Archives for May 2010

Simple Tips to Trim your Dog’s Nails

Nail care is a vital part of your dog’s complete health care. Because nails continuously grow and are not necessarily worn down as they could if they were walking a lot, subsequently it is up to you to help keep them at a comfortable length. When nails are too long, it influences the manner a dog walks which may trigger joint disease later on in life. Also longer nails can get ensnared not to mention torn, or in some cases curl back into the toe pad and can cause an infection. Trimming nails is not that traumatic if you have the suitable equipment and also have properly trained your pet to let you hold the paw.

The nail has a “quick” which contains the veins and nerves of the nail.The quick is easier to find in white nails. By trimming small amounts at any given time and trimming with the plane of the bottom of the toe pad (horizontally rather than vertically) you can avoid clipping the nail to short as to make it bleed.

Here are some additional tricks to effectively trim your pet’s nails:

1. Get started when your pet is still a puppy or kitten by gradually handling their feet. Start by making a game of it and inspecting the nails, chances are they’ll will allow you to trim them once they grow up.

2. Pick out claw trimmer for the size and age of your pet.I sometimes use the human toe nail trimmer for young pet’s nails because it can get to the tiny points a little easier and they are generally sharper. As your kitten or puppy gets older, I may then swap nail trimmers to the scissor action type of trimmer instead of the guillotine trimmer. I find that these stay sharper longer and are also easier to use. The guillotine kind some times catches the nails and does not get a clean cut. Your veterinarian may help you select a appropriate trimmer.

3. Any time you’re trimming your pet’s nails, never undertake it while your pet is sitting in your lap. Have somebody assist you and place them on the counter or top of the washer or dryer. You can wrap them with a towel to help holding them a lot better. If your pet starts to resist, just try holding the paw until he relaxes. Should you release the foot whenever your pet starts to protest, you are just encouraging the poor behavior and will make the subsequent nail trim episode a whole lot worse. (Go back to number 1)

4. Be well prepared. Have accessible styptic pencils like silver nitrate or styptic powder. Be aware that the silver nitrate on the end of the sticks may stain counter tops and your skin in case you get it on you.

5. If your pet has light colored nails, you can see the pink component of the quick. If your pet has darker nails, trim a little bit at a time. I like to gently press on the toe and extend the nail out. I then draw an imaginary line level with the bottom of the toe pad and extend it out across the nail. I then trim the nail at this imaginary line so that the nail is now level with the floor when the pet is standing.

6. You can use an emery board to smooth the rough edges.

7. Pedipaws or similar rotor drill sanders are useful to smooth rough ends and to trim just a small amount of nail. If the nail is very long at all, then it could take you a long time to get it trimmed. You might use the drill to maintain the nail shorter or for smoothing the nail after you have used the clippers. Your pet must also be taught not to be afraid of the motor, so it’s always best to proceed gradually as you both learn to work with the drill.

After some practice and a lot of patience, you could soon be trimming your pet’s nails with full confidence. If all else fails, your veterinarian or groomer are here to help.