How to Make a Dog’s Nail Quick Recede

dog nails

How to Shorten a Dog’s Quick

You have probably heard your dog’s nails clicking on the kitchen floor numerous times if you keep your dog in the house.

Do you know that this affects the way he/she walks and that long nails can lead to quite an amount of issues?

A multitude of problems may arise if we do not trim the nails of all types of dogs—puppies, small dogs, German Shepherds, any of them.

We wanted to inform pet owners that getting your pet’s nails clipped and keeping the nails short is of great importance for your pet.

Here are things that we will speak about in our article:

  • How to Tell If Your Dog’s Nails Are Too Long
  • How to Identify a Dog’s Quick
  • How to Make Your Dog’s Nail Quick Recede
  • Techniques for Trimming or Grinding Dog Nails
  • What If You Accidentally Cut the Quick?
  • What Is the Perfect Length for Your Dog’s Nails?
  • What If My Dog Is Afraid of the Nail Trimmers?
  • Working With a Veterinary Professional or Groomer

This is a very significant topic for people who are first-time owners, as they are those who allow nails to grow too long or to become overgrown.

Some of the problems that may arise are nail bed issues, bleeding nails, pain, secondary issues in your dog’s body, just to mention a few.

How to Tell If Your Dog’s Nails Are Too Long

The easiest way to tell if your dog’s nails are too long is the moment you hear them clicking on the floor.

Also, it may be noticed that they are causing discomfort, or interrupting the mobility of your dog.

Here we will mention several problems that can occur when nail overgrow:

  • The nails become frail
  • The nails fracture easily
  • They can cause pain, bleeding, and infection
  • You may notice that your dog walks in an irregular way
  • Your dog may become phobic of or uncomfortable when he/she finds himself/herself on slippery floors and hard surfaces
  • The paw pads or toe joints may become uncomfortable

It is worth noting that if your dog’s nails are overgrown, they should not be cut short all at once.

Our suggestion is to ask your vet or groomer for help in these situations.

Actually, the nails will need to be cut a little bit at a time so as to allow quick to recede.

How to Identify a Dog’s Quick

Dog nails consist of the nail and a soft cuticle called the quick.

The quick is rich in blood vessels and nerves, and it looks different in various types of dogs’ nails:

  • Light-colored nails: It is easy to identify, due to the fact that you should look at a pink region in the center of the translucent/white nail.
  • Dark-colored nails: It is hard to identify and even more difficult to do the trimming. You can look at the bottom of the nail as you trim with the aim to determine how “deep” into the nail bed you are trimming.

Why Does the Quick Overgrow?

If you do not trim your dog’s nails regularly, the quick grows with the nail.

And, in case the nails are extra long, the quick can become so long that it reaches the tip of the nail.

In this situation, even if you want to trim the nail, you will not be able to trim much of it without risking affecting the quick.

That is why it is suggested not to clip dogs’ nails by yourself on these occasions, and if you try, do not make them short all at once.

Your veterinarian or dog groomer can show you how to gradually trim the nail so that the quick can recede.

If you do not do it this way, you risk hurting your pet.

How to Make Your Dog’s Nail Quick Recede

The best way to keep your dog’s nail tips short is to give regular nail trims.

Another option is to provide it with adequate activity on a regular basis.

It is advised to trim the nails a little bit more every week so that the quick can gradually recede farther and farther up into the nail bed.

In case of an overgrown nail, you should trim only a small portion and within seven days, the quick should have receded enough so as to allow you to trim off another little bit of nail.

This has to be done gradually as it is necessary that the quick recedes more and more.

This way your dog will have healthier, shorter, and stronger nails.

You can trim dog nails via the three following methods:

  1. Trimming/cutting with a tool
  2. Natural abrasion
  3. Manual abrasion/grinding

Our sincere suggestion for first-time dog owners is to ask a vet or a dog groomer to show them how much of the overgrown nail they can cut.

Trimming Your Dog’s Nails

Trimming your dog’s nails should be done if nails are very long and the quick is very close to the tip of the nail.

You need to know that you should only trim the very tip of the nail to prevent bleeding and pain.

