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Trim Those Nails and Make Things a Bit Better For Your Dog

29 11:51:14

Trim Those Nails and Make Things a Bit Better For Your Dog

     While this may seem unusual to some people who have never cleaned their dogs ears or trimmed their nails, it is very important.

Dogs may squirm and wiggle when you want to do their nails, but they will be happier if it gets done. If nails are allowed to grow untamed they can become ingrown and very painful. If they get too long, the dog will have to shift their weight to accommodate the long nails and the difficulty walking. The quick/vein in the nail will also grow longer if left uncut.

Not all dogs need their nails trimmed. If your dog is an indoor dog, chances are they will need clipping. Some breeds have faster growing nails than others. Dachshunds and bassets are among those whose nails grow more rapidly. Dogs who live outdoors usually will not need trimming. They will be wearing their nails down as they walk and scrape the ground.

Take a look at your dogs nails from the side. You notice the pad. From the pad to the nail tip should be a horizontal line. If the nail extends below that pad, the nail is too long. There are thin blood vessels running down the nail. This is called the quick. It will be darker than the other areas of the nail.

When you trim your dogs nails, think of your own nails. If you cut them too short and hit the skin, it hurts. So it is with dogs as well. Having a styptic stick or even some corn starch on hand will stop the bleeding. It will happen to anyone if they cut enough nails.

There are several different types of nail clippers. The most common is a guillotine type clipper. You should also have a nail file on hand, as well as some styptic powder, stick or corn starch.

In a perfect world, your dog will be perfectly still and allow you to trim their nails. In the real world this may not be the case. The best place to do your nail clipping is on a table. It may be necessary to use your weight to hold the dog still while you clip the nails. If you have a helper, they can hold your dog still while you perform your manicure.

If it's been awhile since you have clipped the nails, start slowly. Using your guillotine clipper, clip just a small amount of nail. It will begin to change color as you approach the quick. Stop at that point and file slowly with your nail file. Do not file nails that have bled.

Look at the back of your dogs leg. A couple of inches up there is the dew claw. Even outside dogs cannot shorten them. If this nail is not cut it can actually grow into the dogs leg. Some dogs have dew claws on the back legs as well. St. Bernards have two sets on their back legs.

When you are through with this manicure, give that pup a very special treat. If you have a helper, they can give a treat or two while you are cutting their nails.