An adult Beagle who is regularly exercised may not need much in the nail care department. Beagle puppies on the other hand, should have their nails trimmed on a regular basis as their nails tend to grow at a more rapid pace. Regular nail inspection however, should be made a part of a Beagle’s routine grooming procedures.
If you can hear your Beagle’s toenails catching in the carpet or tapping on the floor as he walks across the room, then a nail trim is long overdue.
The nails of a Beagle contain vessels and nerves that lie together and come to end in what looks like a pink V. While holding your Beagle’s foot securely in one hand, cut off the tip of a nail with a quality scissor-type nail trimmer. Begin with a nail that is either white or colorless so that you can easily make out the V, or where the vessels end. Never attempt to trim the nail too close these vessels and always allow a margin of safety as you cut. Since the V-shaped vascular network cannot be seen within the nail, darker nails can be trickier to trim. On a darker nail, you’ll want to start at the tip and then make several thin cuts until the nail cuttings start to become softer and have cross-sections that are more circular.
Never trim a nail deeper than necessary! If you cut into vessels and nerves, this will cause your Beagle pain, and he will yelp and jerk his foot, and the nail will bleed. This blood loss is very unlikely to be life threatening, but your Beagle will remember the pain and you will more than likely have a hard time getting your hands on him the next time you try to trim his nails. When the nail no longer touches the floor as he walks, always stop cutting.
If you happen to cut a nail too short, and you will more than likely at some point, don’t panic. Take the styptic stick from your first-aid kit and moisten the tip with a drop of water, then press the stick to the cut end of the bleeding nail. If you don’t have a styptic stick available, try a pinch of flour or cornstarch pressed to the bleeding nail, this will usually stop a minor hemorrhage as well. Small, round, wooden applicator sticks which are coated with silver nitrate are also especially made to stop nail bleeding as well. These may be bought at pet supply stores, veterinarians, and some pharmacies. Another way to stop nail bleeding which has been used by groomers for years, is to drag the bleeding nail across a dry bar of soap, digging it deeply into the soap.
When the bleeding has stopped, let your Beagle be for at least an hour to prevent the nail from starting to bleed again.