Why are puppy nails so sharp? There can be many reasons which we will discuss, and we will also cover how to trim those nails so that you don’t get scratched.
If you own a puppy or have even played with one before, you would know that puppy nails can be as sharp as a razor. Getting scratches is almost inevitable when you’re near a puppy.
You will find that puppies have even sharper nails than grown-up dogs. But why are puppy nails so sharp? There can be multiple reasons for this, and we will be discussing them in this article.
But along with the reason behind their sharp nails, what’s more important is how you can trim those nails. I will cover all that is important to know about puppy nails and how to trim them in this article.
Why Are Puppy Claws So Sharp?
Before we jump on to the solutions to counter the sharp claws, let’s understand why our little four-legged friends have such sharp claws.
The most likely reason is that your puppy does not have access to a natural “nail file.” Grown-up dogs spend a lot of time outside the house, walking on concrete floors and sidewalks. These act as natural nail files, trimming the nails a bit so that they are not very sharp.
However, pups spend most of their time indoors. Inside the house, the surfaces are usually soft; hence the dog’s nails never get worn down.
One of the easiest ways to “file” a puppy’s nails naturally is to just take a regular walk with them on a street surface or sidewalk. You should also clip their nails regularly (we will discuss the process later). If their nails are allowed to grow too long, they get to the point where they start to curl, which can be painful for the pup.
Long nails also increase the risk of getting caught on carpets or something else inside the house. This can cause their nails to crack or break. Puppy nails bleed a lot, and it can be very painful for them if they break their nails.
In case your puppy cracks their nail, you should put some styptic powder on it. It will stop the bleeding.
Now let’s discuss how to ensure that the nails do not get to the point where they become a problem for the pup.
Trimming Your Puppy’s Nails
The first sign of the nails being too big is when they start touching the ground while the dog is in an upright (standing) position. It would be best if you started trimming your puppy’s nails within one week of bringing them home to avoid this situation.
Let’s get to the right procedure of trimming a puppy’s nails.
Trimming Puppy Nails – What Instruments To Use
There are multiple options for trimming puppy nails. For a newborn puppy, using human clippers are the best option. Never use a scissor to cut puppy nails as they will damage the puppy’s nails.
But once the puppies get a little older, there are other things you can use:
- Nail scissors
- Guillotine Clippers
- Regular Nail Clippers
Most people first use regular nail clippers and then eventually transition to nail scissors.
Once your dog starts growing even more, you may require a different type of clipper to cut comparatively thicker nails. The guillotine-style clippers are an excellent option. Puppy nails can also be trimmed using a file; in that case, there’s no need for clippers.
Procedure To Trim Puppy Nails
Puppy nails should be trimmed every now and often. Puppy claws are pretty sharp, and the only way to stop them from scratching anyone is by making them get their nails trimmed.
Never try to cut the puppy’s nails forcefully, or there will be chances of bleeding. Try to cuddle them and be gentle with them while trimming the nails.
The number one thing to consider while trimming puppy nails or even the nails of grown-up dogs is only to cut a little initially. Dog nails tend to have something called “quick,” which is a blood vessel. If you cut the quick, the puppy will bleed.
Bleeding happens many times while trimming puppy nails, and I will cover how to stop the nail from bleeding later in the article, but first, you need to learn where the quick is. You need to trim the nail’s end where it is curved.
Cutting Puppy Nails – Human Clippers
When dogs are puppies, their nails are generally pretty fragile and not too long. It is why using regular nail clippers for cutting the nails initially is a good idea. Just cut the nail’s edge where it is curved.
You also need to handle the pads, ears, and mouth of your puppy while you cut their toenails.
It is essential to do since it will aid the puppy is getting used to having their nails cut in a more relaxed manner.
Grinding The Nails
Grinding your puppy’s nails is excellent if you are not clipping their nails. If you are planning to use grinding your dog’s nails, then do it once they get slightly older. Twelve weeks is a great time to start grinding a puppy’s nails.
Note: Before grinding your puppy’s nails, you should be trimming the nails at least one day a week using a regular nail clipper.
Below is a complete process to grind the nails of your dog:
- First, choose the right course bit.
- If you are using an open grinder, trim the hair around the first to avoid tangling. Some grinders come with a built-in nail guard, if yours has one then you don’t need to do this step.
- Start doing it slowly
- Press the pad to make the nail stretch out a bit.
- Put pressure (don’t push too much) to grind the nail uniformly.
- Use the grinder on the nails’ edges in a circular manner to make the surface round.
- In the end, take out the curved tip.
Tip: While using a nail grinder, don’t spend too much time (more than some seconds) on one nail to stop heat build-up.
Cutting Puppy Nails With Scissors For Dog Nails
Now that your dog grows a bit older (12 weeks), the nails get a little thicker; you will need to shift to either dog scissors or a nail grinder.
Though as per my experience, dog scissors are slightly more popular. Using the scissors is not too complex; just put the blade at the edge of the puppy’s nail. I would recommend clipping a little initially.
Thanks to the well-designed blade, it offers you more control while cutting the nails.
Ways to Reduce The Sharpness Of The Nails
Other than some natural ways to make puppy nails sharper, you may have to make the nail’s ends blunt yourself. Some of the ways are grinding them, clipping them, or using a regular file to blunt the ends lightly.
All these methods are found to be reasonably effective in making the nails less sharp.
Filing The Nails
You can file the nails of a puppy exactly like you file your own nails. You take a glass or metal nail file, then swiftly move the standard file in a to and fro motion on the puppy’s nails until they are smooth and blunted.
How to Stop Bleeding in The Nails
Puppy nails bleed when you accidentally cut their blood vessel called as the quick (as discussed earlier).
It causes pain for your puppy when the quick is clipped. But don’t worry, it is almost guaranteed to occur at some point, and the consequences are not too bad as long as you know how to curb the bleeding.
You should always have styptic powder or a styptic pencil to help in clotting in case your puppy’s nails bleed. It should be a part of any dog’s first aid kit.
If you are well equipped, you will only have to follow a couple of simple steps to stop nail bleeding:
- Apply pressure with a dressing or cloth.
- Then use styptic pencil or styptic powder to stop the nail from bleeding.
Frequently Asked Question
How do you make your puppy’s nails less sharp?
There are many ways to do it. First is a natural one that includes taking them for a walk outside on a hard surface that will wear down their nails. Other ways include ways like clipping, grinding, or using a nail file.
What are puppies’ claws so sharp?
The reason puppies’ claws are so sharp is that they don’t get worn down as they usually stay inside the house on a soft surface and do not go through much natural “nail filing.”
How do you stop your dog’s nails from being sharp?
You can do multiple things:
- Take them for regular walks.’
- Clip the nails every week.
- Use a nail file every now and then.
When can you start cutting your puppy’s nails?
You can start cutting your puppy’s nails right after 1-2 weeks of bringing him home.
Regularly Trimming Your Puppy’s Nails Will Keep Them Healthy And Happy.
I hope this thorough guide has cleared your doubts about your puppy’s sharp nails. All the methods included in this article to make your puppy’s nails less sharp are tried and tested; you just need to choose the one that suits you.
Do keep in mind that sharp nails are no one’s friends, least of all for the poor pup. As a pup parent, make sure that you take special care of nail hygiene in your pup till the time it is old enough to take regular walks outside the house.