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Ask Bruce: Cutting claws

Barbara Turner asks Bruce; how do I cut my dog’s black nails?

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Cutting claws

There is a pink area underneath each nail with nerves and a blood vessel, called the quick. This means it’s living, and if cut, will bleed and hurt. The quick is easy to see on dogs with white or clear claws, but not on dogs with dark or black claws.

For this reason, it is often safer to get an experienced professional to cut a dog’s nails, but you can do this yourself…

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There are nail clippers available that come with a built-in light which shines through the dog’s claw and exposes the quick so you can see as you cut. Some nail clippers come with a guard which prevents you cutting too close to the quick.

You can also look at the underside of the claw for the hollow part (it looks a bit like a canoe) which should be around the middle of the nail. This hollow part is the dead section of the nail and therefore fine to cut.

The best rule of thumb (excuse the pun!) when cutting your dog’s nails is little and often. That way, you can be sure it will be safe, and you won’t catch or cut the quick. Alternatively, here at Bruce’s we offer a nail clipping service, or you can get it done by a vet or groomer.

This article first appeared in the May 2017 issue of award-winning community magazine Look Local

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