Skip to content
Previous article
Now Reading:
5 step guide to easy, painless, and blood-free nail care

5 step guide to easy, painless, and blood-free nail care

Why is nail trimming important for your dog’s healthy and long life?

Before I explain how well-trimmed nails connect to good health, I want to acknowledge everyone who has had the experience of trimming their dog’s nails too short, causing them to bleed. 

The trauma is not just physical; it’s emotional because no one wants to hurt their dog! It is no surprise that many people delay or avoid nail trimming. It is not a lack of caring but a fear of hurting dogs that often leads to overgrown nails, which are closely connected to an overall decline in health. 

Let me clarify:

  • Long nails lead to an altered gait
  • An altered gait leads to muscular-skeletal imbalance and injuries
  • Injuries cause more imbalance that often results in back pain
  • Back pain and muscle spasms block energy meridians to the skin
  • Blocked energy meridians and restricted blood and nerve flow affect the health of organs and the body.

Knowing the above, I would like to give you this 

5-step guide to easy, painless, and blood-free nail care

  1. Walking may not always be enough to keep your dog’s nails at the perfect length. Concrete and hard surface walking may be sufficient for active dogs, but dogs that walk on softer non-abrasive surfaces may need a nail trim every two to four weeks, on average. 

  2. Check your dog’s nails every two weeks. The perfect nail length is such that the claws do not touch the surface of a hard, non-carpeted floor. 
     
  3. If your dog’s nails are long, test a nail or two by clipping or filing it off bit by bit, only 1-2 millimetres at a time. 

  4. If your dog's nail profile resembles an upside-down letter ‘U’ when you make the first few small cut, then they are long. 

  5. Long nails have a lighter center, but as you trim closer to the quick, the center will turn dark and dense. This is when you have to STOP. 

Video

 

CAUTION!

Trimming large chunks of the nail at a time increases your odds of trimming too much and causing bleeding. At the same time, do not be afraid to continue trimming if the center of the nail is not dense. 

Black nails are harder to trim than white transparent nails. With white transparent nails, you can see how far to trim by observing the extent of the pink quick, which you can view from the side. 

Trimming nails when the quick is too long

When trimming is not done often enough, the ‘quick’ of the nail gets longer and it is much more difficult to get it to recede. Some veterinarians recommend trimming nails further back while under anesthesia, but instead, I recommend using a Dremel file once a week to gradually recede the quick. This process may take several weeks, but it is important for your dog’s proper footing and overall health. 

Which nail-trimming tool to use

Nail clippers should be u-shaped on the top and bottom because this conforms to the shape of your dog’s nail and won’t squish it. Flat-blade scissors or trimmers are not ideal, nor are human nail clippers.

I generally prefer u-shaped plier-style nail clippers.

  • If you buy scissor-style trimmers, they sometimes pinch the skin of your hand. 
  • Top-down guillotine-style trimmers don't work as well 
  • Make sure that your nail trimmers are sharp
Nail clippers

 

Dremel Tools or other rotating files are my preferred nail-trimming tool. It's important not to set the RPMs too high though because this could cause the nail to overheat. Also, a medium-coarse tip should be used to keep the vibration level comfortable for your dog.

Keeping your dog comfortable and still during nail trimming

To keep your dog comfortable and at ease during a nail clipping session, keep good quality natural treats on hand. When it comes to nail trimming, bribery is definitely allowed! Some dogs may refuse treats when they are upset, but remember, not trimming nails because your dog is unhappy for 10 minutes may result in poorer health and mobility. 

What to do when your dog panics or wiggles away

It's natural for a dog to want to move around. When this happens I suggest that you continue holding the foot gently and move it in the direction your dog wants to move momentarily, then gently return to the desired position. It is important not to let go of the foot, doing so will create a bad habit and your dog will learn to wiggle away every time you start trimming. Be gentle, do not fight with your dog, but do not let the foot go, simply move with your dog and then return to the desired position. 

What to do if your dog’s nail bleeds

  • If you trimmed too far and you hit the quick this causes bleeding, but there is no need to panic, I am certain your dog will not bleed out. 

  • Just calmly apply a gauze pad soaked in herbal Skin Spray to stop the bleeding, and use steady pressure.

  • The herbal formula has the ability to reduce pain and contract the blood vessel to stop bleeding.

  • If the bleeding does not stop within five minutes, apply a bandage for four to 12 hours.

  • As an alternative, you can purchase silver nitrate sticks to stop the bleeding by applying the stick to the injured area. These sticks should be available from your veterinarian or a pet store.

How often to trim nails

I suggest checking your dog’s nails every two weeks as every dog’s nails grow at a different rate. Activity level and the surface they walk on play a role too. Ideally, trim your dog’s nails before they start clicking and touching the floor. 

Weak and brittle nails that don't grow well

In such cases, it may be a sign of a nutritional deficiency. Do your best to feed as much fresh food as possible. Brittle, weak nails are also a sign of a poorly balanced diet. Here is a link to the healthy dog food Recipe Maker.

I have seen a quick and dramatic improvement when natural essential supplements — the Fab4 — are added to your dog’s diet. 

