Most dogs who get regular road exercise need little attention to their nails, but dogs who get little exercise or who exercise mostly on grass do need them cut about once a month. This cutting should either be done by an expert or at home with proper nail clippers. It should never be attempted with scissors. The nail might break and cause severe pain to the dog.
The length of the nail varies considerably according to the breed and also among dogs of a particular breed. When the nails are white, the quick can be easily seen and the nail can be then cut to about one-sixth of an inch off the quick. If the dog finishes, don’t cut it so short. If a dog should break or split a nail, wrap the nail round with adhesive bandage, and it will soon be all right again.
The cutting of a puppy’s nails is really an expert’s job. The breeder usually cuts them short before selling you the puppy, but if they are long, take him to a dog-groomer or to a vet. Both these people should be able to do it and show you what to do in the future.
Exercising a puppy on the pavement should keep the nails down. Only if the puppy never gets this road work should they need cutting; under those circumstances, I have known them to need cutting every three weeks or so. It is best done with proper nail clippers. Cut only the curved over piece that protrudes beyond the thick part which contains the quick.
If you look at the nail from underneath it you will see that the end is almost transparent. That is part to trim off. Cut the nail to within 1/6 inch of the end of the quick-this allows sufficient protection. The paw should be held firmly and the nail cut straight across. You can then file the roughened tips with an emery board file.
If by any chance you do cut the quick, wrap the whole nail up in a piece of an adhesive bandage, and it will soon grow out again.