Keeping a dog's nails maintained is a very important routine that is an essential part of having a healthy and happy
dog. A dog's claws, or toenails, are made of epidermis. With in the nail itself is what we call a "quick."
This is a blood filled nerve and will hurt if cut or ripped. Fear of cutting the quick is one of the biggest reasons people
neglect to trim their dog's toenails. Working dogs who spend considerable amounts of time on hard surfaces generally
do not need their claws trimmed since they are basically worn down. But even with this method we often sculpted the
nail in order to prevent splitting or tear out.
Long toenails are painful for dogs to endure.
You don't realize that if a dog's toenails are to long it affects the way they walk, posture and yes is painful for the
animal. This is why we have always advocated that you begin maintenance tasks on your animal early to get them use
to being handled and to ensure a well rounded experience for both owner and K9.
Trimming The Nails
At K9 training we only use a battery operated Dremel
We purchased one from our local lumber store for less then $20.00
Unlike a standard Dremel that is electric, the rechargeable one spins at a slower rate so friction and heat is not as
prevalent as with the faster plug in model. Utilizing this, it is almost impossible to cause bleeding. Also you can get the
nail shorter then you can with clippers. The only issue is as mentioned above you have to grind the nail while giving
momentary breaks as you do not want to heat up the nail.
Some people have great difficulty when it comes to trimming their pets nails. Especially if their animal has black nails it
can be almost impossible to see the quick which if hit as mentioned above will cause pain although temporary and
bleeding. Years ago we use to have to use clippers then follow up with a file.
To cut the toenail a pair of nail trimmers specifically designed for dogs should be used. They are available from
veterinary clinics and pet stores in sizes for small dogs to large dogs. White nails are easiest to cut, as the quick is
clearly visible. The quick will appear as a pinkish line running down the center of the nail. It is best to cut approximately
two millimeters past the quick. If the dog's nails are black, it is more difficult to trim the nails, but not impossible.
Because the quick cannot be seen, it is best to cut the nail to be equal to the bottom of the foot pad. This should mean
avoiding the quick and leaving the toenail at the correct length. The nail shouldn't’t touch the ground before the toe
pad does. We always followed up with a fingernail file to remove jagged edges and to round over the nail tip.
A Bleeding nail
Use a chuck of soap
Cut a small sliver of soap off of the bar and apply it with slight pressure to the cut nail
(Use a mild soap such as Ivory because other soaps may cause stinging).
Use a styptic pencil.
A styptic pencil is designed to stop small wounds like from shaving from bleeding and can be purchased at pharmacies
and most stores in the shaving section. (Great to have in your K9 First aid kit)
Dip the pencil in water and rub it across the wound to help the blood coagulate.
Make a paste of flour and water.
Mix flour and water together to form a thick paste and apply it to the wound using a small cotton swab. Let the paste
remain on the foot for a few minutes before rinsing it off. You can also use corn starch and baking soda instead of flour.
If the bleeding persists, place several layers of paste on the dog's nails and leave it on for several minutes.
John A Sampson I
As always on these types of articles we have to have our disclaimer:
The above is only intended to be used for information purposes and
is solely the opinion of K9 Training and staff and represents
no guarantee or assurance of any implied outcome.
|Trimming Your Dogs Nails
"The Dog Training Professionals"