How Often Do You Trim Your Dogs Nails?

Discussion in 'Dog Grooming' started by 648117, Oct 3, 2012.


How often do you trim your dogs nails?

More than once a week 1 vote(s) 6.7%
Once a week 2 vote(s) 13.3%
Once every two weeks 4 vote(s) 26.7%
Once a month 4 vote(s) 26.7%
Once every 2-6 months 1 vote(s) 6.7%
Once a year 0 vote(s) 0.0%
Never 1 vote(s) 6.7%
When needed 6 vote(s) 40.0%
Other 0 vote(s) 0.0%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. 648117 Honored Member

    I'm going to trim Holly's nails this weekend and was wondering how often everybody else trims their dogs nails.

    Holly's nails don't seem to wear down enough from walking (most days she walks for 20 minutes on sealed footpath, 20 minutes on gravel paths and 20+ minutes on grass).

    So about a month ago the vet suggested that Holly's nails were to long so I cut them, the front ones went fine but the first back one that I tried bled (I put flour on it to stop the bleeding) so I didn't do any of the other back nails. I had already been working on desensitizing her to the clippers so she is pretty good (except I can't do it with her on her back like in the kikopup clip, she doesn't like that so she stands on her grooming mat for it and she can't be held still because that makes her want to get away so full desensitization was important).
    So I took her to the groomers so they could show me how to do it properly. Holly has black nails so I can't see the quick and it turned out I was taking way too much off :oops:

    The groomer said I should do them about once a month and that wearing the nail down from walking depends on the shape of the dogs foot and their weight.

    I have never had to trim any of our other dogs nails and I'm not very good at judging how long the nails should be.

    So my plan is to trim her nails on the first weekend of each month and just pretend to trim them on all the other weekends (giving treats) so she stays happy about getting it done.

    How does that sound?

    What does everybody else do about keeping their dogs nails the right length and how do you know if they are?
    MaryK likes this.

  2. southerngirl Honored Member

    I don't have to trim Missy's nails, because she walks on concrete every day on her walks. Chases nails are way to long and I keep bugging my mom to cut them. I won't because they are black and it takes two people to cut them me to hold him down and my mom cut them because he bites.
    If your not comfortable with cutting Holly's nails than just take her to the vet or groomer. Your plan sounds great.(y)
    MaryK likes this.
  3. Anneke Honored Member

    I trim them when needed. Cooper's front paw nails don't wear down, even though he's on concrete every day. I guess I do that every 3-4 months or so.
    But I have the advantage of white nails on both dogs. That makes it easy.
    My last dog had black nails, too. More than once I caused his nail to bleed:oops:
    So I only trimmed like 2 millimeter off, being too scared to do more...
    MaryK likes this.
  4. Dogster Honored Member

    I try to trim them every month or two. I am terrified to cut Shivon's nails, so I get my mom or dad to do it, cuz most of her nails are black. I am the treat giver.:) It's hard to cut her nails, so we just trim a bit off, maybe every three weeks. She really hates it though, I think she wants to grow her nails out....:p
    MaryK likes this.
  5. Adrianna & Calvin Experienced Member

    I am careful just to shave off the ends of the nail, if the nails are black. My method anyway is to cut the nail so the end is straight (perpendicular to the ground, sort of) which means I'm only ever cutting off the end 'triangle' of the nail. This is presuming that the nails are at least somewhat worn by walking. The dog will wear the nail down again, and I cut off another triangle, and this will help to make the quick recede.

    With my late dog, he had a few dark nails and of course I cut the quick once and nail trims were very difficult thereafter. For Calvin, I combine nail trims with an extra special treat -- an unsalted peanut -- and he only gets these when a nail has been clipped. I do flip him onto my lap to trim the nails, mostly because I don't want him to think a nail trim might sneak up anytime; the position itself is a warning that I'm doing the nails, and a heads-up that peanuts are available for good boys. With both my dog and my cats, inc. all of the cats I've fostered and adopted out, I never held them down to trim all the nails at once. If I can get just one, ok, we'll do another next time. Eventually you can get more and more done once the routine is established, IME.

    The dewclaws need to be trimmed on every dog, but for most dogs who walk on pavement a lot, just the outer front nails and the inner back nail (for whatever reason!) need a trim once in a while.
    Dice Smith, Dogster and MaryK like this.
  6. 648117 Honored Member

    About 20 minutes of her daily walk is on pavement and we have concrete at home but the groomer said that it still depends on the shape of the dogs foot and their weight. Pavement walking just isn't always enough.

    I don't mind doing it myself. I think it is something I should learn to do.

