Since dog’s nails grow in a curve, allowing them to get too long will cause the “fingers” and “toes” to splay or twist when the dog walks. This can be very uncomfortable and can ultimately lead to broken fingers and toes. Regular nail clipping can prevent this, as well as reduce the risk of torn nails. It can also save on wear and tear of your floors and carpeting.
Nails should be checked and clipped approximately every two weeks. They are probably too long if you can hear them “click” as your dog walks across the floor.
How to get started?
There are two styles of nail clippers made just for pets. Either style is acceptable as long as you are comfortable with how it feels in your hands, you have a clear line of sight to exactly where the blade is cutting, and the clipper has a sharp blade on it. Keep a jar of styptic powder handy to stop the bleeding in case you accidentally clip the vein.
Where to clip?
If your puppy has white nails, you can see the pink vein through the nail. Clip off the tip of the nail, but not so much as to clip the vein. If your puppy has black nails, you will need to clip off a little at a time, looking at the nail tip straight on after each clip. When you start seeing a pale oval in the tip, it means you are near the vein and should stop clipping. If you keep the nails clipped on a regular basis, you will notice a hook at the end of a thicker part of the nail. The hook portion is what can be clipped off. Don’t forget to clip the dew claws if your dog has them!
Remember to start slow
In the beginning, let your puppy sniff the clipper, hear the sound it makes, and feel it against the paw and nail before you start clipping. If you get just one nail done, that’s a success! When you’re just starting out, it may take a week or longer to do all four paws. Keep the sessions positive and reward your puppy with lots of treats and praise while you’re clipping.
Read More At American Humane Society