You can use either type of common nail clippers:

  1. Scissor clippers: They are considered the best solution for large dogs and for shaping. These clippers are designed well so that the owners can easily grip the handle when using them.
  2. Guillotine clippers: Designed for small to medium-sized dogs. A blade will slice the nail transversely. They are made of sharp and stainless steel.

    Pro Tip for Trimming Black Dog Nails

    Trimming black dog nails should be done the following way.

    The owner should take a look at the bottom of the nail as he/she trims to measure how “deep” into the nail bed he/she is trimming.

    A small oval in the center of the nail bed will be noticed and when he/she gets closer to the quick, the oval will become larger.

    When this oval is nearly as wide as the nail, he/she should stop trimming.

Natural Abrasion

Allowing the quick to recede naturally is possible if you let your dog walk on hard, abrasive surfaces.

When the dog provides constant pressure on the ground, the quick will recede towards the nail.

It is worth mentioning that in case your dog is not used to walking, running, and exercising on concrete, the dog may develop blisters and abrasions on his or her paws.

Furthermore, too long nails may split and fracture, so it is suggested to provide only gradual exposure.

After a while, your dog’s paw pads will toughen up and the nails will both become stronger and stay shorter.

Nail Grinder (Dremel)—The “Dog Nail File”

Grinding is another option and it is taken as a great alternative for those dogs that do not have quite a nice experience with nail clippers.

Grinders use grit whose aim is to shave down a nail tip gradually.

Your dog can easily get used to this tool if you simply touch the vibrating grinder to their leg or foot but not going near the nail bed.

It is even suggested to allow the dog to get familiar with the tool’s sound and vibration and reward him/her if they are tolerating it.

What If You Accidentally Cut the Quick?

It is possible that you accidentally cut through the quick.

You need to know that this will cause pain and bleeding.

What is important in those situations is not to panic.

If you see a little blood, do not worry, as your dog will not bleed to death.

In this situation, you should follow the directions for vet-approved tips for dealing with a broken nail.

To try to stop bleeding, you can keep styptic powder on hand, as this is a remedy used in veterinary clinics which will help the nail bed to clot.

Due to the paw discomfort, your dog may start chewing his or her foot and you need to know how to prevent him/her from chewing.

What Is the Perfect Length for Your Dog’s Nails?

The best length of the nails is the one when they do not touch the ground.

When the dog is standing on a firm surface nails are not necessary.

On the other hand, nails should be just long enough to aid the dog when climbing up a hill or digging.

How Long Does It Take for the Quick to Recede?

What time is needed for the quick to recede cannot be exactly determined as it depends on many factors?

When this issue is in question, dogs are very similar to humans.

While there are dogs that have nails that grow faster, and that are thick and long, there are also those whose nails are short and more prone to fractures.

How fast the quick will recede also depends on your dog’s activity levels, age, location, and breed.

The more active dogs tend to have shorter nails, while dogs that live indoors have a higher chance of long, brittle nails, and long quicks.

What If My Dog Is Afraid of the Nail Trimmers?

It is a normal reaction that your dog is afraid of the clippers.

That is why unusual injuries, growths, or bumps on the paw pads that can cause your dog discomfort have to be avoided.

Also, if your dog has allergies, this can be a common reason for a dog to lick its paws, and they will not have its feet handled.

It is highly suggested to try professional dog groomers and positive reinforcement methods.

You can train your dog to see the clippers as a “neutral” object through reward.

If nothing of these helps, you may use a nail file or a grinder, having in mind that the sound of the grinder can cause dogs to get nervous.

Consider Working With a Veterinary Professional

Some dog owners do not feel comfortable trimming the dog’s nails and they should ask a vet for help.

Do not get upset if a vet suggests sedating or anesthetizing your dog for the purpose of trimming the nails.

After this procedure, you should expect your dog to have some pain.

Utilizing Dog Groomers

Another way to help your dog if you cannot trim its nails is to take it to a dog grooming facility.

These groomers may use a leash and grooming table setup so as to avoid and prevent any unexpected fear-biting attempts.

You can always find those groomers that use fear-free handling and restraints.

Groomers with a reputation are preferred.

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