Clipping Nails

Good grooming practices are essential for maintaining health and happiness for you and your dog. This is a forum to exchange tips and advice for proper care of your dog's hygiene needs.


Future Service- Dog
Barked: Thu Jan 3, '13 7:02pm PST 
When I brought Luna home almost a week ago, I noticed that her nails were too long.

Today I brought out the nail clippers and made the ultimate mistake: I caught the quick. I stopped the bleeding right away, and put the clippers away to avoid traumatizing her further.

How do I tell in a black dog where the quick is? (I'm used to my cat's white nails.)

I'm about ready to take her down to a pet store and ask the grooming department if they will do it while I watch.

Canadian- Champion, CGN
Barked: Thu Jan 3, '13 9:02pm PST 
It's pretty much a guess with black dogs, but here are some tips:

Only cut very small amounts off at a time. Take little snips off until you see a darker dot in the middle of the nail. Once you see this dot, stop clipping, as that's the start of the quick and any further will cause bleeding.

If you look under the nail, sometimes you can see where the nail is actually hollow. It's hard to explain, and doesn't always show very well on all dogs. But if the nail looks hollow you can at least clip that part off.

Clip the nails more often, just taking the pointed tips off.

You could grind the nails which is sometimes easier for some dogs. Also walking on hard surfaces like the sidewalk helps to wear down the nail on its own.

You could also go to a groomer or the pet store and get someone to do it for you and watch, that isn't a bad idea at all!

Also if your dog has dew claws make sure you pay special attention to them, as they grow faster since they make no impact on the ground at all. The quick in the dew claw usually doesn't grow as close to the end of the nail, so you shouldn't have to worry as much about cutting the quick on them.

Hopefully that helps! Even as a groomer I have a hard time knowing just how far back I can take black nails.