Learn how to cut dog's nails without cutting the quick
The following information has helped me become more confident with cutting my dog’s nails. And I hope it helps you too! :)
Agree with others, had trouble with the guillotine cutters and extreme pressure sometimes needed. Started our Dillon with the Dremel when he was 5yrs old. Mine is cordless and variable speed and I use diamond abrasive burrs (cylindrical,about 5mm diam,rounded end), which stay like new so you can use a fine grit one all the time. Do trim back any long hair around the nails first as catching this around the burr will make the dog jump. I also keep a finger holding the nail steady – don’t worry the burr wont cut soft flesh (really) only hard nails, just like the device they use to remove plaster casts. Also monitor the temperature of the nail using this same finger as you don’t want to overheat the nail as your dog will feel it if the heat gets up the nail to the quick where the nerves are, so little pauses between passes with the dremel. Our Dillon nearly goes to sleep now whilst I am doing his nails.
Trimming a dog’s nails can be dangerous for both dog and human if the dog is afraid. Dogs who fear nail trims can thrash around wildly, increasing the risk of cutting the quick if they are not effectively restrained. Cutting into the quick (the sensitive tissue within the nail) will only exacerbate the dog’s fear. Additionally, dogs that are very afraid or in pain are likely to bite, presenting a safety risk to the humans involved.
Dog Behavior Blog: Cutting the Nails Of An Unwilling Dog
Helpful Tips - Cutting Your Dog's Nails - Sirius K9 Academy
A: Since individual dogs vary a great deal in their reactions to tranquilizers, I'm not in favor of their use at home without the direct supervision of a veterinarian. Few dogs enjoy nail cutting but most, with training, will learn to allow their nails to be cut without a major struggle. Worrying about where and how much to cut makes many people nervous and this nervousness is easily felt by the dog, making him jittery and more inclined to struggle. Until you feel confident in your work, cut just the very tips of the nails. You'll get better with practice and by cutting them often (weekly), you'll become more comfortable doing it and you'll be able to keep the nails at a reasonable length. As you become more skillful and your dog more cooperative, you'll be better able to estimate the amount you can safely cut and decrease the sessions to twice-monthly. With the dog's ankle cradled in your palm and pads facing up as described above, use your fingers to spread his toes and push the nail you want to clip upward into view. For these first few sessions this is important just nip the very tip of the nail with the clipper so that there's no way you're going to cut too far and hurt him. It means that you're going to have to live with longer nails for awhile, but it's critical for the dog to learn that nailcutting might be uncomfortable but it doesn't hurt. After you've nipped the first nail, praise him and give a treat (but don't let go of his foot!) and move on to the next toe. Cutting a dog's nails, especially when they are curled, can be nerve-wracking for you and the dog. You don't want to injure him and he doesn't want it done at all. Not a good combination. Invest in the proper nail cutting equipment.