Shop Online  |  My Account  |  Customer Care  |  Order Status
View Cart  | 
Search:

News and Information about Dogs, Cats, and Pet Products

Guest Blog Image

 

 

 

 

 

Do your pets have healthy feet?   A healthy foot means that your pet is walking on the pads of their feet and not on their toes/nails.

When dog’s nails are too long, it causes unnecessary stress on their joints, which can cause pain, and eventually arthritis.  When the pad hair is allowed to become too long, it can collect debris from outside, and track it into your house.  During the winter months, snow and ice can become impacted in long pad hair, which can cause pain in your pet’s feet. Excessively long nails or pad hair can be dangerous for your pet as it can cause stress on the joints, causing them pain or injury in other parts of their body, and pad hair that is too long can cause pets to slip on smooth surfaces, which can lead to falls and other possible injuries.

Nails and pads should be trimmed every 1-4 weeks, keeping in mind that during the Summer months, humidity causes the hair and nails to grow faster.  There are two ways of trimming the nails: 1. Clipping – this is very similar to how we clip our own nails.  2. Filing – it allows you to get the nails slightly shorter and also you to round the edges of the nails so they are not as sharp.

It is possible in both instances to “quick” the nail – the vein inside your pets nail. Quicking is referring to if you cut a nail too short, accidentally cutting into the vein or quick in the nail, causing the nail to bleed.  To stop the bleeding, use a styptic powder, or Two Bostons sells a fast acting gel to stop the bleeding called Super Clot by Synergy Labs.  Over time, with regular nail trimming you can get the vein to recede so you go shorter in length on the nails.

Look for their next Guest Blog about the signs of arthritis in dogs…

Nail Clipping/Filing, and Pad Trims are available as a Walk-In Service at The UpScale Tail during normal business hours.  Monday-Friday 7:30 am – 5:00 pm and Saturdays 8:00 am – 3:00 pm.  Feel free to call us if you have any questions at (630) 632-8245, or stop in and visit us at 1419 Plainfield Naperville Rd., Naperville 60565.  OR Visit our website at www.theupscaletail.com

 

EricaH_Profile

In my last post, we talked about the anatomy of a dog’s nail and ways to help introduce your pup to effective nail trimming tools like GoGo nail trimmers, clippers and grinders. Establishing positive association is a very important first step in the process! So in this post, we’ll now take a look at the actual nail trimming process.

Once you’re actually ready to trim your dog’s nails, be sure you have all of your supplies readily at hand and are in a comfortable place with good lighting. Many people find it easiest to have the dog lay on his side on the floor. If using a clipper, hold it in your dominant hand; then hold the dog’s paw firmly in your other hand, with your thumb on the foot pad and your fingers on the top of the foot near the nail bed. Place the trimmer in an area away from the quick (again, no closer than 2mm), and cut with one swift motion. If your dog has dark nails, it is best to start at the very tip and cut 2 mm at a time as you gradually get closer to the quick. When you start seeing a gray colored oval, you are nearing the quick and should STOP cutting.  The quick actually starts to recede the more often you trim the nails, making future trimmings easier. You may also use a nail file to smooth the edges.

DogPosition_NailTrimming

Find the position that’s most comfortable for you and your dog, then make sure you’re in a well-lit area with all your tools readily at hand.

If you are using a grinder, you will also hold it in your dominant hand and the dog’s paw in the other (as with a clipper). Touch the grinder to the dog’s nails for a couple of seconds, remove it for a second, and then repeat. Continue this technique until you start to see the gray colored oval. Grinding tends to take a little bit longer, but produces a very nice, smooth, short nail.

Be very patient, take your time, and offer lots of treats. Never trim nails in a hurry! Every dog reacts to nail trimming differently. One of my pups gets anxious, so I have to trim a nail, give a treat, then relax for a couple seconds before going on to the next nail.  Another of my dogs is very easygoing and not too bothered by the task — so I do an entire foot, and then reward with a treat before going on to the next. It is important to read your dog’s body language. If he is getting stressed, give him a couple breaks. Don’t try to do all 4 paws at one time.

Happy trimming!

Well_TrimmedNails

Always be sure to take your time, and realize that every dog reacts differently to nail trimming. Your perfectly-pedicured pup will appreciate your care and patience!

 

p.s.  ~ About cutting the quick: I have been trimming nails for 12 years, and have yet to cut the quick even on black nails. Yet even with this track record, I still have styptic powder within close reach each time I trim. It is very, very important to proceed gradually and carefully for the well-being of your pet. But if you do accidentally cut the quick, use a cotton ball to wipe the blood off the nail. Take a generous pinch of powder from the container and pack it all around the nail to stop the bleeding.

 

 

EricaH_Profile

Nail trimming is a dreaded task for many dog parents, but it doesn’t have to be.  It is very important to keep dogs’ nails short, as long nails can cause skeletal damage and an irregular gait. I am going to teach you how to make nail trimming at home a positive experience for you and your pup. Before you perform this task, you should have knowledge of the anatomy of a dog’s nail.

Dogs’ nails are composed of layers. Inside the hard outer layer is a layer of nerves and blood vessels called the quick. The quick starts at the nail bed and ends at the point where the dog’s nail starts to curve. If the quick is cut, the dog bleeds and feels pain. On a light-colored nail, the quick is very easy to see — it’s the pink part at the base of the nail. If your dog has dark or black nails, it would be beneficial to visit a dog with light nails so you can get a visual of how the quick looks. The nail should always be trimmed down no closer than 2 mm away from the quick.

NailTrimming_Technique2

Before trimming your dog’s nails, take extra care to identify the quick —
for both comfort and safety, you ALWAYS want to avoid cutting
this part of the nail !

If you don’t already have a tool at home for nail trimming, you will have to pick a style that best suits you and your dog. Some people use clippers, while others prefer grinders.  Neither is better than the other. You should use the tool that you are most comfortable with.

Clippers come in two types: guillotine or scissor. The guillotine style clipper has a hole that the dog’s nail goes through, and a blade that moves up to cut the nail when you squeeze the handle. The scissor style works just like a pair of scissors. You should hold both styles in your hand to find out what feels most comfortable. Two Bostons carries both of these styles, made by GoGo. Grinders are another option but they can be noisy, so it may be best to start using this tool with a puppy or a dog that is not sensitive to noise. Whichever tool you use, always be sure to have plenty of yummy treats on hand to make the experience as positive as possible.  I like to use a very tasty all-meat treat such as Stella and Chewys Carnivore Crunch. You will also need a jar of styptic powder (made to stop bleeding) and cotton balls – just in case you accidentally cut the quick.

NailTrimming_Tools

To trim pup nails painlessly and professionally, it’s important to have all the right tools
readily at hand.

 

As soon as you bring home a new puppy or dog, you should get him used to having his paws touched. Hold his paw in your hand and touch his nails for a couple of seconds; then release and reward with a treat. Practice this daily while it is still new to the dog.   With new puppies, I put the clipping tool on the floor with treats on and near it, and have the puppy take the treats right off of the tool. You can also use this technique with a newly adopted dog.

I also like to teach a dog to touch the tool with his nose. As soon as he touches, I reward with a treat. This type of positive training teaches the dog that the tool is good. These exercises are especially important when using a grinder due to the noise. One additional “positive association” exercise you can do if you are using a grinder is to turn the grinder on for a couple of seconds, then give your dog a treat. These exercises should be performed several times before you ever touch the tool to the dog’s nails.

In Part 2 of this blog post, I’ll do exactly that: discuss the proper technique for giving your pup a pain-free, professional nail trimming. So check back later this week!