Probably one of the most stressful trips your pet ever takes is to the groomer or veterinarian for a nail trim. Usually the reason for this is improper introduction to the nail trimming procedure by the owner. For most animals a trip to the kennel, groomer or veterinarian is a fun thing because of all the different people, smells and animals. A small group of animals however find the whole experience an ordeal. Coupled with the dreaded nail trimming it can be a terrifying experience, even requiring physical restraint, muzzling and in some cases sedation.
Nail care is important in both cats and dogs to prevent nail overgrowth, nail bed infections and that annoying clickety clack noise on the linoleum. In cats, regular nail trimming coupled with a scratching post can significantly decrease destructive scratching in the house.
The best time to begin nail trimming is when your pet is very young (less than four months of age). When your puppy or kitten is receiving their initial vaccinations, your veterinarian can advise you on the proper procedure for nail trimming. We recommend having your pets used to having his or her paws handled. Once you've achieved this, trim 2 or 3 nails a day until all are trimmed. By only trimming a few at a time you'll avoid testing a young animals patience and attention span. We want nail trimming to be a stress free procedure, not a battle of wills. Always give your pet a treat while trimming as it is a great distraction.
Using proper pet nail trimmers prevents pain caused by using human nail trimmers. It is important to avoid the "quick" within the nail. Within the quick lies a small blood vessel and nerve.
If the quick is cut, your pet will yelp and bleed a small amount. Any bleeding is stopped by applying flour and pressure to the tip of the nail. Other products are available from your veterinarian to help stop the bleeding.
By trimming your pets nails at home, you'll be performing the procedure in a stress free environment with the people he or she trusts. If you need help learning how to trim you pets nails, your veterinarian will be happy to help.