Puppy Pedicures: What You Should Know about Nail Trimming

One of the first signs that your pup is due for a groom is those long, scratchy nails that you hear clip-clopping on your tile floors. A lot of people are uncomfortable attempting an at-home nail trim for various reasons (perhaps Fluffy just won’t hold still). The most common concern that we hear, though, is that pet parents are worried about making their dogs bleed by clipping the nail too short, but don’t want the nails left too long. So what do you do? We would like to unravel some of the mystery surrounding puppy pedicures by explaining a groomer’s approach.

The reason a dog’s nail will bleed if cut too short is what is known as the quick. The quick is a vein that runs along the back and front of each nail. Sometimes we get lucky and a dog will have translucent nails that allow us to see the quick; for the most part, though, no one can see the quick through the thick nail. When the vein is nicked, bleeding occurs. The way groomers avoid “quicking” dogs is by going one small snip at a time, doing a conservative trim and then using a dremel to file the edges smooth.

Most pet parents request nails to be cut back as much as possible, and a lot of times as soon as the dog leaves the salon and walks on concrete or asphalt, some bleeding will start. This is because the groomer trimmed the nails short, without “quicking” the dog, and then the rough sandpaper-like surface of the parking lot filed down the remaining nail to the quick.

For dogs that have extremely long nails, it is not possible to trim them down super short in one go. The quick grows out with the nail, and only so much nail can be taken off before the quick is exposed. Luckily, the quick also recedes with the nail; so, over time and with regular trimming, groomers can encourage the quick to recede until the desired length is achieved – without causing injury to the dog.

The key to well-trimmed nails is consistency. Make sure you or or groomer is trimming your dog’s nails regularly to maintain an appropriate length. At Yappie Cuttery, nail trimming is included as part of your pet’s grooming, though we also offer walk-in nail trimming as an a la carte service between the hours of 10am – 2pm.

We are also excited to now offer curbside nail trimming – just drive up during walk-in hours, call us, and we will take care of everything without you needing to leave your car. Check out our Services page for more details.

The Yappie Cuttery Team