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What to Do If You Cut Your Dog’s Nails Too Short

jack russell terrier laying in grass

No other grooming task is more dreaded by owner and pet alike than dog nail trimming. This task seems simple enough, but one misplaced snip is all it takes to accidentally injure your dog’s paw—and cause their trust in your grooming abilities to falter.

Many dogs have solid black nails, making it impossible to see the quick, which contains live blood vessels. You should only trim off the tip, but if you accidentally cut your dog’s nails too short, they may yip in pain and start bleeding. Although this is usually not life-threatening, you still don’t want your pup to be in pain. Plus, blood can get on furniture, clothing, and carpet if you don’t stop the bleeding quickly.

For professional help after cutting your dog’s nails too short, or to schedule professional dog nail trimming, please call Village Vet of Urbana at (301) 228-0681.

How to Stop the Bleeding When You Cut Your Dog’s Nails Too Short

Don’t fret if you nick your dog a little. Even the most experienced groomers occasionally cut the nails too short. Just be prepared with a styptic pencil or clotting powder, which you can purchase at most pet stores or pharmacies. Simply apply the styptic pencil to the bleeding nail or dip the nail into some clotting powder poured into the palm of your hand. It’s always a good idea to have one of these items handy prior to beginning your nail trim, just in case.

If the clotting powder or styptic pencil doesn’t work or your dog still appears to be in pain after 20 to 30 minutes, visit us immediately for veterinary care.

How to Cut Your Dog’s Nails Properly

When you hear your dog’s nails clicking as they walk across a tile or hardwood floor, you know it’s time for a trim. Expect to go three to eight weeks between trimmings. You can always bring your dog to Village Vet of Urbana for professional grooming and nail trimming, but if you want to cut your dog’s nails at home, follow these tips:

  • Place your dog in a comfortable spot, such as on their pet bed. Have a second person slowly feed them treats while you begin to trim their nails.
  • You may notice that your dog’s nails grow straight at first and then make a defined curve downward. Position the clippers at the tip of this curved portion where the nail has flattened on the underside from rubbing against the floor.
  • Make a quick, clean snip to cut off the very tip of the nail. You may be tempted to trim further, but the longer a dog’s nails grow, the longer the quick becomes. You’ll need to lightly trim your dog’s nails every few weeks until they reach a shorter length.
  • Don’t forget to trim the dew claw, which is located further up your dog’s forearm. If neglected, this claw can curl around and grow into your dog’s skin, making for a very painful ingrown nail.
  • If your dog becomes stressed or upset while you’re trimming their nails, let them take a break and come back later.

Request Dog Nail Trimming Services at Village Vet of Urbana

If you’re not comfortable cutting your dog’s nails at home, we’re happy to provide this service for you. We can also provide pup nail trimming during a routine checkup.

Contact us to schedule an appointment today. Call (301) 228-0681 today to learn more!

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Frederick County’s

Most Trusted Animal Hospital

Adamstown | Ballenger Creek |
Brunswick | Frederick | Green Valley |
Hyattstown | Mt. Airy | New Market

Learn More