Saturday, June 15, 2013

The importance of nail trimming

If you look closely in the picture above, you see that our little Cody had very long nails when he was at the shelter. When we picked him up to bring him to his forever home, one of the first things we did was to have his nails trimmed.

Properly trimmed nails are important for more than cosmetic reasons. Nails can break if they are too long and this is painful for the little guy or girl. If the nails are too long they also affect the gait of the dog. This can, in some cases, lead to stress on the joints.

I keep a close eye on our little friends' nails. I usually have them trimmed about every couple of weeks.  I am not very good with nail clipping, so I usually take them to a professional groomer to have it done. It only takes a few minutes and is well worth the effort.

If you want to do it yourself there are two options. You can use clippers or a rotary tool.

Clippers come in two different types. There are guillotine and scissor types.

The blue handled trimmers in the picture are scissor type and the green handled are guillotine type. When I worked a Petco, we sold both types and it was sort of a personal preference thing. However, the majority of the groomers that I know use the scissor type. 

There are also some trimmers that have electronics built in to them to detect the quick. The idea is that this keeps you from accidentally cutting too deeply. 

If you decide to trim the nails yourself, be sure to have some styptic powder on hand. This stuff will stop the bleeding if you accidentally cut to the quick.

 This picture shows the rotary nail trimmer. A rotating stone grinds the nail. This is more comfortable for some dogs and sometimes easier for the person doing the trimming. However, again, most professional groomers that I know use scissor type clippers.

Regardless of the method you use or even if , like me, you prefer to let a professional do it, it is important that your dog's nails are trimmed regularly!

The ASPCA has some good information on their website about nail trimming.

Many dogs are anxious about getting their nails trimmed. It is important with these guys that you make it as positive an experience as possible for them. Try not to get frustrated with them. In cases where the dog is very anxious, there are desensitization training techniques that can be used to get the dog more comfortable with the clippers or the rotary tools. Some dogs are very scared or anxious when any sort of grooming is done or when they are at the veterinarian's office. If you have one of these dogs, please contact me. I can help you work with your dog to make grooming or the vet's office a much more pleasant experience for the dog and the people!

Till Next Time


William Moore
William Moore Canine Training

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