick. The quick is where the blood vessels start in the nail and cutting this can cause some pain and bleeding.
For those pets with darker nails, seeing the quick is more tricky, but after a few trims you will generally get an idea of where to stop.
For cats, we suggest holding the paw gently and firmly and slightly pressing down just above the nail - where the nail bed is. This will encourage the nail to extend so you can see it and clip accordingly.
Giving treats after each paw (or nail, if they are really nervous!) can help soften the experience as well as giving constant encouragement.
For some pets just starting off with treats and introducing the clippers might need to be the starting point, the happier the pet is to see the clippings the more of a relaxed experience you will have in the future. Never push your pet past what they are comfortable with, wiggling/ squirming is your pet saying that they are not enjoying this, take it back a step to where they are comfortable.
Have a look at the diagram to know what angle is best to trim your pet's nails at, as this angle is best for walking. Dogs and cats curl their toes under when walking and long nails can prove uncomfortable and even painful.
For more information, don't hesitate to give us a call on 9347 1988 or read our article on nail clipping for dogs. We are always happy to provide advice and help you out with nail trims.