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How to Find the Quick on Black Dog Nails?

Black dog paw in hand with purple painted nails on white background

Trimming black nails is the most difficult task for any dog owner who grooms his/her canine companion at home. This is because it’s a nightmare to find the quick on black dog nails. As a result, you are always worried about hurting your dog. If you are one of these pet owners, keep reading to learn how you can find the quick on black dog nails.

Where is the Quick on Black Dog Nails?

The blood vessel that is responsible for providing the nail with blood is called the quick. It lies in the center of the nail and is easily observable in white dog nails (appears pink). However, it is significantly hard to find the quick on black nails because it appears black on black nails. Therefore, you can’t see this blood vessel from outside the nail.    

Consequently, the trick of finding the quick on black dog nails is to locate the Pulp. This soft tissue is located just in front of the quick and helps you to decide when to stop cutting. It is slightly less dark than the dog nail and can be identified by its circular appearance. You should always make multiple small cuts while cutting black dog nails to avoid an accident.

How to Locate the Pulp?

dog nail anatomy illustration
  • Start the process by making a small cut on the nail. The clipped end of the nail generally appears white.
  • Make another small cut and see if you can find a black region in the center of the nail. If there is a darker area, move on to the next step. Otherwise, make another small cut.
  • The black region in the center of the nail is the pulp. Make another cut and the pulp will become clearer. When you see the pulp, it’s your clue to stop trimming the nail.

Finding the Pulp is NOT Always Easy

It can be tricky to find the pulp if the clipped end of the nail is not clear. This means that a clean and smooth finish is necessary to avoid an accident on black dog nails.

Different factors can make the cross-section of the nail crumbly. For instance, using an inefficient dog nail clipper is one of the primary reasons. Likewise, cutting the hard dog nails tentatively and slowly can also make things difficult. The hesitation of the owner also makes the dog nervous and it increases the chances of an accident. Therefore, you should be quick and assertive while cutting dog nails.   

What to Do if I Cut Through the Quick?

According to Vet Babble, accidents while trimming dog nails are quite common, despite being careful. Therefore, you should always have some styptic powder (or soap) with you while cutting the nails of your canine companion. If you have cut through the quick, simply apply the styptic powder on the damaged nail. This will stop the bleeding by plugging the blood vessel.

If you have made your dog bleed, he/she will be reluctant to get the nails done in the next grooming session. However, you can condition your pup by using lots of treats and working at his/her pace.

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Why is it Important to Cut the Black Dog Nails Up to the Pulp?

The primary reason for this is to make the quick recede. If you trim the dog nail slightly, the quick will continue to grow longer. As a result, you will not be able to cut your canine’s nails short enough the next time. Therefore, it is important to cut the black dog nails up to the pulp to recede their quicks.

Many people think that there is nothing wrong with leaving your dog’s nails long. However, that’s NOT true because overgrown nails can cause a range of health problems to your pup.    

Problems of Long Dog Nails

long black dog nails on a reddish paw

Keeping your dog healthy is one of the primary objectives of cutting his/her nails. Several things can go wrong if you allow the dog nails to grow too long. According to Devoted Dog World, dogs with long nails won’t be able to walk or run properly. Some other common problems of long dog nails are listed below.

  • Injuries to the Joints – A dog nail is attached to a bone in the paw. When the nail grows too long, it exerts a lot of pressure on the bones and joints. This causes pain and can also damage the joints in the long run.
  • Unnecessary Strain on Muscles and Spine –Dogs with long nails can’t walk properly and move unnaturally. This abnormal gait can cause some serious harm to the back (and leg) muscles and spine.    
  • Infections Due to Ingrown Nails – When the nails of a dog are not trimmed for too long, they become ingrown. Not only are they extremely painful, but they also result in dangerous infections.

How Often Should I Cut My Dog’s Nails?

black dog nails being cut with scissor style clippers on a dark blue background.

Pet Assure suggests that dog nails should be trimmed every 3-4 weeks. However, dogs with long quicks may need to get their nails trimmed more often. Generally, the nails of these dogs should be cut every 1-2 weeks.  
As a general rule of thumb, the nails of your canine companion should not be touching the floor. Therefore, you need to groom your pup as soon as you find him/her clicking on the floor.

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