By Martha Rehmeyer

Nail clipping is a regular part of grooming. Your Pyr’s nails should just touch the ground when it walks. Trim nails once or twice a month or the quick, which refers to the tender blood vessels and nerve endings which extend into the nail, will lengthen. Shorter quicks make for easier clipping.

Use a sturdy, large clipper. If your pet store doesn’t carry a tool that you think will do the trick, keep shopping. A sharp, strong clipper makes all the difference.

Start at the tip of the nail and snip a little at a time to avoid cutting the quick. When you start to see pale pink tissue near the top—stop. Use a coarse nail file to smooth edges. Trim the dewclaws more; they wear down less rapidly.

On white nails, the quick is the pink section. If you can’t see it easily, grab a mini-flashlight to shine through your Pyr’s nail. It is the dense core that light doesn’t shine through.

If you do nip the quick and the nail bleeds, apply pressure using styptic powder, cornstarch, or baby powder.

If you are uncomfortable with this task, ask your veterinarian or groomer to demonstrate proper nail trimming. When you are comfortable, your Pyr will be, too.

If your Pyr does not want to hold still, ask someone to pet him or her while you trim. Never try to trim the nails if the dog is not in a stay position. Praise is important. Treats don’t hurt either!