    At least you help to do the nail cutting (giving treats). I have to do it all myself because my family is always very unhelpful. It was very awkward at first during the desensitization because I was trying to hold her paw, the clippers, the clicker and then get treats into her quickly once I'd clicked. I had to change to a verbal marker in the end. And Holly watches what I'm doing because there is no one distracting her.

    Yea, the groomer showed me how to just cut off the end triangle and how if you then look at the cut nail you can see how close you are to the quick.
    I wish Holly had at least one pink nail so I would have something to compare the black ones to, but all her nails are black and I have never cut any other animals nails.
    I did cut her dew claws the time I made the back toe bleed. That went fine.

    I expected that cutting the quick would make her more difficult the next time, but she was fine. She didn't cry or limp when I cut the quick and she was fine about me pressing flour into it so it must not have hurt too much.
    The next week when I went to do the desenditization she wasn't difficult at all, even with the nail that I made bleed. So it doesn't seem to have worried her too much :)

    The groomer suggested cutting nails (and doing general grooming) on the washing machine or something that the dog doesn't normally stand on so they don't associate grooming with anything else and know when to expect it. I've been doing the weekly desensitization on her grooming mat which goes on the table (she gets brushed everyday because she likes it, but doesn't actually need it).

    I had already spent about a month desensitizing her with her on her back in my lap (using the clicker and treats, initally with me just grabbing her paws), but she was never comfortable with it, she's not a cuddly dog and she hates being restrained, she doesn't normally sit on my lap much. She seems happier standing on her mat and not being restrained at all, she's more relaxed and just stands there. She will let me take her paw and put the clipper over the nail perfectly fine so hopefully it will go ok when I do the actual clipping this weekend. Last weekend I put the clipper over each of her nails in turn without a problem so hopefully I will be able to do them all in one session, but it's not a big deal if I can't.
    tylerthegiant, Dogster and MaryK like this.
  7. Evie Experienced Member

    Good thread! I've never yet cut Evie's, but the vet did them all for us when she was knocked out for desexing.. however I just bought myself some nail clippers as they REALLY need doing and I can't take her to the vet or groomer to get it done as she's so ... shy. ...:rolleyes:

    I often handle all her feet and what not to get her used to the idea, and she's fine with that, so it shouldn't be too hard to get it done once I know what I'm doing. I'm just really paranoid about making her bleed :(

    Judging by when her feet were done last time and what they're like now, I'd say Evie's claws should be trimmed every 1-2 months to keep them nice. Oh yeah, she has dew claws on front and back so I have them to worry about too :D

    I think your idea sounds great. It'll be great for Holly to know that not EVERY time you bring out the nail clippers that it's actually going to happy.. and that most of the time it just means more treats :D Think I might try that with Evie B too
    Dogster and MaryK like this.
  8. MaryK Honored Member

    Never have to trim Ra Kismet's claws he wears them down on walks which are all on sidewalks, plus running up and down the driveway at home. Sorry didn't see the multiple choice as I do have to trim Zeus' claws about every six months as his front claws get a bit too long. I get my partner to do them, he's got a stronger grip, I'm with you Dogster I'm the 'lovely treat giver':D not that Zeus minds having his claws cut.

    The cats though are another story:eek::rolleyes: I stay well out of the way when they're having their claws trimmed!
    Dice Smith and Dogster like this.
  9. collie23 Well-Known Member

    We haven't trimmed Trixie's claws yet (she's still to young for them to be too long) but we did file them down a little as they were getting really sharp, and one of them kept catching on the towel we use to wipe her feet. She didn't like it much but she held in there.

    I have no idea what they're like but maybe you could try a Peticure?
    would save the worry of possibly catching her quick, but might involve more desensitization (i've heard there noisy). Again I have no idea what they're like or whether they're recommended etc but think they were mentioned somewhere on this site (might be going crazy though)
    MaryK likes this.
  10. Dlilly Honored Member

    I only clip a tiny bit of the tail too. I'm too scared I'll hurt them… Delilah's nails are getting really long, when I clip the tiniest bit, she yelps like I've hurt her. :cautious: It takes 2 people to hold her down, and even then it's hard to clip them. I would take her to the groomers but I don't see how they could clip them either if we can't hold her down.

