How to Cut Labradors Nails?
Labrador Retrievers are known for having long, thick, and strong nails. They have very fine and sharp claws which they use for climbing trees or other objects. Their nails are quite useful because they allow them to climb up walls or even jump from one place to another without falling down. These traits make them popular pets in many homes.
Trimming your dog’s nails is a common task that every pet owner must do at least once in their life. You may not like doing it, but if you don’t, then you won’t get any satisfaction when your dog gets bitten by a snake or something else. If you want to keep your puppy safe from danger, then you need to learn how to trim his nails properly.
The following guide will tell you what tools to buy, how to perform the procedure, and some tips on how to prevent future problems.
What Tools Do I Need?
There are several things that you’ll need before beginning your own nail trimming routine.
Nail Clippers – If you don’t have these already, then you will need to buy a quality pair of nail clippers for dogs. There are many different types and sizes of nail clippers. You can choose the type that you want, but it is best to select one that is simple and will not break easily.
Styptic Powder – This is optional and only needed in case you cut the nails too short. The powder helps to stop the bleeding by using an astringent chemical agent. The chemical agent causes blood to clot by contracting the blood vessels and other tissues.
Coarse Griddle Sand Paper – You can get this at most hardware stores. It is used to file down your dog’s nails. You’ll need a four to six inch piece of sand paper for each nail.
How to Do It
Begin by preparing all of your tools on a firm and stable surface. You’ll need something that you can clean up any messes and you want to be able to work on your dog immediately after. If the surface is too wobbly then you won’t be able to trim your pet’s nails. The best surface to use would either be a kitchen table or a flooring of some sort.
With all of your materials in front of you, you’re now ready to begin trimming your pet’s nails.
Take a look at your dog’s paws and see how long his nails are. If they are very long, then you may want to wait until the next time before trimming them again. This is because very long nails can cause the blood vessels inside of the nail to break when you clip them too short. This can cause bleeding and even lead to infection if not cleaned properly.
If the nails don’t appear to be too long, then you can begin by clipping the sharp tips off of the nails. Be careful when cutting them because if you cut them at an angle you may accidentally slice open the quick inside. If you cut the quick, then your dog will probably start yelping and possibly even try to run away. Follow the natural curve that is found at the tip of your dog’s nails.
If it appears that you’ve clipped the nails too short, then quickly apply some styptic powder by using a Q-tip. The powder will help to stop the bleeding in case you accidentally made the nail a little shorter than it was supposed to be.
Now take your coarse griddle sand paper and begin to slowly file down each of your dog’s nails. You may want to apply a small amount of oil to the nails first as this will cause the sand paper to stick to your pet’s nails better. Work on each nail until it has a smooth and round appearance.
If you have Styptic Powder at home and you accidentally cut the quick, then it is important that you act quickly before your dog starts to bleed excessively. The powder works by causing the blood vessels and other tissue to contract using an astringent chemical agent.
Using a Q-Tip, apply the powder directly onto the bleeding nail. It should start to clot almost immediately. Be sure to apply constant pressure to your dog’s nail until the bleeding stops completely.
Afterwards, you can begin to file down your dog’s nails that you accidentally cut too short. Be extremely careful this time around so you don’t make the same mistake again.
Continue to do this until each nail is at the proper length. You may have to repeat this process several times before you are able to get the hang of it.
Tips and Warnings
– It is important that you do not cut the quick as this will cause your dog a great deal of pain. This can be avoided by using the griddle sand paper as opposed to clippers.
– You can choose to do as many or as few nails as you want at any one time. It is recommended that you not try to do them all in one sitting, especially if this is something completely new to you.
– It is very important that you take your time when cutting and filing your dog’s nails. Cutting or filing the quick can not be repaired, so it is best not to rush through this task and take as much time as needed.
– If you are still concerned about cutting the quick, then you can always have someone more experienced cut your dog’s nails. The key is to have someone who is able to treat the bleeding properly if it occurs. This way you can learn from them until you are confident enough to perform the task yourself.
– If you have done this before to other dogs with no problem then this one should be no different. Just take your time and don’t rush through the process.
– Be sure that you have styptic powder at home to stop any bleeding that may occur. It is also a good idea to keep a small first aid kit for your dog in case of an emergency.
Cutting your dog’s nails takes some practice but the task itself is not difficult to learn how to do. It just takes time and patience on your part as well as your dog’s. Be sure to take the proper safety precautions when doing this task and have no fear, you’ll both master the procedure before you know it.
Sources & references used in this article:
- Labrador Retrievers for Dummies (J Walton, E Adamson – 2011 – books.google.com)
- Shar Pei Labrador Mix Facts (LSP Mix – thedogdigest.com)
- The Everything Labrador Retriever Book: A Complete Guide to Raising, Training, and Caring for Your Lab (KC Thornton – 2004 – books.google.com)
- A 16th-century Basque whaling station in Labrador (JA Tuck, R Grenier – Scientific American, 1981 – JSTOR)
- The Labrador Retriever (S Bolan – 2009 – books.google.com)
- HAPPY FEET (OURB FRIENDS, PET PEEVES, E ADVICE – animalstudiesrepository.org)
- Your Labrador Retriever Puppy Month by Month: Everything You Need to Know at Each Stage of Development (T Albert, D Eldredge, D Ironside, B Ironside – 2016 – books.google.com)
- The trappers of Labrador (AW Cockerill – Material Culture Review, 2004 – journals.lib.unb.ca)