How short is short when it comes to trimming your dog’s nails?
When it comes to grooming your dog, most owners might forget that there is a need to keep the dog’s nails short. This need is driven by the fact that long nails can actually be harmful to your dog.
Long nails can be unhygienic: When the nails are long, dirt and other germs can get stuck underneath it. As a result, your dog can be a natural magnet for germs and as a result, they can get infected with diseases. This can also be bad for your family as it can potentially be harmful to your children too.
Long nails can hurt your dog and you: If you do not want your dog to leave scratch marks on you, I strongly suggest that you trim your dog’s nails regularly. With those long nails, it can be easy for them to scratch you and potentially leaving those red nasty marks on your body.
The long nails can also hurt your dog too, especially when they walk and run too much around. The long protruding nails will bruise their skin and cause the dog to walk with a swagger. That’s not all! Imagine if the dog’s nails get stuck in a net while attempting to run. The force of it can break your dog’s nails, causing them hurt.
Long nails can damage your furniture: When the nails are long, it can cause damage to the floor as well as to your furniture. They will leave an indentation on the flooring as well as scratching them in the process. Your dog may also claw into your wooden furniture at home too.
It can be a painful affair
As you can see, there are many reasons at which why you should trim your dog’s nails. We all know that dogs do not like their nails to be trimmed as it can be a terrifying experience to them.
Sometimes, the fear can be a result of them suffering an injury from a previous attempt at trimming their nails. Just in case you are not in the know, there is a part of the dog’s nails that have nerves in them. Termed as the “quick”, it is the dark part of the nail that is sometimes obscure, especially if the nails are dark itself.
Things to do if you cut the nails too short
Now, what happens if you cut into the dog’s quick? It will inflict injury on the dog, results in them suffering from pain as well as from bleeding. If you have indeed cut the dog’s nails short, you should not panic. Instead, there are some steps at which you can take in order to rectify the situation.
1. Apply pressure on the affected area
Instead of panicking, the very first thing that you will need to do is to apply pressure on the affected area. This will help clot the blood.
You should always use a clean cloth instead of a dirty one as a dirty cloth can potentially infect the wound. However, it can be tough to apply pressure on the affected area as the dog might be struggling since they are already hurt and hence fearful of being injured again.
You shouldn’t attempt to force the dog if they are struggling against your attempts. Try your best to placate them and coax them to give you their paws instead of forcing the dog.
2. Wrap ice onto a cloth and apply on the affected area
If the bleeding does not stop, you can proceed to apply cold compression onto the affected area. To do so, put some ice cubes onto a clean cloth and use it onto the affected area. This will help to constrict the vein and help to lessen the blood flow.
3. Use Styptic powder
If you have styptic powder at home, pour some out into a bowl and dip the affected paw into it. Note that you should not wipe off the dripping blood as it can help to clot the blood.
If you do not have styptic powder, you can use corn starch as it can help you achieve the same effect. Not to worry as the ingredient is safe to be applied onto your dog.
Once you have done the above 3 steps, the bleeding should have stopped. The next will require you to bandage the wound so that it will not be infected. To do so, you should first wash the affected paw with water. Try to use lukewarm water as it can help sooth the pain that your dog is experiencing.
Proceed to clean the wound before bandaging it up. Do ensure not to apply too much pressure as it can cause pain to the dog.
The bandage should not be too tight too. Try to restrict the dog’s movement for 30 minutes so as to stabilize the affected area. If the bleeding does not stop, you should bring the dog to the vet to seek medical attention.
How to prevent this from happening again
To prevent this from happening again, you should be aware of the location of the dog’s quick. It can be located at the underside of the nail. Move your fingers along that area, starting from the tip of the nail towards the base of the paw. You will be able to feel a groove. This is where the transition from a hard nail to a softer-feeling nail is. That soft tissue is the part where the quick is, so you would want to avoid trimming that part of the nail.
To be safer, you shouldn’t even trim anywhere near the Quick. We encourage you to trim the nail progressively so that you wouldn’t cut into the quick. It is good to check on the condition and length of the nail periodically so that you can trim it whenever it is deemed necessary.
Welcome to my blog. My name is Anna Liutko and I´m a certified cynologist (KAU, ACW). Handler, blue cross volunteer, owner of Chinese crested kennel “Salvador Dali” and breedless friend called Fenya. “I can’t imagine my life without dogs and however I have 2 hairless dogs I totally support the idea #AdoptDontShop”.