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You are here: myPetSmart.com > Community > Blogs > Admin > Trimming Your Dogs Nails Grinding Versus Cutting

Trimming Your Dog's Nails: Grinding versus Cutting

July 15, 2011 -

Nail clipping is a necessary part of caring for your dog. Left untrimmed, your dog’s nails can crack or break or can grow too long, affecting how he walks.

Many Pet Parents are wary of trimming their dog’s nails, especially when the pet has dark or black nails with no visible “quick” (the soft inner part of the nail containing the blood vessels and nerve endings). PetSmart grooming offers a complete Pawdicure package including: nail trimming, nail grinding and ear cleaning as part of our teeth, nail and ear care services.
This takes the worry and mess of nail care off your to-do list, but if you prefer the do-it-yourself route, here are some things to keep in mind:
You can certainly have your veterinarian or groomer trim your dog’s nails or assist you in the process, but it’s not a bad idea to have the tools and the skills to handle nail clipping on your own for ongoing maintenance or in case of an emergency.
Grinding or Cutting
You can choose from two different approaches to trim your dog’s nails - grinding and cutting - or you can use both.
If your dog’s nails are long, you’ll need a dog-specific nail clipper.

You can choose from a regular nail clipper or a guillotine-style nail clipper; never use human nail clippers on your dog. You may also be able to select from styles based on dog size.
Cut the nail little by little, taking small clippings each time to avoid hitting the quick.
You can use a nail file or dremel after the clippers to smooth out the nails.
To grind your dog’s nails you’ll need to use a Dremel or grinder.  
A Dremel is an electric rotary tool with a round metal head that spins quickly to gently grind down your dog’s nails.
Start slowly to get your dog accustomed to the sound of the dremel—it’s a great tool for shortening your dog’s nail to a round, smooth edge. If your dog’s nails are long, cut them first and use the dremel as a finishing touch.
No matter which type of tool you use, start getting your dog used to having his paws handled and hearing the sounds of clipping or grinding at a young age. Work up to clipping or grinding slowly and you’ll build a nail care routine that both you and your pet will enjoy!
Visit us in store or online at petsmart.com/grooming for more information on PetSmart Grooming.

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