Cutting black dog nails is not an easy task. Worrying about trimming too much, your dog would pull his paw away or the worst part of nail trimming, hitting the quick.
Adding to all of these obstacles, not being able to see the quick. Dogs with black nails make the trimming process more difficult as you can’t decide whether you are close enough to the quick or not.
Many pet owners would take their dogs to a groomer just because they are worried about not making it right and causing pain for their dogs.
Here are some tips about how to cut black dog nails and why it is different from cutting through a light nail.
Dogs Nail Structure: It’s Usage and Anatomy
Nails are there for a purpose. dogs use their nails in digging, grasping on things more tightly, grasping food or claw at any predator.
And just like us, dogs nails get longer and need to be trimmed not to hinder the dog from any desirable activity.
The anatomy of the nail is made up of two parts; the outer shell( that we cut) it grows just like human nails. and the other part is the blood vessel named the quick. It is engulfed inside the outer shell.
Your dog won’t feel any pain as long as you are cutting the outer shell only, the problem happens if you cut through the second part, the quirk.
The quirk is just like flesh, if you cut into it bleeding will occur that’s why we only target to cut the outer hard shell only as it won’t cause any pain.
Black nails and light nails are not different in their structure or anatomy, it is just the pigment that is different.
When to Cut Dogs Nails
You will know when your dog’s nail needs trimming. The loud ticking sound you hear when your dog is walking on a hard floor or concrete. Whenever you feel that this sound is louder than it should be, that’s your hint.
Leaving your dog’s nail without cutting will make him uncomfortable and sore.
Now that you know your dog needs trimming, you need to prepare for the trimming process.
Before Cutting Dogs Nails: Prepare all that you are going to need for the trimming. Do your search on everything before settling on a way or equipment.
When to start cutting dogs nails
Cutting your dog’s nail should start as early as possible. It is important to start cutting their nails when they are young puppies, that will help you to be more comfortable with the process as they grow up and they will get used to it.
Let the puppies inspect the clippers or the file before using it. you may turn it on just for them to get used to it’s sound, after they are familiar with the tool, you could start using it.
How to Cut Dog Black Nails
There are two options available for trimming your dog; nail clippers and nail files. Both of them are great you just choose what you feel comfortable with.
Nail clippers will do the job faster than files, but files give you less chance for having any accidents while cutting.
Using a nail file would take a lot of time and your dog won’t likely tolerate or have the patience to sit until you finish. Also, you need to keep in mind while using the file, you have to work a few seconds then stop because the file may get hot.
Nail clippers are more of a specific tool, it let you know where exactly you are cutting. it has sharp blades that help you in cutting cleanly, you won’t need filing to make the nail looks smooth.
Make sure you get a sharp stainless blades clippers not poor quality clippers to get the best result. poor quality clippers will squeeze off the nail leaving it in ragged shape.
How to angle or hold the clippers: you need to position the clipper at a 45° angle. some people recommend a 90° angle but after trying both 45° is more suitable. 90° may work with short nails.
How to Locate The Quick: Where Is It?
The quick is the part that connects the nail with the dog’s leg. In dogs with light nails, the quirk is pink and the nail is white. But dogs with black nails have black quick too. so it is nearly impossible to locate a black quirk on a black nail.
From the outside of the nail, it is hard to locate the quick. After cutting small portions of the nail, try to find the pulp.
The pulp is the alert sign that you are so close from reaching the quick. When you find the pulp, this is your signal to stop cutting. It is easy to locate the pulp in your dog’s nail. After every cut, you will find a white color present on the surface of the cut.
This means that you still didn’t reach the pulp. When you notice a small circular dark appearance on the surface of the cut, this is the pulp!
The pulp is just before the quick, so if you trim the nail further you will hit the quick. Hitting that blood vessel will cause serious pain and bleeding.
What you should do If you hit the quick: Hitting the quick may happen even if we followed every single step right. Keep the styptic powder in reach, in case you hit the quick accidentally.
Styptic powder helps in stopping the bleeding if you don’t have the styptic powder you can use corn starch or flour. Cutting the quick is not dangerous and it doesn’t require a visit to the vet.
Just make sure to praise your dog and give him extra treats and pass what happened.
What If I Failed Cutting Dog Black Nails?
Sometimes dogs just don’t like their owner trimming their nails or doing his grooming in general. Also, some pet owners find trimming too stressful from their own liking.
Seeking experts help in these cases is an excellent choice.
Our dogs’ hygiene is important. Trimming our dogs’ nails will keep a lot of diseases, soreness and pain away. All of the pet parents want their dogs without nail pain, soreness, and infections.
A happy dog= a happy pet parents.