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How to cut to the quick on dark-nailed dogs?

asked 2015-12-03 19:07:05 -0500

My dog has dark nails, which makes it difficult to clip his nails just to the quick.

What tricks do you do to keep your dark-nailed dog's nails trim?

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They are tricky but if you cut the nails until you see a dark dot in the middle of the nail, that is when you can no longer cut any more of the nail. I would have a professional show you so you know what to look for.

Abby O.'s profile imageAbby O. ( 2015-12-04 00:48:27 -0500 )edit

Use the pads of their feet as a guide to how short the nails should be. The nails should not extend past the end of the pads. Cut just a small amount at a time.

Tammy B.'s profile imageTammy B. ( 2017-02-23 18:08:18 -0500 )edit

3 Answers

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answered 2017-02-23 16:59:18 -0500

Black nails are a little more challenging because the quick is not clearly visible from the side. If you happen to have a young dog with hooked nails, you can safely trim off the hook, essentially making the nail flat across the bottom, without risk of hitting the quick (see the first photo in this article to see the correct cutting line). If your dog doesn’t have hooked nails, you need to pay very close attention to the cut surface of the nail to know when you’ve trimmed close enough. Initially, the cut surface will show a white or gray center, but as you get closer to the quick, this center will turn black and eventually pink immediately before reaching the quick. Take of just a tiny bit of nail at a time to see this change, and stop when the cut surface shows a solid black center. See the slide show below to see how to trim black nails.

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answered 2017-02-23 17:56:54 -0500

Use your fingers to separate the toes for clipping and hold the paw gently. Use a pair of blunt edged children's scissors to remove excess toe hair: nothing dulls clippers quicker than cutting hair! Remember, no dog ever died from a quicked toenail. If you “quick” your dog accidentally, give a yummy treat right away.

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answered 2015-12-03 19:50:31 -0500

This is tricky. I would leave that to the professionals. If not, make sure you have great lighting and only clip a tiny amount, as it's not necessary to cut right down to the quick.

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