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News and Information about Dogs, Cats, and Pet Products

Guest Blog ImageIn the upcoming months, your pet will be dealing with wet weather conditions. Here are some tips to help keep your pooch comfortable, and looking his best while dealing with our Chicago winter weather!!

Always make sure you are brushing and combing your dogs with the proper tools and if you don’t know what tools to use, ask your pet stylist for advice! If your pet comes in from outside and their coat is wet, make sure to dry them thoroughly before attempting to brush/comb them. Once they are dry, brush thoroughly, and then follow up with a comb to make sure you get any spots you may have missed with the brush.

o-dogs-in-winter-facebookDuring the winter months, snow and ice can get packed into your dog’s paws, which can be extremely painful for them. At the same time, trying to get traction on slippery surfaces is much more difficult when pad hair is overgrown and nails are too long.  Make sure to keep both trimmed all year long, but it’s especially important during the winter months. We recommend trimming pads and nails every 2 to 4 weeks.

Regular grooming is just as essential during the cold months as it is during warmer months. Many owners worry that having a shorter coat will mean that their dog is cold, but it is your dog’s body fat that keeps them warm in this weather. Most pets are “inside dogs”, and are only outside for brief periods of time, therefore are not in need of longer coats to protect them from the elements. Keeping your pet on a regular grooming schedule will help keep them looking and feeling their best all year round!logo-refined-PenTool-webAddress

At The UpScale Tail they are dedicated to giving your pets the best experience possible by building a mutual respect with them through compassion, and by passing their ever expanding knowledge onto pet parents about the overall well-being and behavior of pets.

To learn more about The UpScale Tail visit their website at, call them at 630-632-8245 or email them at



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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



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.


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!


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.