The No Fear Way To Trim Your Dog's Nails November 14, 2015 17:05
One of my husband's greatest fears is to hurt our dog, Brownie, when it comes time to trimming her nails. So where did I turn to get some information, Google, of course! :)
I found this article which my husband felt helped him overcome some of the concerns. I am sharing it because maybe you too are facing some of the same fears, so I hope it helps you as it did him.
The No Fear Way To Trim Your Dog’s Nails
Unless your pet is a very active outdoor dog his nails will need to be trimmed on a regular basis – anywhere from once a week to once a month.
Nail trimming and grooming are activities that are often feared by both dogs and owners. The best way to calm your fears is to ask your Vet or a professional groomer to train you in the proper techniques for nail trimming. The best way to calm your dog’s fears is to train it from a very young age to be comfortable with the process.
If you don’t feel comfortable trimming your dog’s nails your vet or groomer will be happy to do this regularly. And often dogs do not need their nails trimmed if they go for frequent walks on footpaths or concrete. Just watch those dew claws (thumbs).
TYPES OF NAIL TRIMMERS
There are many different types of nail trimmers. Buy good quality trimmers that are sharp and designed for the correct size dog. They should be concave at the cutting edge, to avoid crushing the nail. Blunt or poor quality trimmers will split the nail. If the nails aren’t that long but are sharp you can simply file them or use a pumice stone to take off the tips. In the US it is common to use a dremel to slowly burr down the nails and this can be more gradual and safer than clipping.
HOW TO TRIM THE NAILS
The first step is to get some treats, make the whole experience positive and don’t feel like you need to be a hero and trim all the nails at once. Start with one, reward and come back later if you or your pet is nervous. One technique that helps is to hold the handle of the nail trimmers flat against the toe pad and cut straight across the nail, so that the nail will sit just above the ground. This technique makes it extremely unlikely you will cut the nails too short.
To get a shorter cut than the previous method, aim to cut at a 45° angle, after visualising the quick. The quick is the pink area within the nail where the nerves and blood vessels are, similar to the area underneath our nails.
WORKING WITH BLACK NAILS
If your dog has black nails, look at the underside of the nail and you will notice that towards the tip the nail separates out into a triangular shape with two outer ‘walls’. At this point, there is no quick and it is safe to cut the tip off. Otherwise use the technique of simply cutting straight across from the pad, rather than attempting to cut up at a 45° angle. Another trick of the trade is to apply gentle pressure with the nail trimmers without actually cutting where you think you need to cut. If your dog reacts to the pressure, most likely you are too close to the quick and you will need to more the clippers further down the nail.
WHAT IF I MAKE THE NAILS BLEED?
If you accidentally cut the nails too short you can use styptic powder, or simply use a clean bar of soap and run it under the damaged nail. The soap will plug the vessel and stop the bleeding. Usually if you have made your dog bleed, they will be a bit nervous next time, so make sure you have lots of treats at the ready and take it slow. If you pet is nervous about nail trimming, view this video on how to counter condition your dog and get him used to nail trims.
There is a lot more information available within this article, so for the entire article, visit the following link:
Credits to the Author: Dr Eloise Bright
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