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The job of trimming your Frenchie’s nails is one that most owners find quite daunting. Most French Bulldogs don’t like having their feet touched and often resort to loud squealing to display their unhappiness at the situation.
Unfortunately, dogs must have their nails trimmed at regular intervals to prevent painful injuries. Overgrown nails tend to curl under and if left untrimmed, while begin to grow back into the skin. This can be very painful and also risk infection.
Why You Should Trim Your French Bulldog’s Nails
The necessity for nail trimming has many reasons.
For most of us, dogs with long nails are unsightly. No dog wants to be seen with overgrown claws!
Just like our nails, if left to grow too long, a dog’s nail will split and this does not look pretty.
French Bulldogs love to play, but nobody wants to have the skin scratched and cut because their dog’s nails are too long.
Keeping your Frenchie on a regular nail trimming routine will prevent accidental scratches during play sessions.
Your vet will also appreciate it when your Frenchie goes for his vaccinations. They don’t enjoy the scratches either!
Most importantly, short nails maintain your Frenchie’s good health.
There are several risks to long nails:
Overgrowth nails mean your dog cannot comfortably place his paw on the ground.
To relieve the discomfort, they will put less weight on their paw.
This causes them to limp.
Although this will stop the pain from the overgrown claws, limping puts pressure on other parts of the body which are now carrying more weight than normal.
This can lead to further medical issues such as joint pain.
Infections- when a dog’s nails are left to grow too long, the nail will naturally begin to curl downwards.
Eventually, the nail will start to curl back towards the paw. If left untreated, the nail will penetrate the skin. This can lead to infections.
For Frenchies, infections are dangerous, as their short face makes breathing difficult.
Infections also raise body temperature.
To try and combat this, dogs will pant to lose heat.
Frenchies are not able to lose heat as quickly as other breeds, so catching infections can be a serious medical problem.
Not only are these infections dangerous, but they are also painful.
This occurs when a dog with overly long nails gets them caught on something.
By catching the nail, the momentum of this sudden stop causes the toe to twist.
This will cause trauma to the tissue and also risks dislocating or fracturing of the bones in the toe.
How do I know if my dogs nail is infected?
While limping might be the most obvious symptom of a nail infection, there are other signs you can look out for.
- Excessively licking of the paw
- Redness around the nail bed
- Swelling of the skin around the nail
- Change in colour of the nail
- Difficulty walking
If you suspect that your dog may have a nail infection, it is best to check each of his nails and the skin around them.
Signs of infection on multiple toes could be a sign of a more serious medical condition.
An infection due to overgrown nails is easily treated if done so promptly. You must seek veterinary advice.
They will trim your dog’s nails and treat the infection. They will also be able to show you the best way to trim your dog’s nails at home.
How often should you cut a French bulldogs nails?
French Bulldogs were not bred to be active dogs.
Usually, a dog will naturally file down their nails by walking and running on a variety of different surfaces.
Frenchies don’t require the same amount of exercise, so their nails grow much quicker than most other breeds.
To keep your Frenchie’s feet in tip-top condition, their nails should be trimmed every 3 weeks.
Leaving them longer than this will result in your Frenchie not being able to place his paw flat on the ground.
French bulldog nail length
To ensure your Frenchie is not at risk of suffering nicks or catching his nails, they should be kept to a short length.
Frenchie’s nails should not touch the ground.
It is important to remember not to cut off a large section of nail in one go.
The centre of the nail contains nerves and blood vessels, known as the quick. It is better to cut just the end of each nail to begin with and take off a little more each week until you reach the required length.
This will make subsequent trimming much more effective and far easier to manage. Once you have the nails at a short length, you will only need to trim them every 3 weeks.
How To Cut French Bulldogs’ Nails
Before you begin cutting your Frenchie’s nails, there are a few supplies you will need.
If your Frenchie has never had his nails cut before, or finds the procedure uncomfortable, you will definitely need some tasty treats.
You will also need to purchase a pair of dog nail clippers.
Human clippers are not strong enough to break through the nail and can cause more damage.
If you are interested in purchasing Dog Nail Clippers and Trimmer, then there is an excellent selection on Amazon with thousands of customer reviews.
So, let’s get started:
Step #1: Choosing a good trimming spot
The place you choose to trim your dog’s nails will have a big impact on how well the process goes. It is best to do this in a quiet room that your dog feels safe and relaxed.
Step #2: Position is everything
If you are sitting on the floor or on the couch, have your dog laying across your lap. If you have a table or counter for him, have him lying down.
A wriggly Frenchie does not make for easy nail trimming!
