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Are You Procrastinating…Nail Trims?

Heather Paquette (President) and Kellie Paquette (Vice President) of Pawdigree Pet Services Inc. often hear owners say that they don’t want to trim their pet’s nails because they don’t know where the quick is.  I have to admit, this is something I fear when thinking about trimming my dog Tulo’s nails.  What if I accidentally clip the quick, and he starts bleeding, is in pain, and then I’ll feel terrible?  Does this sound like you?

Of course we don’t want to cause pain to our beloved pets, but, unattended nails create a vicious cycle, because the longer a nail grows, the longer the quick grows.  Extra-long nails also make any contact with his paws painful for the dog, he avoids having them touched, which leads to unpleasant nail-cutting sessions, which makes both human and dog avoid them, which leads to longer intervals between trims, which leads to more pain.  Ok, so we know we have to do something about this…

According to Heather, nail trims should be done on average every 3-6 weeks depending on the pet and their lifestyle.  A regular nail maintenance program is a great way to reduce joint paint and arthritis in your pet’s paws and legs.  Here are some other tips to maintaining your dog’s nails, in order to prevent unpleasant nail trims and health issues for your dog:

  1. For dogs with darker nails, trim off a little at a time to prevent cutting into the quick

  2. Keep Styptic powder on hand to quickly stop the bleeding if you accidentally hit the quick

  3. If you aren’t comfortable using nail trimmers, a grinder with a sandpaper barrel (think Dremel) is a good alternative.  Just be sure not to keep the rotary tool stationery on one area of the nail, as the heat it generates can be painful for the dog.

Maintenance really is the name of the game; it’s far easier for you (and less painful for your dog) to maintain his short nails than to shorten nails that have gotten long, with the inevitable corresponding long quicks.

If you really aren’t comfortable trimming your dog’s nails, here are some great options:

  1. Pawdigree Pet Services Inc. will come to your house and trim your dog’s nails for you.  Now that’s service!  Contact Pawdigree for a quote (705-761-1567 or

  2. Peterborough vet Sherbrooke Heights Animal Hospital offers nail trims for a $10 donation, with all the proceeds going to a local charity.  Dr. Kristy Hiltz will even match the donations!!

  3. Pet Valu offers free nail trims!!  Peterborough’s Chemong Road location offers trims every Tuesday from 7-9pm, and George Street location offers trims every Monday 6-8pm.

Sources:  Heather Paquette, Pawdigree Pet Services Inc.

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