We remain open to provide care for your pets. We are following the direction of government and regulatory authorities and have implemented hospital and visit protocols to keep both you and our team safe. For regular updates on our hours and visit protocols, please follow our social media platforms.


How to Trim Your Pets Nails at Home

There are so many things that we need to learn when getting a new pet, and one of the most intimidating things to learn is how to trim their nails as a lot of owners are nervous that they may “quick” their pet. It is always best to do this with your pet when you first get them so that they become used to the process of having someone touch their feet and clip their nails. It is always a good idea to have a styptic powder such as Kwik Stop handy just in case you happen to knick their quick.

Learning how to do nail trims at home may be a lot less stressful on your pet than going to the vet or groomer to have it done, and being able to cut them more frequently will help keep those nails short and prevent the quick from actually growing out.

Follow these simple instructions to trim your fur baby’s nails successfully:

  1. Before starting, be sure that you play with your pet’s feet regularly to be sure that they are used to having their feet touched (praise and lots of treats come in handy here!). Have a look at the nails. Are they dark? White? Make sure the trimmers that you are using are sharp and that they are the appropriate size for the pet. (i.e. do not use large dog nail trimmers on a small dog or cat). We recommend using a scissor style nail trimmer because the guillotine style tends to crush the nail as you trim them.
  2. Hold your pets foot firmly but gently. Angle the nail trimmers 45° and trim away a small amount at a time. If the nails are dark, keep an eye on the end of the nail because you will be able to see a change in colour where the quick is. If they have clear/white nails, you will be able to have a good idea about where to stop because the quick will be visible.
  3. Stop trimming when you see the white inside the nail because the quick will not be far from this point. If you happen to accidentally “quick” your furry friend, apply Kwik Stop (or your choice of styptic powder) to the end of the nail and apply some pressure to stop any bleeding.

Be sure to check/cut your pet’s nails every four weeks depending on the wear from the amount of activity they get, and if there is ever a time, you would like to be shown how to trim nails contact your veterinarian or groomer for a demonstration.

Written by: Halifax Animal Hospital

I have an extremely anxious dog, and he used to be terrified of the vet, but since I started taking…

Katherine Rowlands

Great vet techs and Dr Simonson is fantastic!! They take wonderful care of my 11.5 yr old female dog,…

Janetmac Macleod

Very clean clinic and the Veterinarian and their assistant were so kind and gentle with my friend's cat!


Absolutely phenomenal vets and assistants, so friendly and caring. Gave my sweet cat 2 shots and a microchip and I…

Thomas Macdonald

The staff have always been so friendly and so loving to both our golden pups.

Sharlene Rozario


Does your feline have extra toes? The history behind Polydactyl Cats

Most cats have 18 toes; five toes on each of their front feet, and four on the back.  My cat, Mandy Pawtinkin, is blessed with 22 toes.  She has a congenital physical anomaly called polydactyly (Greek for ‘many digits’).  It is a genetic mutation that causes cats to be born with more than the usual number of toes on one or more of its paws.

Read More
See All Articles

COVID-19: Additional measures we are taking

Dear Clients,

Due to the close contact that our work requires, we have taken additional measures to protect you and our team while providing care for your furry family members.

The following changes are effective as of Monday, March 23, 2020:

1. We are currently operating a "closed waiting room" policy to protect our clients and staff. When you arrive, please remain in your vehicle and use your cell phone to call us at 902.422.8595. We will take a history of your pet over the phone, and bring your pet into the clinic for an examination with the veterinarian. Once the examination is finished, we will call to discuss our recommended treatment plan over the phone and then return to your vehicle with your pet. Please ensure your pet has a properly fitted collar or is in a secure carrier. Please remove any additional clothing or blankets prior to our staff handling our patients to minimize risk to our team.

2. We are still OPEN but are now working in two shifts with reduced hours, reduced staff numbers and a need to close for extensive cleaning between shifts.
Monday, Wednesday, Friday: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Tuesday, Thursday: 1:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Saturday: 9:00 am - 2:00 pm.

3. If you are ordering food or medications, please allow 2-4 business days as our suppliers are dealing with increased demand and are trying to fill orders as quickly as possible. We will advise you as soon as your order arrives. Please call us when you arrive to pick up your order, but do not enter the hospital. Our staff will bring your order to your car and take payment over the phone. You can also use our online store and have your food delivered directly to your home. To sign up for the online store, visit our website.

Following the recommendations of our government and medical experts, we are doing our best to practice social distancing within the constraints of our roles. As such, we have taken measures to avoid both contracting and facilitating the spread of this virus. You may see our team members wearing additional protective gear when interacting with our clients and patients.

Thank you for helping us be diligent for everyone's safety. As we have heard from all levels of government, the situation is fluid and any updates will be provided as changes occur.

- Your dedicated team at Halifax Veterinary Hospital