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How to cut dog's nail to make the quick recede

Updated: Jun 17

What time is it when you hear your dog's nails clicking on the floor as he/she walks? It's time for a nail trim! Long nails can lead to a lots of problems for all types of dogs—puppies, small dogs, large dogs, all dogs. That's why all dog owners should know that getting your pet's nails clipped and keeping the nails short on a regular basis is important. In this article, we will go over:

  • How to Tell If Your Dog's Nails Are Too Long

  • How to Identify a Dog's Quick

  • How to Make Your Dog's Nail Quick Recede

  • Techniques for Trimming or Grinding Dog Nails

  • What If You Accidentally Cut the Quick?

  • What Is the Perfect Length for Your Dog's Nails?

  • What If My Dog Is Afraid of the Nail Trimmers?

  • Working With a Veterinary Professional or Groomer

For starters, when you allow nails to grow too long or to become overgrown, this also means that the quick has grown out, which can lead to nail bed issues, bleeding nails, pain, secondary issues in your dog's body, and a worried pet owner.

How to Tell If Your Dog's Nails Are Too Long

The rule of thumb is that if they are clicking on the floor, causing discomfort, or interrupting mobility, they are overgrown. Several problems can occur when the quick and nail overgrow:

  • The nails become frail and fracture easily

  • Overgrown quicks can cause pain, bleeding, and infection

  • Your dog may start to walk in an irregular way

  • Your dog may become phobic of or uncomfortable on slippery floors and hard surfaces

  • The paw pads or toe joints may become uncomfortable (can cause skeletal abnormalities in the future)

If your dog's nails are overgrown, don't try to cut them short all at once. Instead, ask your vet or groomer for help. Chances are, the nails will need to be cut a little bit at a time to allow the quick to recede.

How to Identify a Dog's Quick Dog nails are composed of the nail and a soft cuticle called the quick that is rich in blood vessels and nerves. What does the quick look like on a dog?

  • Light-colored nails: Easy to identify. It is a pink region in the center of the translucent/white nail.

  • Dark-colored nails: Hard to identify and trimming can be a bit of a challenge. Sometimes it helps to look at the bottom of the nail as you trim to gauge how "deep" into the nail bed you are trimming.

Why Does the Quick Overgrow? When you fail to trim your dog's nails on a regular basis, the quick grows with the nail. In some cases, when the nails are extra long, the quick may lengthen so much that it reaches the tip of the nail. When this happens, you won't be able to trim much of the nail without risking cutting through the quick. Don't try to clip dogs' nails and make them short all at once! Ask your veterinarian or dog groomer to show you how to gradually trim the nail to encourage the quick to recede. Otherwise, you risk hurting your pet.


What is a dog's nail quick?


The quick, which consists of a blood artery and a nerve, is more visible on light dog nails. Hold the paw of your dog up to the light. The quick seems to be a nail-within-a-nail because it is visible through the nail. You must not cut into the quick since it will bleed and give agony to your dog.


How to stop bleeding if you cut the dog's nail too short.


The easiest and fastest ability to stop nail bleeding if you accidentally cut the quick in a dog's nail is to use styptic powder. It can be found in every pet supplies shop or on the internet. One of the more well-known brands is Kwik-Stop, but there are some others well.

  • To use the powder, either apply it to the bleeding nail with your finger or dump it into the container's lid and dunk your dog's nail into it.

  • Apply pressure to the area for a few seconds. If the nail is bleeding profusely, more styptic powder can be needed.

  • When the nail no longer bleeds when you remove the pressure, you can relax.


How to trim your dog's nails.

  • Pick up a paw and place your thumb on the pad of a toe and your forefinger on the top of the toe, just above the nail, firmly yet softly. Make sure your dog's fur isn't getting in the way.

  • Push your forefinger forward while pressing your thumb up and backward on the pad. The nail will be longer as a result of this.

  • Only the tip of the nail should be clipped straight across. Include the dewclaws, which are situated on the paw's inner side.

  • If you clip past the bend of the nail, you run the danger of striking the quick (the pink area of the nail that contains the blood vessels). There's a nick there, and it hurts and bleeds. Keep an eye out for a chalky white ring on a dark-nail canine.

How to grind a dog's nails.

  • With the dog's paw outstretched, secure him. Always be ready to come to a halt if the dog is struggling and you need to reposition him before continuing.

  • Gently place the grinder to the bottom of the nail tip and slowly raise it up and around to the top of the nail tip, working on one nail at a time. Work your way back down to your starting location once you've reached the top of the tip.

  • Repeat this procedure until the sharp tip is gone, but not so much that you grind into the quick and cause the nail to bleed.

  • When you've removed as much length as you need, use the grinder to gently polish the tip by moving it around in a circular motion several times.

  • Repeat the procedure on each of your dog's nails.

Advantages of grinding over clipping a dog's nails.

  • When done correctly, grinding is essentially painless, but your dog may need to get used to the vibration of the grinder on their nails.

  • Instead of the jagged tips that many trimmers leave behind, you may get a lovely, smooth tip that appears pretty natural.

  • You're much less likely to accidentally expose the nail's quick and cause bleeding.



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