Not all dogs or all paws need to have their nails trimmed. It is individual and depends on how fast the nails grow and wear. A very physically active dog that moves a lot on asphalt can wear out its nails. For this, however, the claw must reach down and the 5th toe, or so-called the claw of the thumb does not extend down, it must be shortened with pliers. As a rule, the claw is short enough if it does not extend down. 

Claws that are too long tend to break, causing severe pain and bleeding. When stuck, for example, when running or jumping, the last toe joint can either dislocate or break. Long claws prevent proper foot placement causing orthopedic problems. Long, curved nails can begin to grow into the pad, which is very painful and accompanied by inflammation.

The frequency of trimming varies between animals, you need to monitor how fast your dog's nails grow. In most cases, the procedure is performed 1-2 times a month. Puppies' claws grow faster. Blood vessels and nerves are located in the middle of the nail, i.e. nail core. It is a sensitive part, when injured, bleeding occurs and the dog feels pain. You should cut to a distance of about 2 mm from the grain. In dogs with light nails, the pinkish glow of the blood vessels in the nail bed is easily visible. In dogs with dark nails, cutting is more difficult, look for the bristles on the underside of the nail and cut more carefully little by little. If just a small circle is revealed, you have reached the end and you should stop cutting. If you cause pain to your dog during nail trimming, he may become very afraid of the procedure. It is safer to cut a little bit on one side and a little bit on the other side of the nail as you move forward with small bites, so you can notice the cut before it bleeds.

Nail clipping should be practiced as soon as the puppy gets used to its new home. An adult dog can also be trained, but the process takes longer. Dogs often don't like having their paws touched at all. It is worth starting by touching the paws and rewarding good behavior. In order for the dog to develop confidence and comfort, it could be practiced a little bit every day. If the dog already lets his paws be touched, you could start introducing him to nail clippers. First, you can put them gently against the paws for a moment and get the dog used to it. This could also be done on a daily basis so that the dog gets used to it. The dog can also be trained with the so-called sound of nail clippers. Only when the dog is used to touching the paws as well as to the nail clippers, can you start cutting. Initially, the nails can be cut even 1 at a time, so that the dog gets used to it and sees that the procedure is actually not so bad. For example, cut 1 nail every day or every other day. Be sure to use nail clippers designed for dogs, as other tools can cause trauma instead. Nail pliers must be sharp, and open end pliers are safer. With closed-end pliers where the nail has to be inserted, an accident can happen if the nail gets caught in the pliers if you startle or scramble. Choose the size of the pliers according to the size of the dog (claws). If the edges of the cut claw remain sharp, they can also be filed. 

Image: VetBabble

Nail trimming is a routine and necessary procedure throughout a dog's life, but sadly many dogs are very afraid or do not have their nails trimmed at all at home. This may be due to insufficient practice or a previous painful experience. If you are unsure yourself or if the dog does not want to accept the procedure, it is worth going to the vet clinic or the groomer for a haircut first. In order to get used to the procedure, it would be wise to go every 1-2 weeks and cut just a little bit. If the dog sees that the procedure is not painful and that something good will follow, as a result of the right friendly fixation techniques and lots of rewarding, he will eventually get used to it and visits can be made less often or he can start cutting himself at home. Claws that have not been cut for a long time cannot be cut very short first. As a result of regular cutting, the cuticle will begin to recede, allowing you to cut your nails shorter within a few months.

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