Dog needs their nails clipped just like you and I do. Without maintaining your dog's nails, they can grow long enough that dew claws grow in a curve and can end up digging into the skin on your dog’s legs. Nails on toes can split or become so long that they get snagged on carpets or vegetation. In addition, long toenails can interfere with your dog’s tractions on slippery floors.
The problem is, when clipped with clippers, it is possible to cut the nails too short, cutting the quick of the nail, which is very painful. Some owners and dogs are extremely anxious about the nail clipping process. If a dog has had his nail cut too short in the past, the dog can be anxious and uncooperative having his nails cut, which can make the job difficult and increase the owner's discomfort clipping nails. There are alternatives to using clippers to cut your dog nails which include nail files and Dremel type tools. Dogs that are active outside and are frequently on hard terrain or able to dig often do not need their nails shortened as often as dogs that do not have outdoor access. Working dogs and farm dogs may rarely need to have their nails addressed, as they are shortened naturally from activity.
Friction from filing can result in heat--be careful tools do not overheat.
Even while filing nails, it is possible to shorten nails so that the quick of the nail is compromised. Be aware of where your dog’s nail quick is located. It is easier to see on light colored nails then dark or black nails.
Get your dog used to the sensation of filing. Start slowly, file one nail at a time and only for short periods of time to prevent creating a negative association.
Get your dog used to the sound of motorized tools before using them so as not to frighten or startle your dog.
Read all instructions for motorized tools prior to use to ensure safe operation.
Restrain or have an assistant hold your dog if he is liable to move during the process, to prevent injury.
If you or your dog is uncomfortable with the use of nail cutters, the good news is there are alternatives. Many pet owners prefer the use of a motorized nail file or Dremel tool that is often less stressful for dogs, as it eliminates the pinching sensation associated with clippers. Manual filing is time-consuming, but for an extremely anxious dog, it may be a viable alternative to clippers or motorized instruments. Remember that your dog needs maintenance of his nails just like you do, and that torn and split nails can result in pain and injury or infection.
I've never clipped my dogs nails myself, she's in need of her nails needing cut because she's only had them cut I think 2 times couple years ago. Is there anything safe and easy that I can use other then clippers? I do not own a pair of dog clippers.
Hi Stephanie, What I would suggest for adorable Trixie is that you take her to the groomer for the initial cut this time; it will be easier to maintain the nails once they are cut professionally and are evenly trimmed. Then, you can either buy the clippers or try to file them manually with a nail file. There is also the Dremel tool but sometimes the noise of the device is scary. When the nails are left too long between clipping, they can curl and work their way into the skin so getting Trixie's nails trimmed soon is ideal. The groomer gets the job done very quickly and will be able to give you advice and a demo on how to do the upkeep at home. Good luck!
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Hi, Alfie is 13 and he absolutely hate's having his nails cliped. The vet has cut them so short about 4 or 5 times he has bled everytime and is now petrified. Can we use a tablet or not? Or a file ? We don't kno what to do and they are growing and starting to bend. It's urgent please help
Hi Hollie, I'm sorry to hear that Alfie has had bad experiences with getting his nails clipped. I can understand his fear. You can try using a nail file; it will take longer but does work! Make sure that Alfie is well-exercised and tired. Then, file just a bit at a time. After he gets used to it, it should go pretty smoothly. I would file them often since it is a time-consuming way to do it. The other option is to ask other pet parents for referrals to a groomer who specializes in dealing with fearful dogs. They will have the know-how as to calming Alfie while the work is being done. Good luck!
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