Here’s the thing: Pawdicures are a thing. Yep, that’s pedicures—for your dog. A dog pedicure.
But we aren’t just talking about a French tips or bedazzled flower decals that you can get at a pet nail salon—we’re talking about actual health.
If your dog isn’t the type that gets groomed regularly, you probably haven’t given a ton of thought to trimming your furry friend’s toenails.
And if your dog is an indoor dog who doesn’t get a whole lot of rough-and-tumble time in the great outdoors, theirs don’t get that natural filing, which can lead to unhealthy talons that can result in lots of scratches—both on your actual dog, and on anyone and anything he comes into contact with, furniture included.
And if that foot hair gets too long? Adios, traction, hellooo super slippery feet! It’s like humans and new shoes with slick soles — accidents are bound to happen.
So what’s the deal? Are we supposed to shell out money every month so our dogs can get pampered more than we do?
Nope! If you’re like us, you’re all about that DIY, and giving good ol’ Fido a paw-dicure is actually easier—and less ridiculous—than it sounds.
- First things fist: Start early. If you’ve just brought a new puppy into your home, familiarize yourself with his feet, and let his feet get familiar with you. The less weird it is for you to be grabbing at them, the better. And if your dog is of the older variety? Work your way into it, offering lots of praise — whether it’s treats, verbal praise or lots of petting — to encourage a safe, positive environment.
- Next up, get the gear. You know it’s time to trim when your dog sounds like he’s wearing heels. That click-clacking—or carpet snagging—is a sign that they’ve gotten too long, and it’s time for a little maintenance. Use sharp, heavy duty nail clippers made especially for dogs, have a styptic powder on hand in case there’s any bleeding, small scissors to trim hair, and an emery board for filing jagged edges.
- Get a nail-clipping buddy. It’s best to have someone to hold and comfort the dog when they’re in the down position—especially because it’s somewhat of a delicate process. The key is to move slowly and in small clips, as the “quick,” which provides blood to the nail, will bleed (and hurt!) if it’s nicked. If that happens, dab on styptic powder to stop the bleeding, and provide your dog with lots of loving. Next up, trim any long hairs that might interfere with the traction of your dog’s paws, then file away to lessen the chance of splitting.
And voila! That’s it! Throw in a little reward to let your dog know what a great job he did (and encourage cooperation the next time around) and you’ll be set for a month or so—or until you start hearing that click-clacking around the house.
The information provided in this article is not a substitute for professional veterinary help.