Step #3: Have your tools organized
Make sure you have everything you need before you begin and keep them within easy reach.
You will need clippers, treats, and cotton wool balls.
You may also want to have a file handy and some styptic powder in case the nail bleeds.
Step #4:Be cautious
Be cautious: when we cut our own nails, it is easy to see where the nail bed ends, so we don’t cut into our skin.
For dogs, this is harder. Start by cutting just 1mm each time. This makes it less likely for you to cut the quick by mistake.
If your dog has clear or pale nails, you will be able to see the quick. It will be the pinkish part in the centre of the nail.
Darker nails are harder to see, so you will have to be careful. Some dogs have a few pale nails and a few darker ones. You can use the length of the paler nails to guess how much to clip off the darker nails.
Step #5:Get the file
If you are unsure how close to the quick you are, or if your dog does not like the clippers, you can use a file with a rough grit instead.
This will be easier to control and will not jolt your dogs’ toes as the clippers would.
Step #6:One at a time:
Focus just on one nail until you get the length right. You can then use this nail as a guide for the remaining nails. This reduces the risk of you accidentally cutting the quick on the other nails.
Step #7:Front and back
Generally, the quick on the front paws will be slightly longer than the back paws. You will probably notice that the back paws do not take as long to trim.
Step #8:Clean, clean and clean
Once you have finished trimming your dog’s nails, you will need to remove any nail filings or dust.
Take a cotton wool ball dipped in warm water and wipe your dog’s nails and the skin around the nail bed.
Removing the nail filings and dust will prevent bacteria and also stops the skin from becoming irritated.
Step #9:Praise and reward
Remember to gently praise your dog whenever he is being calm.
You can also give him a treat as a reward. This will help him relax and see the experience as a positive one.
If you do cut to the quick, don’t panic.
You can use styptic powder to stop the bleeding. Simply press a small pea-size amount onto the end of the nail. If you do not have any styptic powder, corn starch is a good alternative.
Seek veterinary help if your dog’s nail does not stop bleeding after a couple of minutes. Prolonged bleeding increases the risk of infection setting in.
What to use to trim dogs’ nails?
There are so many different gadgets on the market, it’s hard to know which one is best.
Here is a list of useful products that will make trimming your Frenchie’s nails easier:
1. Nail Clippers
these are the most important tool in your nail clipping arsenal. Choosing the right ones can be confusing for beginners, but it’s easier when you know what to look for.
Try selecting a brand that has a nail guard.
This will help prevent cutting too close to the quick. The clipper head should be stainless steel. This will make for a clean-cut and reduce the risk of crushing the nail
2. Dog Nail Files
some nail clippers come with a file included. If you are purchasing them separately, there are a few things to consider.
Firstly, you need a file with a rough grit.
The too soft file will not be strong enough to have any effect on the nail.
The file should have a sturdy handle. This makes the file easier to hold and also easier to move across the nail.
3. Electric dog nail grinder
if you fancy something a little more technically advanced, you can try a battery-operated file.
They have a cylindrical handle which houses the batteries.
The head of the gadget will have a small circular file that spins at high speed. You can purchase replacements of these files online or from your local pet store.
There will be a cap over the file with a small hole through which you place your dog’s nail. the cap collects the nail filings and makes cleaning up much easier.
4. Grooming wipes
Rather than using old-fashioned cotton wool and warm water.
You can clean your Frenchie’s newly trimmed nails with dog grooming wipes.
There are several benefits to these.
The wipes are antiseptic, so they help to remove bacteria from the nail and skin.
They also contain dog-safe fragrance to keep your dog smelling fresh.
Many brands of grooming wipes are now hypoallergenic, so they are suitable for dogs with sensitive skin.
Things To Remember
Dogs are sensitive to our emotions. If you are tense or anxious, your dog will pick up on this.
For nail trimming to be a pleasant experience, you need to be confident.
If you do not feel confident trimming your dog’s nails, ask a groomer’s advice, or have a groomer trim your dog’s nails instead.
Never restrain your dog or scold him for trying to getaway. This will only make him more nervous the next time you try to trim his nails.
Allow him to sniff the clippers and file before you start and only use gentle motions, to begin with. Your verbal praise will help to relax him, as will rewarding him with treats when he sits quietly and doesn’t fuss.
Not all nail clippers will be suitable for French Bulldogs.
Do your own research and choose a nail clipper that is specifically designed for small breeds. The blades of the clippers will be thinner to ensure a clean cut.
Blunt blades or those that are too thick may crush the nail rather than cutting it.
This can be very painful for your Frenchie and may cause medical problems requiring veterinary treatment.