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Pet Peeves: All Scratched Up

Q: My pet's nails are so sharp that when I play with him, I keep getting accidentally scratched. I would cut them myself but I don't know how to do it – how do I know how short is too short?

A: First off, buy a nail clipper designed specifically for your pet (cat, dog, small mammal, etc.) Identify the blood vessels in his nails or, in fancy vet speak, the "quick." On light colored nails, you can easily spot its pink color near the base of the nail. If nails are dark, be safe and trim only the very tips. When you're ready, speak in a reassuring voice, hold paw firmly to avoid movement, and cut quickly with one smooth stroke. If your pet is extra squirmy, it may be better to bring him to a vet, pet store, or groomer – most will cut your pet's nails for a small charge.


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