Owning a Pitbull or American Bully is a great responsibility. You have to be firm and consistent so that they’ll look up to you as the leader of their pack. You must also take good care of them to ensure that they are always happy and healthy. Apart from giving them good food and plenty of exercises, Pitbull grooming is another matter entirely.
While these dogs have an easy to maintain coat, they still need regular bathing, brushing, and nail trimming. All these can be quickly done at home, but many pet owners are stressed out by trimming Pitbull’s nails. But unless your dog is very active and wears down its nails on concrete or asphalt, cutting dog nails is essential. Allowing your pet’s nails to grow too long will make walking uncomfortable. More so, if left unattended, overgrown nails can break, split or lead to paw deformation.
In most cases, cutting dog nails are delegated to veterinary visits or done by professional groomers. Pet owners are wary of doing this on their own because they might hurt their bullies. These dogs have a very high tolerance for pain and injuries; thus, it can be hard to tell in case you injure them when you groom them. But you still must learn how to cut Pitbull’s nails properly in case you can’t bring them to the groomer. So we prepared this guide to help you get over this daunting task and learn how to trim your pet’s nails like a pro!
Why Trimming Your PitBulls’ Nails Is Important?
Similar to humans, a dog’s nails continuously grow and will need regular trimming. Wild dogs naturally wear down their nails by traveling or hunting on different terrains. But in the case of domestic canines, the environment and their lifestyle are different. Our pets cannot wear down their nails enough to keep up with its growth. Thus, pet parents need to inspect their paws carefully and trim the nails when needed.
When left uncared for, a dog’s nails can grow too long. You will hear your clicking noises when your dog walks across a tile or hardwood floor. Its nails can get snagged on carpeting or get caught up in a pile. When it grows too long, it can chip, break, or splinter. Over time, arthritis can set in and place your pooch in a painful condition. For Pitbulls, it can be a case too late. These dogs will ignore pain or injury until they can no longer tolerate it.
Dogs’ nails can tear when they run or play outdoors. When it has grown too long, it can be hazardous for your pet’s paws. Unattended nails can make moving and standing awkward for your pet. In extreme cases, the nails can grow, become twisted, and embedded in your dog’s paw pads.
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Benefits of Cutting Your Dog’s Nails
Routine paw-pedicure has the following advantages:
- Short nails give balance to your dogs – having short nails is essential for Pitbulls because they are a very active breed. These dogs need to keep themselves well-balanced and agile.
- Prevent Chipping and Breakage – long nails can break and chip. It can be painful and will need veterinary care, rest, and medication.
- Better navigation for your pet – when your pet’s nails grow too long, it will push its overall body backwards. The abnormal pressure will force all the wrong areas of the body. Walking and moving will become awkward for your pet.
- Preventing joint stress – long nails can strain your dog’s joints, leading to pain and arthritis. It will also add pressure on the bones, ligaments, and muscles and make your pet prone to injury.
- Long nails can embed in the paw pad – you may not notice it, but this can happen quickly. It can lead to terrible pain for your pooch and will need veterinary care.
- Regular trimming will keep the quick shorter, too – the quick is a blood vessel that runs through your pet’s nails. When the nail grows too long, the quick also grows out. It will be harder for you to cut your pet’s nails later if this happens.
Additionally, pet foot care is also essential in helping your pet have better traction and posture. Apart from the nails, the hair on the underside of your pet’s foot also needs regular trimming.
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How Often Do You Need to Cut Pitbull Nails?
You have to consider several factors to pinpoint the frequency of nail trimming needs of your dog. These are the following:
What type of surface your Pitbull spends most of their time on – Is your pet always indoors and only touching the carpet? Are they always outdoors touching grass and dirt? Do you always take them for walks on concrete or asphalt roads? Do you take them for exercise?
- How much time do they spend on the ground? – Does your Bully spend most of the day lounging on the couch? Or do they play and run around on their own?
- What do they eat? – The food that your dog eats also affects the health and growth rate of its nails.
- Health conditions – some canine develop nail bed infections, tumors, and other auto-immune illnesses that can affect their nails’ growth rates.
When to Cut Pitbull Nails?
The frequency of the need to cut your pet’s nails will differ from one dog to another. The rule is to trim it or have it trimmed as often as it needs to prevent the nails from touching the ground when they are standing.
The more often you trim their nails, the more accustomed and tolerant your pooch will be during this activity. Ideally, Pitbull grooming and nail trimming must be started while they are young. Do it carefully, avoiding the nerves and blood supply to the nails.
If possible, try to trim your pet’s nails weekly or at least every other week. Doing this will lead to better results, and a lot less stressed Pittie after the process.
How Short To Cut Pitbull Nails?
