I have cut my dogs nails over the years with no problem. That's because every dog I owned had light colored nails and I could see the quick very easily.
Polka Dot Butt's nails are as black as black can be! I cut her nails but only a tiny bit because I fear I may cut the quick! I know her nails could stand to have a little more taken off. Does anyone know how to cut BLACK TOE NAILS??
I use the machine that sands them down. It really does work. You can find them in your local pet store.
One thing I know for sure - Have the styptic available.
I worked in a pet store during college and ran into this a lot. The vein inside a dog's toe nails recedes a little bit each time you clip it. Continue trimming just a small amount of each nail--about a quarter inch. However, do it more often than you had been doing. Try clipping a little every other week for about six weeks, or until the nails are at the length you want them to be.
From that point on, monitor the nails and clip them as needed when they are visibly longer than that ideal length you want them.
I've heard that the vein will do that. I have been cutting just a little at a time, just not as often. Perhaps that will be the trick. A little off at a time and more often. Thanks for reminding me about that!
@Rusticliving - good question. I used to cut my dogs' and cats' nails, but sometimes I cut too much and felt really guilty. I recently adopted a mix spaniel with black toe nails. When I took him to the vet, they cut his nails and charged me $12. Straight cut, not sanding or anything sophisticated.. $12? Seriously? I'm doing it myself next time. So, your question helps me too. Thanks.
@Natalie Sack - Thanks for the great info and advice.
Your dog's name is Polka Dot Butt? How do you call her/him? Here PD? Here Butt/Butty? Here Polka? Here Dot? Here P-Butt?
I'm not making fun of you. I think the name's adorable.
My dog's nails are black, and she hates to have her feet handled. She likes her groomer and lets him cut them; also, whenever I take her to the vet's, a vet tech cuts them (no extra charge). I stopped trying to cut them myself several years ago because it made both of us nervous! I bought all those gadgets that are supposed to make the process easy, but none of them work for us. (She also doesn't like the buzzing noise of electronics.) I know her nails sometimes get too long between visits to the groomer, but just don't have the nerve to try doing it myself any longer.
I think that is my issue with my dog and the electronic cutters and sanders. She doesn't like the noise. She also doesn't like her paws being handled, by anyone, however, I have been working with her on a daily regimen of feet touching, holding petting and putting my fingers between her toes. She's getting really good about it now.
Walk her regularly on tarmac and concrete surfaces and her nails will rarely (if ever) need cutting. If this is impossible the advice you have been given about clipping little and often will work well too, (I have been a veterinary assistant at two different surgeries over the years).
Thanks mistyhorizon! When we adopted her, she had not been taken for many walks or have the opportunity to run so she was a bit overweight. We have been doing what you suggested and it has helped keep her nails from growing longer. They were pretty long to begin with. This has been an ongoing process for my sweet P Dot. All the advice sounds very logical.
If I had to throw in my 2 cents, I would say just take off the tips.
Hope that helps
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