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Properly Trimming Your Dog's Nails

By Christi Hanson

Trimming your dog's nails keeps them looking nice, but that is not the most important
reason for doing it. When your dog's nails get too long, it can make it difficult for your
dog to walk. They also start to split and that can pose all sorts of dangers, especially to
smaller dogs with curly hair. They may get their nails tangled in their hair or get one
snagged in the carpet or a blanket. To get free, they may have to pull the nail out, or
they may hurt their leg trying to get free. It could cause them to fall and suffer a more
serious injury.

You can avoid all that by simply trimming your dog's nails when they need it and that is
usually when they have grown enough to reach the floor. You can take your dog to a
groomer and have it done for under $20 or you can do it yourself. It really isn't difficult to
do even though your dog might not like it at first. It helps if you start trimming your dog's
nails, or at least go through the motions, when he is a pup so he gets used to it.

Most dogs don't like to have their feet handled so you should get your dog used to that
first, then work on trimming his nails. Don't force him to endure a complete trim the first
few times. Take it slowly and reward him for being a good boy so he won't come to hate
the procedure and fight you.

You can use scissor type clippers or those that work like a guillotine. There are even
electric models that work like sanders. Your dog might have a preference. He could be
scared of the sander type that vibrates and makes a lot of noise. If so, just choose the
traditional clippers but select the right size. Clippers for a small dog won't be strong
enough for a big dog's tough nails.

Start at the end and clip off small bits making sure you avoid the area that is called the
quick. The quick is the pink area closest to your dog's body and it is filled with blood
vessels and nerves. When you trim away the nail, look for a circle to appear on the nail.
That is a sign the quick is near and you should stop clipping.

If you cut into the quick, your dog will most likely yelp and start fighting. He might bleed
for a bit but it should stop by applying pressure. With practice, you will learn to avoid the
quick, if you do hit it accidentally, it is probably a good idea to stop the trimming session
and let your dog recover from the incident so he doesn't develop a fear of trimming.

Before you start trimming your dog's nails, make sure he is well fed and worn out. Take
him for a run and let him wear off the day's energy and get over his excitement of seeing
you come home from work. If your dog is worked up and hyper, it is a bad time to trim
nails. Work with him when he is relaxed and in a mood to let you massage his feet and
handle his toes. If you start nail trimming when your dog is a pup, things will go a lot
smoother when he grows into adulthood.

Information provided by Christi Hanson of,  the best shop to buy  
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