ARTICLES & ADVICE
FAMILY HISTORY & GENEALOGY
Dog Toenail Care and
Diagrams of toenails
follow this text.
Pooch Pedicures are generally a simple procedure, like brushing,
ear-cleaning and bathing. Events that you have trained them to
accept calmly since puppyhood. There are, of course, exceptions to all
including the normally obedient and docile dog that simply will not
having toenails clipped and in some extreme cases won't allow their
to be handled at all. This aversion can sometimes be traced back to a
experience involving toenails and/or feet, but nonetheless, you must
the nails to maintain healthy feet and body structure. This is
important with less active dogs as their nails do not wear down as
techniques will help ease the trauma for you and your dog when nail
trimming is due.
SESSION TWO (Should be the next
- Begin by touching your dog on the leg,
or the place closest to the nails that does not cause the dog to
- Reward this tolerance with a very small,
very tasty treat. Next,
touch a little closer and again reward with food.
- Keep repeating, perhaps many, many
times, each time moving a little closer to the toes, stopping when the
dog seems about to resent the intrusion.
Eventually, you should be able to begin
clipping one toenail. Avoid the temptation to clip all the nails at
once. Clip ONE NAIL A DAY, after rewarding the dog for tolerating your
touching the handling all the feet. Spend the time to recognize how far
you are able to move with each day's training and remember to reward
the dog for accepting the handling of legs and feet. Given persistence,
your dog should accept nail trimming routines without difficulty.
- Repeat the steps from day one.
- When the dog lets you touch the toes,
move on to the next step, picking up the foot.
- When this can be done without causing
objection, touch the toenail clipper to the toes.
- Remember to reward the desired behavior
as you progress.
TIPS ON CLIPS
- Use toenail clippers that are made
specifically for toenail trimming.
- Cut nails perpendicularly to the long
axis of the nail, and about one-quarter inch away from the quick (blood
- If you cut too short and the nail
bleeds, draw the nail across a
bar of softened soap to control the bleeding. You can also use a
powder or stick that will clot the blood quickly. (Kwik Stop is a brand
commonly available at your local pet supply retailer.)
- If the dew claw nail (on the inside of
the leg above the foot) has become embedded in the flesh of the leg,
cut the nail at the proper place and extract the embedded tip. Treat
the small wound with an antibacterial dressing. (You can also have your
veterinarian or groomer do this.)
- If a toenail is broken and hangs by a
small piece of tissue, pull the broken piece off with a hard twisting
motion. If it bleeds, use the Kwik Stop or soap method mentioned above.
TOENAIL END VIEW
The left drawing show the end view of a dark nail correctly cut. The
is just barely trimmed and will not be bleeding.
The right drawing show the end view of a dark nail cut too close to the
This is a big OUCH! and will be bleeding. The quick has been cut into.
Rather than reinvent the wheel, Dober
Dawn (You will leave this site to see this article.) has the most
informative site I have seen on how to properly grind dog toenails.
There are fantastic photos and tips on the entire process.
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