Icy is always outside, running around the yard or taking very long walks and hikes. Her nails always wear down naturally. She goes to the groomer for a bath on occasion, but rarely needs any grooming. Other than brushing of course, because the way Huskies shed, brushing them is like a full time job, LOL!
|Icy is so active, her nails wear down naturally and rarely need to be trimmed.|
|Phoebe isn't nearly as active as Icy. Her nails seem to grow at lightning speed, so trimming her nails between grooming appointments is a must!|
My husband, a serious DIY-er always says "You need the right tools for the right job". I thought I had the right tool, a pet nail trimmer! The trimmer came in a pet grooming kit I won at a party a few years ago. I had used it but only sporadically. What I didn't realize was that the trimmer had gotten really dull really fast. I couldn't successfully trim Phoebe's nails because the trimmer was too dull to make a clean cut. How did I find that out? My husband suggested the trimmer might have gotten dull and was no longer able to make a clean cut. I decided to make one last ditch effort and buy a new pet nail trimmer. If I couldn't be successful, I'd resolve myself to extra trips to the groomer just to get her nails trimmed. As though grooming isn't expensive enough!
|These two dog nail trimmers look like the same kind of tool, but one of these things is not like the other. One of these things is dull and won't cleanly cut!|
|If you have the right tool, the job of trimming dogs' nails is a lot easier|
WHY IS IT SO IMPORTANT TO TRIM YOUR DOG'S NAILS?
Keeping your dog's nails trimmed isn't just cosmetic, it has actual health implications. Letting your dog's nails get too long can cause them to lose traction as they walk and run, which could lead to a foot or leg injury. It can cause pain for your dog to walk with nails that are too long. When long nails hit the ground, it creates pressure back into the nail bed. It also puts pressure on tendons in the foot and leg, and can cause injury to them over time.
I like this analogy, given by Carol Bryant of Fidose of Reality: "Imagine wearing a pair of high heels if you are accustomed to flats or wearing shoes: Now try running in those heels and wearing them 24/7: This is akin to what overgrown nails feel like on a dog"
A really overgrown nail can ultimately start to curve, and grow into the dog's paw pad! This is an extreme case, but I have seen it once or twice at the animal shelter where I volunteered. Most of us would notice something like that long before it happened right? However, if your dog has dew claws it is something that could escape your notice for quite some time. Those claws don't usually get very worn down during normal activity. I was shocked and a little mortified when I once found that Phoebe's dew claw had gotten insanely long and started curling under. I hadn't been to the groomer in several months and I hadn't tried to trim her dew claws. I didn't see them under all that hair! Now I make sure to trim those too.
|There was only one place for those dull dog nail clippers!|
HOW TO TRIM YOUR DOG'S NAILS
➤➤ Grip the paw firmly but be gentle, tiny paws are sensitive!
➤➤ Don't cut the fur with your nail trimmer, it will dull the trimmer. I wouldn't be surprised if that's what happened with my trimmers. It's so hard to get Phoebe's wavy hair out of the way to cut her nails.
➤➤ Be careful not to cut the quick, the pink part of the nail that contains tiny blood vessels. Cut the "shell", the clear part that hits the ground.
➤➤ Make a quick clean cut. If you're having trouble making a clean cut, your trimmer might be dulled like mine was.
Some people prefer to use a grinder to keep their dog's nails trimmed. I haven't used a grinder, mainly because I'm afraid Phoebe's wavy hair will get snagged in it. I also feel more comfortable with a small hand trimmer than a powered tool. It's a matter of personal preference.
PetSmart has a good variety of dog nail clippers, as well as nail grinders. You can follow my PetSmart affiliate link here:
HOW DO YOU KNOW IT'S TIME TO TRIM YOUR DOG'S NAILS?
I could usually tell by the way Phoebe's nails tap on my hardwood floors and tile. I can tell they're too long when it sounds like she's tap dancing on the floors! Now that I've got the right tool for the right job, and I no longer dread it, I can trim her nails on a scheduled of every 2 weeks or so.
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Note: I am not a Veterinarian or Vet Tech, nor do I play one online! I just share tips and information that I have found useful for my own dogs, my foster dogs, and those of my family and friends.
Do you trim your pet's nails yourself, or do you leave it to the groomer? We love hearing your thoughts, so please tell us in the comments!