Learn the best way to clip your dog's nails

What you’ll need

Invest in a good pair of nail clippers to cut your dog’s nails. There are two types of nail clippers, guillotine and scissors type. Guillotine clippers work well for small breeds and are quite easy to use. Scissor clippers work in the same way that a pair of scissors would and as they are a more heavy duty type of clipper, are suitable for larger breeds. Keep a natural product such as Crede Coconut Oil on hand in case you accidently cut the quick of the nail and need to stop the bleeding. Your vet will be able to advise you which type of clippers will work best for your dog.
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Prep your dog

If you’ve never trimmed your dog’s nails before, it’s important that you get him used to the idea of having his feet and nails handled. Many dogs dislike having their paws handled and getting them used to it from a young age will make it much easier for them and you when they are grown up. Depending on his size, you can either hold him in your lap, sit on the floor with him or get someone to hold him down on the table. Spend a day or two picking up your dog’s paw, touching the toes and nails gently for a few seconds and then releasing the paw. Immediately afterwards, give him a tasty treat, take him for a walk or play his favourite game - in this way he’ll learn that nail trimming leads to good things!
After practicing for another day or two and your dog seems comfortable with having his nails and paws handled, introduce the nail clippers. Pick up his paw and let the clippers touch the nail – don’t trim the nail yet! Follow up by giving your dog another treat. Repeat this step for a few minutes.
Continuing practicing for another two days until your dog is relaxed and used to you handling his paws. A few good doses of PetCalm which is a 100% homeopathic remedy to calm and relax pets when they are stressed or anxious would definitely help in this situation! Try trimming a nail one at a time and follow up immediately with a delicious treat. The best time to trim your dog’s nails is when he is relaxed, well exercised and bit sleepy. 
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How to trim your dog’s nails

1. Hold your dog’s paw firmly but gently.
2. Knowing where to trim is VERY IMPORTANT! If your dog has clear or light nails, it’s fairly easy to see where the quick ends – this is the pinkish colour! The quick is the blood vessel that runs down the middle of the nail.
3. Choose which nail to trim and cut below the quick at a 45 degree angle using the cutting end of the clipper.
4. If your dog has dark nails, be conservative in your clipping. If he will tolerate it, nip small thin slivers of nail at a time instead of one large piece. The general rule of thumb is to put the clippers flat against the pad and trim level with the pad to avoid clipping the quick. If you notice a pink or grey dot – STOP! this is the start of the quick and you will have to stop trimming now as you may cut into the quick which will cause bleeding and pain.
5. Don’t forget to trim your dog’s dewclaws! Dew Claws are the equivalent of vestigial thumbs or big toes and are a little way up the leg. Because of this, they do not wear like the other claws and are usually longer and more curved. This can often cause a problem as they get caught in carpets etc. Some dogs have them the front legs but some may have them on their rear legs too.
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Avoid common mistakes

1. If you accidentally trim the nail too and cut the quick, the nail will bleed. Your dog will yelp but don’t panic! Talk to him in a soothing voice and give him a few treats to calm down. Apply pressure for a few minutes and use a little Cothivet to disinfect the wound. Stop the nail trimming session and try again in a few days.
2. Don’t wait a long time to trim your dog’s nails. Try to trim the nails every two to three weeks so that you don’t have to wait a long time between cuttings. The quick grows as quickly the nail!
3. A good rule of thumb to know when to trim your dog’s nails – trim the nails if they touch the floor when he is standing
4. Use high quality nail clippers which are suitable for your dog’s size
5. Make nail trimming an enjoyable experience. Be patient and calm when you handle your dog’s paws, and remember to praise and reward him treats.    
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