Posts Tagged ‘dog nail trimming’

Help! My Dog Won’t Let Me Cut His Nails

August 24, 2013

Close-Up of Dog Paw Toenails

* Disclaimer – I am not a professional groomer. I have not attended any special classes or secured any certifications for cutting dog nails. I only speak from years of experience with my own dogs.

This article is only a little about where and how to cut your dog’s nails. Mostly it is about how to help get both you and your dog comfortable with nail trimming. For some dogs that hate for their feet to be touched, this process can take a long time. Other dogs take to it quite well. I believe it all starts out with attitude.

Be Confident
If you’re nervous about cutting your dog’s nails, your dog may be able to sense it. So do whatever you need to in order to calm yourself. Drink some chamomile tea, take some deep breaths, do a little yoga, or go for a walk or run first. Doing research on the topic helps too. By seeing how others do it can help boost your confidence that you can do it too.

Practice Playing Footsie
If your dog doesn’t like his feet to be touched, then help him get used to it. Put those clippers away and get out the treats and toys. Make touching feet part of you and your dog’s playtime together. Work your way from just simply touching his feet to actually holding them. Teach him shake and reward him when he lets you hold on.

A Tired Dog is a Good Dog
Exercise your dog before you trim his nails. Make him too tired to put up much resistance. Don’t overdo it, of course. But your dog is more likely to be calm if he’s had a good run, long walk, or vigorous play session.

Clip Just the Tip
Start out by just clipping the tips of your dog’s nails where you are absolutely certain that you won’t cut into the quick. Do this weekly. It will help boost both your confidence and your dog’s. As you get more proficient at it, you can slowly work your way up the nail.

Reward for Calm Behavior
For my dogs, they do not get a cookie until I am done with all their nails. But you can start out by rewarding your dog just because he allowed you to trim one nail. Later you can move up to where he only gets rewarded for when he allows you to cut all the nails on one foot.

Ask Your Vet or Groomer
Have a groomer or vet show you what to look for when you trim. I have some pictures here, but it really is best to see it on your own dog.

Keep Styptic on Hand
For just in case the worst should happen, make sure you have some styptic on hand. Styptic is a quick and simple way to stop the bleeding. Remember, keep calm. If you freak out because you cut too short, your dog will too. And he might not be so cooperative next time.

Where to Cut
A lot of diagrams show the dog nail from the side. But I like to look under the nail. When I look under the nail, I can generally see which part is nail and which part is flesh. Take a look at Maya and Pierson’s dog nails and see if this helps.

Close Up of Dog Nail

Instead of looking at the sides of my dogs’ nails, I like to look underneath.

Cut Line for Dog Nail

Can you tell which part is the dog’s nail and which part is flesh?

Close Up of Dog Nail 1

Here is a closer look at Maya’s toe nail.

Cut Line for Dog Nail 2

The circled part is what I look for. This is part of the quick and I don’t want to cut that. So I cut right above it.

Cut Line for Black Dog Nail

Looking under the dog nail for a dog with black toe nails is much more helpful for determining where the quick is than looking from the side.

Remember, have your vet or groomer show you first. The above pictures may be helpful, but it really is a good idea to get a look at your own dog’s nails. Plus, your vet or groomer can give you direct supervised experience.

Wordless Wednesday – Dog Nail Trimming for Fuzzy Paws

August 14, 2013
Pierson's Fuzzy Paws 3

The best part about trimming dog nails is that I get to play with these cute fuzzy paws!

On Saturday I asked about trimming the long hair on Pierson’s paws. I listed what I thought were some pros and cons. After doing more research and reading your comments, I’ve decided it is not necessary to trim Pierson’s hair on his paws. I play with his feet often and have never noticed any mats or debris. I will always keep an eye out and reconsider if things change.

I do, however, think it is necessary to keep up with trimming his toenails. Maya’s too. Since Maya and Pierson are primarily indoor dogs, I trim their toenails every week almost every week. Thankfully, I have the best dogs ever when it comes to dog nail trimming, and even with teeth brushing. Here are some pictures:

My Dog Likes Belly Rubs

Pierson likes to lie down while I cut his toenails. It gives him the perfect opportunity to solicit more belly rubs.

Trimming Black Dog Nails

Pierson’s nails are black. Since I’ve had years of practice with cutting my dog Sephi’s black toenails, cutting Pierson’s black nails is very easy for me.

Don't Cut Dog Nail Too Short

I have never accidentally cut Pierson’s toenails too short.

Good Dog Getting Toenails Trimmed

Pierson is very cooperative when I cut his nails. It takes about 30 seconds or less per foot.

Close-Up of Dog Paw Toenails

Maya likes to sit or stand while I cut her toenails.

Close-Up of Dog Paw Clear Toenails

You’d think because Maya’s toenails are clear that trimming her nails would be easier. It’s not. I’ve accidentally cut too short four times in her six years of life. 😦

Dog Toothbrush Toothpaste

Pierson eats poop left by the wild rabbits living under our shed so I have to brush his teeth every day.

Dog Pierson Licking Toothbrush

Pierson is also very good about getting his teeth brushed. He actually likes the taste of the toothpaste.

Brush Your Dog's Teeth

Maya has great teeth. I don’t need to brush her teeth as often as I brush Pierson’s.

Maya and Pierson say best thing about dog nail trimming is the treats they get afterward! πŸ™‚

For more great pet photos, check out the link to the Wordless Wednesday blog hop below.

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