Good health begins with healthy nutrition and a perfect dog pedicure! ❤️🐶

Fab4 Bundle product image

 

About the author

Dr. Peter Dobias, DVM is an Integrative veterinarian, nutritionist and creator of natural supplements for dogs and people. Helping you and your dog prevent disease, treat nutritional deficiencies, and enjoy happier, healthier, and longer lives together.

Most Popular

  • Flying with dogs
    In my article, I share the personal story of how I'm able to fly with my dog, Pax, thanks to overcoming challenges with sleepwalking and night terrors. This unique experience not only allowed me to travel with my service dog but also serves as a reminder that even difficult situations can have positive outcomes.
  • dog and pony
    Successful communication is essential for building healthier and more fulfilling relationships and happier lives. In this article, I'll share with you 8 communication hacks to help you avoid unnecessary drama, prioritize active listening and address conflicts effectively.
  • Dalmatian eating fruit
    Can dogs eat bananas, apples, strawberries and other fruit? What about grapes? Find out what fruits are safe, toxic, and healthy for dogs. Learn about the potential health benefits and risks of feeding fruit to your canine companion, and get tips on the ideal time to feed it.
  • Illustration of the anatomy of a heart
    As dog lovers, we all want our beloved pups to live long and healthy lives. Protecting your dog's heart from potential health issues is important, and in this blog Dr. Dobias shares some key points that you might not yet be aware of, read on to find out what you can do to keep your dog's heart safe. 

Dog Health

  • Husky lying on blanket with heart toy
    Dogs have our hearts and that is why we need to protect their heart. Dog’s as they age often face muscle problems and spinal misalignment and you might be surprised to know how that can hurt their heart. Learn how to protect your dog’s spine and by extension their heart.
  • The secret ingredient for a perfect No. 2
    Dogs and humans have evolved side-by-side but they are still quite different when it comes to their digestive tracts and dietary habits. We have studied their original environments such as the soils of the African savanna and consulted with top experts in the field of probiotics and microbiology to come up with a combination that reflects healthy bacterial flora of canines.
  • Man being pointed at
    Criticism can hurt a brand, but constructive feedback can help it grow. In this blog Dr. Dobias talks about the differences between these approaches, and how to handle the power of influence and opinion with care. 
  • Broccoli with vitamins and minerals
    Are you worried that your and your dog's diet is missing something? Maybe you're worried about toxin levels in food, the environment, or flea and tick products. Let's face it; we can't remove ourselves entirely from our toxin-filled world, but we can do things to reduce our exposure to harmful substances. 

Human health

  • Dr. Dobias with Pax
    How do you navigate the seas of life? How do you deal with disappointment? Whatever life throws at us, we can always rely on our dogs to bring joy into our days. In this blog I share my thoughts on the support our dogs provide during the difficult moments in life. 
  • Why 1 in 4 Americans suffer from non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)
    Learn more about the alarming prevalence of Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) affecting 1 in 4 Americans. Discover its main risk factors, diagnosis methods, and treatment options to better manage or prevent this silent yet severe condition. 
  • A new perspective on brain health, memory loss, Alzheimer's Disease, and dementia in people and dogs
    The Science of DHA and the Brain: Omega-3 fatty acids, primarily DHA, are the unsung heroes of brain health. They play crucial roles in brain physiology and biological activities, with exciting links between Omega-3 levels and cognitive function. Higher DHA levels have been shown to preserve the integrity of the Blood-Brain Barrier (BBB), your brain's security system
  • Dr. Dobias and Pax
    It appears that most of the world is ready for change, but whenever I think about the solutions to any of the problems that plague our world, I can’t prevent myself from thinking that we humans are acting like little toddlers who have broken a toy and do not know how to fix it. Despite my generally optimistic attitude, I have had a hard time staying positive at times because I know how complex this all is. Read here for some tools that make me feel good about the world, which I would like to share with you.

News, stories and good life

  • Dr. Peter Dobias with his dog Pax on his lap
    Do you have trouble staying positive during difficult times? These days we are surrounded by a lot of negative messaging, and it's easy to let that get you down. Here are some of my tips for remaining positive, and don't forget to share your tips with me!
  • Man raising fist on a mountain
    Most of us have been exposed to panic-inducing information about the virus spread, however, I have noticed the general absence of one piece of information, how to make your immune system stronger and body more resilient. (It will definitely not happen by stockpiling toilet paper!) I have always loved immunology and the current situation has prompted me to put together two simple lists on how to increase your dog’s and your own immunity.
  • Man with dog wearing a collar
    Does your dog have ear problems, nasal or oral tumors, reverse sneezing or an  itchy head or hair loss on their head? Learn how you can address some of these problems and save thousands in vet care costs.
  • Terrier eating raw food
    Now there is no need to guess if there is something missing in your dogs diet.  The HairQ Test is a highly accurate test for mineral deficiencies, toxins and heavy metals in dogs to finely tune your dog’s diet and supplement schedule.

Cart

Close

Your cart is currently empty.

Start Shopping
Close