Saturday, December 6, 2008

The Importance of Trimming Your Dog's Nails

Today, I took Buddy to get his nails trimmed. He doesn't like to ride in the car, so he gets very anxious in the car. He also doesn't like to get his nails trimmed, but he knows the routine and lets the groomer trim them. They always make him bleed which I don't like. I don't like to cut his nails because I am afraid of making him bleed.

Why should you trim your dog's nails? Untrimmed nails can cause a variety of problems including broken nails, which are painful and bleed profusely. A dog walks on his toes not the soles of his feet. Long nails can cause the dog to rock back on his paws, causing strain on his leg assemblies and interfering with his gait. Some dogs, particularly overweight ones, may find it uncomfortable to put their body weight on their feet with overgrown nails, causing sore feet, legs and hips. Over the long term, this can also contribute to the development of arthritis.

Many people have their dog's nails trimmed by a groomer or at the vet's office, which is usually affordable and quick. However, it can also be a very stressful experience for the dog. They usually have to muzzle or restrain the dog. It would be far better, and nicer, for you to handle this frequent task with care and compassion, which is way you should do it yourself.

There are two popular methods of trimming dogs nails: using a clipper tool and using a Dremel-style rotary grinding tool. Clipping the dog's nails involves squeezing the nail and putting pressure on the sensitive quick, potentially causing discomfort and pain. There is also the risk, especially with dark nails, that you will cut through the quick and cause considerable pain and bleeding--and perhaps make your dog afraid of nail cutting forever. A properly used Dremel or similar rotary tool involves no squeezing or pressure on the quick. With the Dremel, you can also grind off all around the quick so that it recedes faster and you can get even shorter nails. You can grind off all the corners and rough edges leaving nice smooth nails.

I'm not going to have Buddy go through the trauma of getting his nails trimmed by a groomer that makes him bleed. I am going to invest in a rotary tool to trim his nails.