Cutting your Whippet's Nails - A Beginners Guide

Cutting your Whippet's Nails - A Beginners Guide

Whippets are a breed that require very little grooming. One particular grooming need that they do have is that they require their nails to be trimmed on a regular (and I mean weekly) basis. 

While we don't claim to know the science behind why this is, we suspect it has something to do with the relative weight of the Whippet's light body and the big, thick feet, toes and nails that propel them through the air at high speeds. As such the nails don't wear down by means of a daily walk on cement the way other breeds seem to. 

It is also worth noting that the quick (which is the soft cuticle/blood vessel in a dogs nail) grows as the nail grows which means the longer you let the nail grow the more difficult it becomes to get the nail back to a manageable length.

If the nail is clipped close to the quick, the quick recedes slightly - so over time an extended quick can be reversed if you are diligent with trims. 

Having said that, here are our top tips for nail trimming!

  • Start 'em young! The earlier you get your dog used to the routine of cutting nails the better. 
  • Stay calm. Your dog can sense your nerves and hear your increased heart rate, so do this when you and your dog are feeling chill.
  • Use a pair of good quality, sharp nail clippers. The only ones that we have found to work for us are Millers Forge stainless steel pet nail clippers. The quality blade slides easily through the nail meaning less pressure is applied and less discomfort for your fur ball. 
  • Stay away from the quick. If you hit it it will bleed. Keep some cornflower/baking soda/talcum powder handy incase this does happed. If it does dab the end of the nail in the powder to promptly stop bleeding.
  • Start small! Don't cut a lot of off the nail off at once. Try more frequent but smaller trims- I would say a maximum of 3mm off the tip in any one trimming session. 
  • Build up trust. Frequent trims carried out with minimal drama or pain build trust and eventually your dog will be thinking "nail trims are a piece of grain-free, meat-based pup-cake".
  • REWARDS REWARDS REWARDS. If your pup is anything like mine then they can be bought. I leave a nice meaty bone right in front of his nose during the whole process. He's usually a bit too nervous to eat during the trim but the aroma distracts him and he dives in it as soon as we're done. 

Good luck and whippet-speed! I hope you found this post helpful. 

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