We are very fortunate that we have chosen a “wash and wear” breed and grooming doesn’t take much time at all. However, as your puppy continues to grow and becomes an adult, proper and regular nail trimming is an important part of the grooming process. Many of us forget about our dogs toe nails and they can cecome quite long. Not only is this unsightly but it can be a health hazzard as well. How many times has your puppy gone skidding across the floor after a ball and crashed into the wall? Leading the way across the floor are their front paws. If their nails are too long, it’s entirely possible that the nail will hit the wall first and they can crack a nail. I’m not just talking about chippign the nail’s edge, I’m talking about splitting it straight down the middle. This is painful for the dog and can become infected and require antibiotics. Of course, worse can happen and they could actually break a toe.
So for those who need a little help figuring out how to trim your puppy’s nails, especially those blue dogs with dark or black fingernails, below is a little illustration of the nail and quik and how they relate.
As for HOW to get your puppy to allow you to trim his nails, well it’s not easy at first and takes lots of patience and practice. You can use regular clippers or a dremel tool. For regular clippers you will clip the end which will make a squared off top so then you will need to trim the sides to give it more rounded edges so they aren’t so sharp. This is what I use and it goes much quicker than the dremel however, the end result isn’t as “pretty”.
To use a dremel the end result will give a nicely shaped nail and it won’t be sharp around the edges. It will take extra time when you first start using it as the dog has to get used to the vibration on his nail. Here is a good video on how to dremel your dog’s nails and do it by yourself!
Regardless of what method you use, as you learn to trim your dogs nails remember that he is learning to be OK with it as well. Try to stay calm and don’t get frustrated. He can feel your tension which will only cause him to be more anxious. Keep some very special treats available and be generous with them. I use peanut butter and to start would give Roxie a few licks before starting and then a few licks after each toe. Once finished, give her the rest of the spoonful. Now, I can just show her the spoonful of peanut butter, set it aside and she will stand while I trim her nails. When I’m done, she gets the entire spoon.
Good luck and if you need more help learning to trim the nails, let me know of you can also search YouTube for lots more informative videos.