Most dogs tend to wear their nails down by walking on hard ground, but some dogs require their nails clipped regularly. Most vets, vet nurses and groomers are able to clip nails, but if you want to do it yourself at home, it can be done if your pet is fairly well behaved and easy to control. Cat nails can also be clipped, although they should be left intact for defense purposes in outdoor cats who may need to fight with other cats. The first step is to purchase an appropriate pair of pet nail clippers from the pet store or vet clinic. Medium and large dogs need large nail clippers, but cats and small dogs need small clippers. It often helps to have an assistant hold the pet while you clip it's nails.
Each nail has a 'quick' running down the middle of it, which is the cavity that contains the blood vessels and nerves. If the quick is cut, pain and sometimes uncontrollable bleeding will occur. The quick is easy to see in white coloured nails and almost impossible to see in black nails. A light held under the nail may help you see the quick. The nail should be cut about 2-3 mm in front of the end of the quick.
Declawing of cats surgically is a common procedure in the USA but is considered cruel by many and is actually illegal in many other countries. Cats should be provided with scratching posts to help wear their nails down. Soft Paws is a product that can be stuck to cats' nails to prevent damage to furniture and people, but again should not be used in outdoor cats that need to defend themselves against other cats.
Do you cut your pet's nails at home? Share some tips with us in the comments!