    Shiloh will let me clip her nails, and I clip Bailey's when she's sleeping. (y) I've been pretending to clip Rory's nail, I'm getting him used to the nail trimmer.
    MaryK likes this.
  11. jackienmutts Honored Member

    I've never had two dogs who had nails grow as fast as my two now - and that's with walking on concrete every single day. I've started doing nails every two weeks, and I only take off a tiny bit, we always have treats (a little treat for each clip), and once we're all finished, they get to play with their puzzles, the kind where they have to move parts around to get to the treats. They LOVE those, and those are their special treats once the nails are totally finished. They totally can't wait to get to their puzzles, I have a few different ones, so once we're totally finished, they each get a few turns at each puzzle and have a blast. Makes it all worth it.
    MaryK, Adrianna & Calvin and Dogster like this.
  12. MaryK Honored Member

    Jackie what are the puzzles you use please? They sound very interesting. Are they Kongs of some sort? Sorry for a slight de-railment of the thread;)
  13. jackienmutts Honored Member

    These are what I have:
    and a couple others but those two are the favs. Nina Ottosson also makes some really great ones, altho they're pricey. They can't wait to play with those, and nails are worth the endurance for the "puzzle prize" afterwords. Score!!! (y):cool: Of course I'm right there with them on the floor when they have these, and they work them fairly quickly - then they get to switch, each having a turn at the other one, then switch again, etc. Just can't tell you how much they love these!!! They're fun cuz they use their noses and their brains (and their paws).
    MaryK and Dogster like this.
  14. Adrianna & Calvin Experienced Member

    Don't they get icky with saliva? I was hesitant to get them for that reason.

    You know, someone bought this toy for my dog, and my late dog had a great time with it, but Calvin--who let's say is less sharp than other dogs--mastered it immediately. My other dog was clever-er in just about everything, but Calvin has the food out of this thing ASAP. I think it's similar to the bumble bee vs. fly analogy -- my late dog tried a strategic approach, Calvin just hits it like a blizzard and manages to get all the kibbles out easily.
    MaryK and Dogster like this.
  15. 648117 Honored Member

    So I trimmed Holly's nails today before her evening brush.

    She was perfect about it :love: . I got all of them done easily, she never struggled at all. She stood perfectly still for each nail and got a treat between doing each one. I even did her dew claws and the back nail I made bleed previously without any trouble at all.

    The only bad bit was trying to figure out how to position my hand to do her left dew claw, it was slightly awkward at first but Holly was patient and didn't mind as I tried to figure out the best position to hold her fur out of the way and hold the nail out and clip.

    There was no bleeding, but I only took the tiniest bit off each nail (about 1mm).

    I'm very proud of her for standing so still through out, she really was good.
    Evie, MaryK, southerngirl and 2 others like this.
  16. MaryK Honored Member

    Thank you Jackie. Will check Amazon Australia, e-bay Australia and the pet shop nearby.
  17. MaryK Honored Member

    That's grand Holly behaving like a true little Angel. You've every right to be proud of her:love::D
  18. DaniG Well-Known Member

    I wouldn't bother with the brand name Pedicure, or anything made specifically for that. They are overpriced and don't have the battery power to do much of anything.

    HOWEVER, along the same lines, I do highly recommend a dremmel tool. We use this one at my work:

    You could also spend a few dollars more to get the one from Petedge and know that its the right one (if you have a question about whether its the right one):

    Literally from Walmart, you get it in the home improvement section. It's the same idea as the Peticure, but it works much better. Make sure you only use the LOW power (too high of a power can burn little pads). Basically dremmeling makes it harder to kwik them because it takes the nail off much slower. It also makes them round and smooth unlike cutting. It is also easier to desensitize (I think anyway) because you can go super slow, just getting them used to the sound, then the base of the dremmel on their foot, then just a quick zip on a toe, etc.

    You can find the kwik on a black nail by looking at the bottom of the nail, but I can't think of how to explain what it looks like without being able to draw a picture of it/demonstrate it. So just go super slow! The other nice thing about dremmeling is that if you DO hit the kwik, you will barely nick it so not only will it possibly not need anything to stop the bleeding, but it won't hurt as bad =)
    MaryK and Dioritt like this.
  19. Dioritt Well-Known Member

    I'm with DaniG on the Dremmel. I used one on my last dog and it worked a treat. I just 'filed' down a little once a week or so and that way her nails were kept short enough but never went right down to the quick. Not having to deal with the nasty sharp bits afterwards is a bonus, too.

    I haven't had to do Alf's nails. He goes to the groomer every couple of months and that seems to be enough for his nails. I'm sure some dogs nails grow more quickly than others.
    MaryK likes this.
  20. TiflovesBCs Experienced Member

    with Bella every few weeks, Zara was the same but for some reason shes just gone really unwilling to have them done. She even goes so far as to try to bite. Nothing bads happened to pin point why shes suddenly gone like this
    MaryK likes this.

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