Pedicure 101

Almost all dogs and cats need nail trims every few weeks (the frequency depends on the pet – when you see a sharp point or hook present at the nail tips then it’s time to get out the trimmers). Cats sharpen their nails to almost razor points and although some dogs are active enough on hard surfaces (such as compacted dirt or concrete) to they wear their nails down naturally, they still need their dewclaws trimmed (if they have them) since these nails don’t touch the ground to be worn down.    If you don’t keep the nails trimmed they can overgrow and actually curl into the nearby pawpad causing pain and even infections/abscesses.
Many people are scared to trim a pet’s nails however as they’re afraid they’ll “quick” them or cut the nail too short which hurts and makes it bleed.  “Quicking” a nail happens to all of us at some point but below is a guide on how to trim nails to decrease the likelihood of this from happening.  If you do trim a nail too short however, simply have some Qwik-Stop on hand (or baking powder or flour in a pinch) to apply to the nail to stop the bleeding. As an added bonus, Qwik-Stop also has a pain reliever in it.


Nail trimming is easier if you a holder to keep the pet still and the leg stretched out.  If needed, you can also distract your pet with a firm head tapping or a treat (like a kong filled with peanut butter or canned food – if you freeze the food containing kong first it takes even longer to eat it all).  Always be prepared to quick a nail during a nail trim – pour some of the Kwik-Stop powder in the container’s lid so it’s ready to use before you begin.  What you don’t use, just pour back into the bottle. To trim a toenail identify the pink quick if the nail is white/clear and position your clippers just in front of where the quick ends; if the nail is black (and you therefore can’t see the quick) simply start small – with just the tip.
Trimming nails compilation
In one fluid motion squeeze the clippers and cut the toenail.  Now inspect the nail to see if it is short enough, if it’s not cut off a little more.  For black nails, take small amounts at a time until you see a black dot in the approximate center of the nail when you look at it head on; once you see this black dot stop as that is the tip of the quick.  Should you nick the quick and the nail starts bleeding, simply dab the toe in the Kwik-Stop you already have ready to use in the container’s lid.  You can press the Kwik-Stop against the nail tighter if needed or apply another coat should it continue to bleed.
Black nail black dot compilation
Repeat this procedure on the remaining toes and Voila, your pet’s nails are now trimmed!  Congratulations, you did it! Nail trim before and after

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