Caring for the claws is particularly important in dogs, since claws that are too long can place the paws in an unnatural position and cause severe pain when walking. If the claws do not wear out by themselves and are not adequately shortened over a long period of time, they can twist in the nail bed. Long claws also increase the risk of extremely painful injuries by pulling out the claws. If the claws are very long, they can even grow in and lead to postural damage.
Cut the claws correctly
Dog claws are the right length if they do not touch the floor or only touch it minimally when standing. If possible, the claws should be cut regularly because over time, the longer the claws become, the more nerves and blood vessels reach into the claw. This can make future shortening to the correct length impossible.
To cut the hard dog claws, the use of special claw pliers is necessary. The use of nail scissors or nail clippers for people should be avoided! Claw pliers cut the claws from below and do not squeeze them together, which would be extremely uncomfortable for the dog.
When shortening with the claw forceps, care must be taken not to injure the sensitive blood vessels and nerves within the claw – this could lead to painful inflammation of the claw. In dogs with bright claws, the sensitive nerves and blood vessels can be easily recognized. The pink shimmer can be recognized particularly well by a flashlight held against the claw from below.
In any case, care should be taken never to cut larger pieces at once. If you are not sure about the right length of the claws or choosing the right claw pliers, then you should get advice from an expert (e.g. veterinarian) and be shown the right tools and the best technique for shortening.
Cut dark claws
Shortening is particularly difficult with dark claws and should only be carried out with extreme caution. The most important basic rule is: Only cut tiny pieces at a time! After each cut, the bottom of the claw should be examined.
If a round white ring becomes visible, then the cutting must be stopped immediately as you are approaching the nail bed. Regular trimming about once or twice a month is particularly important as this procedure helps to keep the nail bed short. If you are unsure about the correct care of the claws, you can have it shortened at a veterinarian.
What to do if the claw is bleeding
If, despite all caution, it happens that the claw starts to bleed, you should definitely keep calm. The bleeding is usually easy to stop with a dry cloth or piece of gauze.
There are also helpful preparations on the market that quickly stop the bleeding.