Nail Trimming Tips for Pet Owners in Dartmouth, Massachusetts

One of the most challenging jobs required as part of pet ownership is taking care of grooming. Not only is it difficult to know how much to trim when trimming a pet’s nails, most cats and dogs do not like it and will often put up a fuss. While some pet owners simply bring their pets in to see their local veterinarian in South Coast for nail trimming, it is possible to do this type of vet care for cats and dogs at home. Untrimmed nails can cause a lot of problems for your pet, including cracked, chipped or broken nails, which can lead to bleeding or even infection if left untreated.

When Should Nail Trimming Occur?
With cats, you will begin to notice their nails snagging on the carpet when they walk or getting caught on blankets, bedding, and clothing when they need a trim. When it comes to dogs, you can often spot nails that need to be trimmed, but you will also hear their nails clicking more on the tile or sidewalk when they are walking.

However, the best thing for both you and your pet is to do nail trimming on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. Not only will this help your pet to become more comfortable with the process, but it gives you a chance to inspect your pet’s feet and spot any issues or abnormalities that may require the assistance of professional vet care for cats and dogs.

What Tools Do I Need?
Speak with your veterinary clinic in Dartmouth about any special tools that you might need for trimming your pet’s nails, but most cats and dogs simply require a pair of good quality trimmers from the pet supply shop. Seasonal pet tips often include grooming tips, such as bathing, conditioning for dry skin, preventive treatments for fleas and ticks, as well as nail trimming and annual vet care for cats and dogs.

Other things that you should have on-hand for nail trimming include:

  • a blanket to wrap your cat or small dog in while trimming for better control
  • styptic powder or pads, in case you accidentally cut too far and bleeding occurs
  • a pillow or other comforting devices for particularly skittish pets

What is the Best Way to Trim Nails?
While each person has their own method that works best for them and the animal that they are caring for with nail trimming, the best way to start off trimming your pet’s nails is by sitting on the floor. Gather all of your tools and sit down on the floor with your pet. That way, if the pet jumps off your lap during the process, you won’t ned to visit your local veterinarian in South Coast for an injury.

Avoid cutting the “quick,” which is a blood vessel that runs right down the middle of the pet’s nail. The more time you wait between trimmings, the closer that blood vessel will get to the end of the nail. More frequent trimmings will not just get your pet used to the process, but will also make it easier all around. If you are nervous the first time, ask your groomer, veterinarian or other pet care professional for advice or examples on nail trimming.

Getting a Pet Used to Trimming
If your pet is new to trimming or has had issues with nail trimming in the past, you can help to improve the experience by making it more pleasant. Start slowly and gradually work up to the point of simply playing with your pet’s feet, handling their toes, and just hold them for 15-30 seconds, as though you would be trimming them, without actually doing any trimming. Make sure your pet is not allowed to bite at you or even mouth at your hand. This process might take a week or more to get them used to the process before you can even do any actual nail trimming.

Visit Anchor Animal Hospital in Dartmouth
Whether you require basic veterinary care for check-ups, vaccinations, and other preventive treatments, or if you are seeking assistance with grooming issues, such as nail trimming, our team at Anchor Animal Hospital can help you to achieve your goals. With decades of experience behind us, our veterinary clinic in Dartmouth treats a wide variety of pets, including offering vet care for cats and dogs. Give us a call at 508-996-3731 to schedule an appointment or to learn more about the many services we provide.