Our team continues to be here for you and your cherished pets. We are OPEN and are now able to provide a wide range of services. To learn more about the changes we have implemented in response to COVID-19 and what to expect during your next visit, click here.

call icon

Nail Trimming and Ear Cleaning for Cats

Grooming our pets not only strengthens the human-animal bond, but it can also help us to discover any potential medical or health problems early. Routine nail trims and ear cleaning are just as important as a healthy hair coat when considering grooming our pets.

How often should I cut my cat’s nails?

Cats scratch for 2 main reasons:

1) To leave their unique “scent” on an object to let other cats know this is part of their “territory.”

2) Nail health

Always provide proper scratching posts/platforms to allow cats to claw/scratch. This not only provides pleasure for our cats but aids in nail health. Cat nails grow in layers, and scratching/clawing helps remove these layers and provide a sharp point. Indoor cats should routinely have their nails trimmed every 2-4 weeks depending on how much “sharpening” they perform. Keeping the sharp points trimmed will decrease the likelihood of becoming caught in rugs/fabric or sensitive human skin. Outdoor cats should NOT have regular nail trims. They need to have sharp nails to escape from predators (climbing/jumping) as well as defend themselves against threats. Senior cats are more likely to be affected by arthritis. Because of this, grooming and active scratching and clawing declines. Nail layers tend to build up, and this can become uncomfortable as well as affect nail bed health. Trimming our senior cat’s nails, peeling away any extra nail layers and gently cleaning the nail beds should be performed routinely. Always be mindful of dew claws (nails higher on the limbs) and “extra” toes (polydactyl) – these nails do not come in contact with objects as easily and tend to become overgrown. This is not only painful but also carries the risk of infection. If you notice an ingrown nail (when the nail actually grows into the skin or footpad), please seek veterinary care as soon as possible.

How often should I clean my cat’s ears?

Cats are generally very good groomers and require minimal care where ears are concerned. Mild debris and wax can be normal and should be removed with a small amount of recommended cleaner placed on gauze or a cotton ball. Gently wipe the outer ear and inner ear flap. Do not put cotton swabs or other devices into the ear canal. This can potentially cause damage to the canal and/or eardrum. It is important to know what is “normal” for your cat. If you notice an odour, redness, inflammation, discharge or debris, or if your cat is shaking their head or excessively pawing/scratching the ears, this can be an indication of infection or parasites (ear mites), please seek veterinary care as soon as possible

What ear cleaning services does the clinic provide?

Routine cleaning can be performed by your veterinarian during an office exam but is generally performed by the veterinary technicians and assistants. Should your pet require a routine cleaning only, and you have no concerns about your pet’s health, please call Dartmouth Veterinary Hospital for an appointment with one of our technicians. Should you have concerns with ear health or are unsure if your pet has an underlying condition, please call for an appointment with your veterinarian.

What is the clinic’s booking and cancellation policy?

Booking nail trims, ear cleanings or other minor elective procedures (i.e., trimming hair from feet, ear hair plucking, clipping minimal hair mats) can be booked with our technicians between 1pm-6pm, Monday through Friday, Saturday appointments are also available upon request. We are flexible with bookings, so please let us know if you have any special requests. Cancellation policy: We appreciate a call at least 12-24 hrs before cancellation or re-booking. There is no fee associated with missed appointments due to unforeseen circumstances or lapse in memory.

Do you offer packages?

We currently do not have a package that includes nail trimming and ear cleaning combined.


The Risks of Being an Outdoor Cat

Cats are curious creatures who love to roam and explore. The outside world is full of birds to hunt, trees to climb and sun patches to roll in - so why doesn’t everyone let their cat go outside?

Read More
See All Articles

Last updated: June 30, 2020

Dear Clients,

With recent changes to restrictions on businesses, we are pleased to advise that effective June 5, 2020, some restrictions on veterinary practices have been lifted. We are now allowing our clients entry into the building for appointments as of July 2nd, 2020 for those who wish to accompany their pet into the clinic.

Based on these changes, below are some important updates to our operating policies.


This includes vaccines, wellness exams, bloodwork, spays and neuters, dental services, and more!


  • Continue our "closed waiting room" policy to protect our clients and staff. When you arrive, please remain outside the hospital and use your cell phone to call us. For those wishing to come into the clinic, once the veterinarian and the spacious exam room is ready, a staff member will then meet you outside to bring one client (required to wear a facial covering to enter the building) and the pet into the hospital for an examination. The Veterinarian will discuss the patient's history with you in the exam room, any concerns you have, and will then take your pet to the treatment area to perform the physical portion of the exam with the assistance of a support staff member. This is to limit close human contact for both our clients and our staff's safety. Once the physical exam is done and any recommended treatments were given, the Veterinarian will return to the exam room with your pet and answer any remaining questions. After your appointment, a support staff member will meet you in the exam room to take care of any needed medications and payment before escorting you back out of the clinic.
  • Continue offering clients to remain in their vehicle for the duration of the exam and have the Veterinarian provide the consult over the phone for those who prefer this option. A staff member will escort your pet into and out of the building for the appointment and will take care of any payment over the phone or using our portable machine at your vehicle. They will bring any items going home to you at your vehicle.
  • Continue the use of credit cards as the preferred payment method. We do have a portable debit machine if necessary. We are still trying to limit the intake of cash at this time.
  • Continue with solely curbside pickup of food and medication (unless you have used our online store and are having your order delivered directly to your home). To place an order through our online store, visit our website and click on "Online Store".

    If you wish to connect with a veterinarian via message, phone, or video, visit our website and follow the "Online Consultation" link. Please note that due to the high demand for appointments we are now seeing in the clinic, telemedicine options are very limited.


    We are back to our previous regular business hours and are OPEN with the following hours:

    Monday, Thursday: 7:15 am - 9:00 pm
    Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday: 7:15 am - 8:00 pm
    Saturday: 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
    Sunday: CLOSED


    Have you welcomed a new furry family member to your home? We’d love to meet them! Visit our Must Know New Pet Owner Information page for useful resources and helpful recommendations for new pet owners.

    Thank you for your patience and understanding and we look forward to seeing you and your furry family members!

    - Your dedicated team at Dartmouth Veterinary Hospital