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*Post last updated on 1/22/2018
Trimming your dog’s nails can be a delicate task especially if your dog has black nails instead of white nails. With white dog nails you can easily the pink quick but with black nails, you’re left guessing where the quick might be.
The trick with black nails is that you need to start trimming before you can have an idea where the quick is.
Inside of a dog’s nail, there is a grey dot.
This grey dot is the beginning of the quick and your clue to stop trimming.
Still a little nervous?
Here are a few tips for trimming your dog’s black nails.
Introducing the Dog to Nail Trimmers
Before you begin trimming make sure that your dog is comfortable with you handling their paws.
It’s always a good idea to start this when they are young. Gently grab their paw and massage it a little and put it back down. Repeat this step a few times.
If your dog shows any signs of being comfortable you can try to offer them treats for good behavior or you can even use some peanut butter or spray cheese and set a few squirts in front of them or on a wall or cabinet. There’s even a product called a Lick Lick Pad that you can stick to a wall and spread peanut butter on it.
If your dog still seems super uncomfortable or agitated I would suggest stopping right there and just let a vet tech or veterinarian trim the nails. The struggle isn’t worth you getting bit or your dog getting hurt.
If your dog seems good, start trimming their nails one at a time. Just take off small amounts or even slivers. Don’t lob off half their nail.
Here’s a fresh cut on a black nail
Keep shaving away until you see the beginning of a grey oval. When a dark oval is starting to appear this is where most people should stop. A few more slivers and you will be at the quick.
One more sliver here and the dot will be a lighter grey, almost whitish in some nails.
This is what it will look like if you keep going.
The Grey Dot Is Where You Should Stop Trimming Your Dog’s Black Nail
This is the farthest that you should trim.
If you can’t contain yourself and must keep going you’re going to hit the quick like this and the blood will begin to flow.
This was 1/4 off a sliver after the above the picture. (this was not done intentional and my dog didn’t even flinch when it happened because it was such a small amount BUT if you go further it’s going to begin hurt)
A Few Tips On Trimming Black Nails On a Dog:
If your dog has white and black nails you can use the white nails as a guide to where the quick may be on the black nails but keep in mind that all nails are different and the quick may be longer or shorter on other nails.
Cut your dogs nails from the underneath and not from the top.
If you don’t see a grey dot for whatever reason and you’re getting nervous either apply pressure to your dog’s nail and see if they react or just stop cutting.
You can use an emery board or dremel to finish the job off.
Make sure your nail clippers are sharpened. Blunt clippers will crush the nail and make trimming much more difficult.
If you hit the quick and the nail is bleeding, don’t panic, you can easily stop the bleeding. Read this article here to stop a dog’s bleeding nail.
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