Trim off each nail to keep it short, but not so short that you’ll hit the quick or the nerve endings at the tip of the quick. It is easier to do if your pooch has clear nails than those with dark ones. Either way, it is crucial to trim slowly and give your Pittie lots of praise as you do. Afterwards, give them more positive rewards and treats for being well-behaved throughout the process.
Important Reminders Before Trimming Your Dog’s Nails
Bully owners know for a fact that trimming dog nails require care and patience. It becomes easier for both of you when a dog learns early in life to be tolerant of this process. But when they are not used to grooming and trimming, it can be a big challenge for you or any groomer. In case of accidental cuts, your Bully can become defensive, move out of your grasp, and even resort to biting. Here are some tips to remember to make nail trimming a more positive experience for both of you.
Time for A Nail Trimming
While your Pitbull is still a puppy, making grooming and nail trimming a positive experience for them. Shower them with praises and rewards once the process is done. Always check their nails to see if they are long enough for trimming. You can have your Bully walk on hardwood or tiled floor. If there is a clicking sound when they walk, it is a sign that their nails need a trim.
Use the Right Dog Nail Clippers
If you decide to cut your Pitbull’s nail at home, you should invest in the proper tools. You can use two kinds of clippers: a scissor-type clipper and a guillotine type clipper.
A scissor-type clipper is like a pair of scissors. On the other hand, the guillotine type has a stationary hole where you’ll place the nail, and a blade moves to cut the nail. Both work well in cutting a Pitbull’s nails; it will be up to you to choose which is more comfortable to use.
Prepare Your Pitbull Physically and Mentally for Nail Trimming
For Pitbull puppies, this process is more comfortable. But if you have a grown Pit, it can take a few days. It is necessary to prepare your pet so that they will not wiggle so much during the process. So, get your pooch used to having its paws, nails, and toes picked or touched. Do this a few times and give them a treat while doing it. After a few days, do this exercise again with the nail clipper. But don’t cut the nails yet. Your pet will soon learn that nail trimming is a positive experience when they get used to it.
Trim Properly to Avoid Bleeding
When cutting dog nails, choose a nail to clip and hold your pet’s toe gently but firmly. If using a scissor-type clipper, hold it a right angle on the nail. Make sure that the tip of the toenail is between the blades. If using a guillotine type clipper, hold the tip of the nail perpendicularly in the hole while the cutting blade is facing your pet.
Trim down slowly while avoiding the quick. It is a blood vessel that supplies blood in the nails. If you hit this when trimming your dog’s nail, it will bleed and cause pain. For Bullies with clear and transparent nails, it is easy to see the quick. It appears like a pink line in the nails. Avoid it to prevent bleeding. If your pet has dark nails and you cannot see the quick, try feeling it instead. The quick portion of the nails will feel soft and spongy, so avoid clipping it. Ideally, you can do a 45-degree cut on the nail below the quick. Doing small cuts is better instead of one large cut to avoid accidentally hitting the quick. Make sure to read our ear cropping guide for pitbull and American bully
What to Do in Accidental Cuts or Bleeding?
If it is your first time to trim your Pitbull’s nails, try to trim one or two at a time. You can do the others the next day until your pooch becomes comfortable with the process. But if you cut too close to the quick, and there is bleeding, do the following –
- Recognize that quicking causes pain and apologize to your pet. Don’t linger on the issue or feel guilty about it as it will make your pet anxious.
- Address the bleeding by pressing and holding the nail. Dip it in flour, cornstarch, or bar of soap to form a clot. If you have it, use styptic powder for the bleeding.
- Call up your veterinarian or groomer on how to trim nails properly. You can ask them to show you so that you will feel more confident doing it yourself.
If you are still worried about cutting the quick, invest in a Dremel tool instead. It is a rotating stone that sands the nail, making it easier to cut slowly and fewer chances of cutting the quick. But before you start trimming, accustom your Pitbull to the sound and vibration of this tool.
Nail Trimming for Success
Dog grooming and nail trimming are essential in keeping your Pitbull healthy and active. It is necessary to introduce this process to them while they are puppies. Start accustoming your pet to having their feet and paws handled. Some dogs can be touchy when it comes to their paw pads and nails. Once they are calm and focused on this process, nail trimming will be an enjoyable and positive experience for both of you.
Keep in mind that trimming your dog’s nails is a task that you will deal with throughout its life. If the tasks prove challenging for both of you, consider getting professional dog grooming and training. And if you have never tried dog nail trimming, ask an experienced person or your groomer to show you how to do it safely. Keep your Pitbull in tiptop shape by regular grooming, proper nutrition, and exercise to maintain its health.
Have you tried trimming your Pitbull’s nails too? Tell us about your experience by leaving us a comment below.