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How to clip your pet's nails

How to clip your pet's nails

Nail-clipping is one of the chores most detested by pets and their owners. Here are a few practical hints for improving your technique from PetPeople magazine's resident vet, Scott Miller

Choose a quiet area of the house and be fully prepared before ushering your pet in to have its nails clipped. Place them on a table to allow you to work at a comfortable height.

Use a blanket or thick towel for cats or rabbits, and ask someone to act as your helper to hold all pets. In the case of a dog, start by clipping a small amount and assess for pain or bleeding before continuing, especially if your pet has black nails.

Cats are easier to trim. Just take off the thinner and sharp end at the tip, leaving the thicker end of the nail containing the blood vessel intact. Have wet cotton swabs ready in case of a bleed, keeping pressure on the area for a few minutes until it stops. Using talcum powder to help seal the wound may also help when attempting clipping.

If you and your dog just can't face the thought of home nail-clipping, a pet nail grinder might help. This type of product is new to the market and, given the problems people have with their pets' nails, I have a feeling it could really take off.

Around the size of an electric toothbrush and topped with an oscillating sanding head that's surrounded by a protective cap, the handheld device could make tedious nail-clipping a thing of the past. If you're already using one, get in touch and let us know what you think.

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Elaine Duncan
I have been unable to clip any of my dogs nails with clippers, they hate them, I only have to get them out, the dogs see them and they run off. I use Pedi Paws, it's much safer you can't cut off to much nail therefore no bleeding or pain for your animal. My dogs were a bit unsure at first but they soon get used to them, I feel more relaxed when using them and so does my dogs.
Lara Little
I have two big greyhounds so it's easier all round if they lie down on the floor. My biggest dog used to make a huge fuss about nail trimming and couldn't stand clippers or the integrated grinder tool on the clippers so I started using a heavy duty nail file from a beauty wholesale supplier. Filing the nail is pain-free and makes very little noise or vibration so is well tolerated. It's also easy for me to gauge the distance from the quick and there's been no effect on nail strength. Two minutes per dog once a week keeps them well trimmed, and a treat for being calm and still appears after each foot is done; now it's almost fun for him. Tolerable and not unpleasant anyway!

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