There are dog groomers and veterinary professionals in every town offering premium claw clipping services for dogs, but is it really necessary to pay high prices for what is essentially a nail trim? There are hundreds of clipping and filing products on the market, each claiming to make claw clipping simple and easy. Often buying the equipment can be more costly than paying for an appointment at the poodle parlour!
The best idea by far is to prepare your dog from an early age to allow a detailed inspection of its feet. This way there will be less dangerous wriggling during cutting. Claw clipping should become a part of normal routine, as important as using the right dog food, or learning new tricks.
Often lifting a paw so that the underside can be viewed from above is easiest, especially as the dog may not be able to see the cutting equipment.
Do not allow dogs to chew or mouth any type of cutting equipment, as it can damage not only the inside of the mouth but the cutting blade as well. Saliva can also make blades slippery, encouraging accidents.
Clear claws are much easier to clip, as the nerve and blood vessels in the centre or ‘quick’ is clearly visible, as in human fingernails. Black claws are much more difficult.
Many professionals agree that at least 2mm should be left above the quick, to prevent cutting claws too short and causing accidental damage. Start by paring off the tiniest possible sliver, and gradually work down until the centre of the claw is a lighter shade, or white. This white area is softer, and indicates that the quick is very close to the cut surface.
There are electronic clippers and files available, which may make the job easier for some, particularly with thick or hard dog claws, which normal clippers may struggle to cut through. For more timid or nervous dogs, files that buzz may cause distress, and pulling a paw away mid snip can be disastrous.
In the unfortunate event of clipping too close to the quick, dipping the claw in flour seems to be the most common way of stopping the bleeding. Many online forums advocate this technique.