Maybe it’s the tell-tale click when your dog drives the kitchen floor. Or the unmistakable and often painful arithmetic feeling when she pops up to greet you. Or maybe it is when you lounge around on the couch together and find that your dog’s nails have grown so long that you’re not sure whether to trim them or see what they would look like if you saw a sizzling shadow of one Fire engines would paint red!
Whatever causes you to notice your dog’s nails need attention, good for you. Nail care is important and is often overlooked by owners who are either not sure how to do it, are afraid of cutting the nails themselves, or cannot get their dogs to follow the program. If this describes You, We can show you the easiest way to do it and how to get your dog not just to work together but to volunteer for a trim.
There are two ways to trim nails: cutting with a guillotine or scissors cutter, and sanding with a rotary tool such as a Dremel or similar product specifically designed for sanding dog nails.
Between the two methods, many snow groomers (and I) prefer to use a rotating nail grinding tool, although many dogs need to be desensitized to the sound and the feeling of vibration. The biggest advantage of using a nail grinder over hair clippers is that if you cut too much, hair clippers make you “quick” – either because you misjudged how much to cut or because the dog wobbled when you squeezed the handle The nail accidentally. (The quickening of a nail occurs when you cut into the blood supply to the nail. This can be painful and traumatic for both the dog and the person because of the screaming and reflexive effects that dog-induced pain creates be the nails.)
In contrast, sharpening the nail requires high-speed filing, gradually but rapidly grinding the excess growth as long as the tool is in contact with the nail. You can get a nail “quick” by going short with a grinder as well, but in our experience you have to work harder to do this.
The other advantage of grinding over cutting is that high-speed filing makes it easier to round the tip of the nail, while cutting often leaves sharp edges. If your dog has a tendency to ask people for attention, it can be a problem until the nails naturally wear off to a rounder shape.
We have published a number of articles about in the past Cutout a dog’s nails; The following is all about using a grinder instead.
POSITIONED FOR SUCCESS
It takes a little practice to figure out which position is most comfortable for you and Your dog during the nail cut. You both on the floor? Him on the couch and you on the floor? On a care table? Some people find it easiest to trim the dog’s nails when they’re lying flat on their side.
I find it easiest to sit on the floor with your legs outstretched, rock my dog on its back and between my legs. I find this allows for the most convenient angle of approach for sanding the nails and especially for rounding the edges as I would love to round up from the bottom of the nail. I teach and build value for this position early in my dogs’ lives and we use it a lot – it’s an opportunity for quiet massage and “time together” – not just something we do when it’s time to cut nails.
Whatever position you use, don’t forget to build a positive association first by simply being in that position and getting his paws treated before adding any of the nail clipping steps. I firmly believe that all dogs should be taught to accept all of the different behavioral characteristics of a nail cut, whether you are nailing yourself or planning to send the dog to a veterinarian or groomer for routine cuts.
It is advisable to “take the position” frequently – for praise, treats, and quiet petting – to keep your dog from knowing that your request for that particular position always involves nail trimming. If so, your dog may be reluctant to cooperate.
READY TO GRIND
The goal of cutting nails is to trim the dog’s nails so that they don’t quite touch the ground when he’s on level ground. She should be able to walk across the kitchen floor without knocking, knocking, and knocking. Nails touching the ground push the toes out of their natural position when the dog is standing and moving. The longer the nails, the more displacement the toes experience.
Remember that the innermost core of the nail is made up of a vein and nerve, usually referred to as “fast”. The longer the nail, the further the speed extends in the direction of the nail tip. If your dog’s nails are way too long, it will take a quantity sessions of removing tiny bits of nail at a time, gradually bringing them back to a healthy length without cutting, injuring the dog and causing the vein to bleed (known as the “rush” of the nail).
Fortunately, taking down tiny parts is exactly what rotary grinders do best! Often If you remove the excess nail millimeter by millimeter, the “quick” step is back to the nail base. For very long nails, see if you can do a few minutes of nail grinding once a week. It can take months for the nails to become short and strong. However, if you hold on to it, your dog’s feet and legs will be much healthier. Once your dog’s nails are a reasonable length, they should only maintain a short sharpening session or two per month.
A few final tips:
* Don’t grind on a nail for more than a second or two as the friction creates heat and causes a burning sensation. Touch the grinder to the nail for a second or two and pull it away – a grinding-release, grinding-release pattern.
* In order to maintain the effectiveness of the grinder, you need to replace the sandpaper-like sanding belt after wearing it. Replacement straps are inexpensive – about $ 6 for a package of 6 – and can be purchased from many online pet stores.
* Using a diamond bit (instead of abrasive belts) will reduce the noise and vibration when grinding. These bits are more expensive (between $ 20 and $ 20) but last a long time.
With a little product research, training and practice, you could become a member of the Rotary club soon.
Stephanie Colman is a writer and dog trainer based in Southern California. She works in Guide Dogs of America’s puppy division helping with the recruitment and management of volunteer puppy breeders.