For any dog owner, one really important aspect of pet care that you can learn is how to keep your dog’s nails in tip-top condition.
Now we all know that Siberian Huskies can be a boisterous bunch, so you may be feeling a little bit nervous about trimming their nails. This is completely understandable!
But once you do this the first few times, you will be a pro. A little bit of knowledge, some good equipment, and a dash of confidence are all that is needed!
Read on to learn how to cut a Husky’s nails.
First Up, All You Need To Know About Husky Claws!
Let’s talk about basic anatomy.
Dogs have four toes on each foot, with one nail, called a claw, on each toe. They also have a claw attached to the inner side of the front legs, low down on the leg. This claw, which looks somewhat like a thumb, is called the dewclaw. Some breeds have these on their hind legs too.
Each nail, or claw, is supported by a pad of soft flesh. These pads spread the weight of the dog so that their bones and joints are not impacted. The fatty tissue in the pads acts as insulation on cold surfaces.
Many dogs have nails that keep pretty trim just through daily walks on abrasive surfaces, like asphalt and concrete. But if you live somewhere where the ground is covered with snow then this is not going to happen naturally, and you will have to intervene.
Read more about: When To Cut Puppies Nails For The First Time
Like many dog breeds, Huskies have white or clear claws that allow you to see the blood vessels inside, which appear pink.
This is great because it does make it a little easier to trim these claws, as opposed to black claws (which many dogs also have) that make it impossible to visually sight the blood supply to the claw.
The white tip at the end of the claw is safe to trim because, like human fingernails, it is dead tissue and it will not hurt the dog to have these clipped.
The big challenge in getting good trimmed Husky nails is taking the right amount off. If you leave the claws too long then it can make it hard for the dog to walk, and cause problems down the track. These problems include excess weight on joints and ingrown nails. Ingrown nails can lead to infection and even lameness in dogs.
Trimmed Husky claws that are clipped too short risk cutting them to the quick, which means cutting into the blood supply. Not only does blood supply exist here but so do nerves! And cutting Husky nails this far back will cause your dog pain and blood loss.
It is always better to take off less than take too much!
Obviously, this has to be avoided. If you are really freaking out about trimming your Husky’s claws then take them to a professional dog groomer or your veterinarian, who can do it for you.
But if you think you can handle it, here is what you will need on-hand to get the job done at home.
Husky Claw Tools For Home Use
If you are really stressed about using nail clippers for trimmed Husky nails, then consider investing in a Dremel.
The Dremel will trim your Husky’s claws by filing or grinding them down, rather than cutting through them. This tool is promoted as being less stressful and safer to use on your Husky’s nails.
Otherwise, these dog nail clippers by Boshel are good if you are keen to use actual clippers. These clippers have a safety stop to avoid over-trimming and non-slip handles for you. This method is quicker and less noisy, so maybe less stressful for your pet in the long run.
How To Trim A Husky’s Nails
Now that we know all about the anatomy of a dog’s foot and nail, and are familiar with a few tools, now let’s run through this step-by-step guide to actually cutting the nails, using clippers.
- Sit so that you are facing the same way as the dog, either on a chair or on the ground (depending on your dog’s height, and what is comfortable for you)
- Put your less dominant arm around the dog’s middle and hold them firmly
- Use the hand on that arm to gently lift one paw onto your lap, and hold it firmly
- Take one toe at a time; you may need to splay the entire paw (which means to spread the toes by putting pressure on the paw with your thumb)
- Now use your other hand to clip each nail on each toe, including the dewclaws on the front legs. Ensure the safety stop is engaged before you begin
- If there is another person on-hand, you may find it useful for them to hold the dog still and or use a flashlight to hold alongside the claw, to highlight where the blood supply stops
- Repeat with the remaining feet
- You may find it useful to put a muzzle on your dog the first few times you do this, in case they nip at you out of fear
- Offer lots of calm praise, pats, and encouragement to your pet
If you find it hard to visualize the steps outlined above then jump on YouTube to find some videos so that you can see how to position both yourself and your dog.
Conclusion On Husky Nail Trimming
Keeping your dog’s nails trimmed regularly is an important part of their care. Long nails can cause your dog problems.
When trimming your dog’s nails, the most important thing is not to take too much off because if you do you can hit nerves and blood supply to the claw.
If you cannot cope with using clippers, then consider trying a grinder tool instead.
How often you trim your Husky’s claws really depends on the individual dog – some dog’s nails grow faster than others naturally. Other factors include how often the dog walks, and on what type of surface (abrasive or not.)
Practice makes perfect as they say, and you will get the hang of it. Ask a groomer or vet if you can watch them trim your dog’s claws first if you are nervous or unsure about how to do it!