The Second Greatest Doggy Tip Ever
I have been involved in almost all aspects of “dogdom” for 20 years. Grooming, training, vet teching; I have done it all in my career and loved it all too!
I have learned a few tricks of the trade over the years that makes my life with dogs more enjoyable and I would occasionally like to share those tricks with you to make your life with your dog a little more simple.
If you didn’t catch my memorial day tip (one of my favorites) read all about it here! This is simply the best way to wash your dog!
But recently I had a question about doggy nails and doggy nail trims.
First and foremost I am going to suggest that you join us in the Dog Training Secret’s Video Vault. because in the video vault I did a tutorial video showing you how to trim your dog’s nails, from young puppies to older dogs.
It is much easier to learn watching a video than it is reading an article; however I know that some of you will take any help that you can get so here it goes, my tricks for nail trimming.
Some dogs take nail trimming very seriously and will bite you if you try to trim their nails. If in doubt, don’t do it or use a muzzle to make sure you are safe! Sometimes a muzzle is a good tool simply because it distracts the dog and gives him something else to think about long enough to get his nails trimmed!
Or take your dog to your vet for a nail trim. Your dog may try to take advantage of you by growling, screaming or flailing, but he may not be so bad at the vet and usually there are several people there to help trim his nails. A groomer can usually help too.
I do not recommend sedation and “quicking” the dog or getting the nails super short. Some vets will knock out the dog and trim the nails until they bleed, but I think this is sad and painful. Most dogs hobble around for a few days after they get this done because it hurts. Imagine having all of your toenails or fingernails taken down past the quick and then having to walk on them…OUCH! Plus this can lead to infection.
It is much kinder to trim them more often than it is to get them too short.
Long Nails Hurt Too
Super long toe nails can cause your dog’s foot to curl up and his toes to hurt because they can no longer stretch out and touch the ground they way they are genetically intended. This can cause an already arthritic dog to hurt even more!
In severe cases, I have even seen the toe nails curl and begin to grow into the dog’s paw pad; this can be especially painful and can cause infection and bleeding when the nail has be trimmed and removed.
Acclimate Your Dog to the Trimmers, Slowly…
When I begin teaching my new puppies about nail trimming and the trimmers, I carry them around all the time. When I watch TV I pretend to clip nails without ever touching the trimmers to the pup.
Go slow and keep the trimmers with you.
I even pet my dogs with the nail trimmers. If you are going to use a dremel tool (to grind the nails down) this is a good time to turn it on click and give treats, and then touch your dog with it, click and give treats etc.
Once Your Dog is Use to the Trimmers or the Dremel it is Time to Get Started.
I recommend wearing your dog out first. He is much less likely to fight you if he is already sleepy, so I take my dogs for a long hike or walk first and then I wait for him to get comfortable and ready to take a nap.
When he begins to doze off, I move in to trim his nails.
#1 Tip: Whittle
Don’t think that you only have a second to get the work done, especially if your dog’s nails are relatively long.
Most people make the mistake of cutting too close and making the dog’s nail bleed. Instead move slowly and methodically and whittle his nails down shorter and shorter.
Whittling is the key! Work back and forth and take tiny bits off each nail tip, don’t take huge chunks!
Most doggy nails whether they are black or if you are lucky enough to have a dog with white nails; come to a sharp tip. You can begin by snipping off the tip and watching the middle of the nail for two dark dots. These two dots are the beginning of the quick.
Once I see these dots appear, I know I am getting close to the quick.
I also make sure to closely inspect each nail as I am trimming and watch it from underneath. Sometimes you can see the hollow toe nail as you are trimming.
There is no reason to trim quickly. Go slow and inspect each toe nail as you are trimming.
If you happen to make your dog bleed, be sure to have some “quick stop” available to stop the bleeding. In a pinch you can also use cinnamon or flour packed onto the nail to stop the bleeding.
I think of toe nail trimming as an art, that I just have to take part in about every three weeks! But I owe it to my dog’s to keep their feet happy and healthy!
I have been a professional dog trainer and pet sitter for over 20 years. I am a Certified Professional Dog Trainer, through the international Certification Counsel of Professional Dog Trainers. I have trained and worked with police, Schutzhund and personal protection dogs. I trained Assistance Dogs in a men’s prison and ran my own nonprofit organization to take adult dogs from shelters and to train them to assist children and adults with disabilities, at no charge to my clients. My nonprofit organization and I were nominated for several awards of merit and even made the front page of the Denver Post. I was a veterinary technician for many years, where I learned about all aspects of health and preventative medicine. I have trained and worked with exotic animals and cheetahs. I introduced a temperament testing program in my local shelter and sat on the board of directors. I volunteered with my dog “Mr. Snitch” and helped local children learn to read. I have attained obedience titles and several blue ribbons. I am constantly in search of ways to continue my education and excellence when it comes to animals, their behavior and their health.