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It’s one thing to be a dog owner but to be a responsible dog owner means there are specific responsibilities you must take on. You need to take your dog to the vet to get its shots. You need to feed the dog and take it out to relieve itself. Another important responsibility is trimming your pet’s nails, a vital grooming step for your dog. However, when you take on this grooming responsibility, it must be done right. Failure to do it right could mean injury to your dog’s physical body or damage to your dog’s mental spirit. Here are five mistakes when trimming dog nails you should avoid.
1. If Your Dog is Stressed, Don’t Trim
Clipping a dog’s nails requires your dog to be willing to participate. That means he or she needs to sit still and not be moving or jumping around. Is your dog wound up or stressed? Is he or she shaking and barking a lot? It could be that your dog is stressed, and if so, you should skip nail clipping until your dog is calm. Clipping the nails of a dog that is not calm can lead to injury and more stress.
How do you calm your dog? Does the dog need to relieve itself? Is the dog hungry? Are there other people in the house who are making the dog nervous? Does your dog need to be petted? Take care of your dog’s needs to calm him or her down before you attempt nail clipping. It is much easier to grind a dog’s nails when the dog is calm. Here’s a hint: If your dog is calm during bath time, try cutting your dog’s nails while the dog is in the bathtub. Don’t do it, however, if the bath time gets your dog wound up.
2. Don’t Rush Through the Trimming Process
Clipping your dog’s nails may be a process that you would just as soon get over with as quickly as possible. However, rushing through the process is not advised. First, speeding the process of trimming nails opens up the possibility for mistakes, such as clipping the nails too close. Second, your dog may find getting its nails cut to be not such a pleasant experience. If the dog senses that you’re rushing, what you do could affect the dog’s mood. You should take your time and be calm through the entire process. When you’re calm, there’s a greater possibility that your dog will be calm too.
3. Don’t Physically Punish or Yell at Your Dog
How does your dog react to getting its nails clipped? Is he or she resistant? Cutting your dog’s nails is a necessary activity, but punishing or yelling at your dog while it’s happening, because your dog is resisting, is not the way to go. If you punish or yell at your dog while it is getting its nails clip, he or she will associate the negativity with nail clipping, and this can permanently frighten your dog whenever it’s about to happen. That will mean that you will likely never have a calm dog willing to sit down and get its nails clipped. If your dog does not want to cooperate when it is getting its nails done, a professional groomer may be the step you need to take. Look for a professional groomer at any place where dogs are a specialty such as at a dog groomer or a veterinarian’s office.
4. Don’t Trim Without Styptic Powder Nearby
We’ve already noted that rushing through the process of dog nail clipping is not the way to go. Taking your time also means making sure you have all the supplies you need on hand. In fact, you should never trim your dog’s nails without having all of the supplies you need. One of them is styptic powder. You’re cutting your dog’s nails, but you make a mistake and trim the nail too close. The next thing you know, you’ve caused your dog to bleed. Styptic powder is used to stop the nails from bleeding. You can buy the powder at drug stores and pet stores, as well as online. If you are unable to get styptic powder, cornstarch can be used as a substitute.
5. Don’t Trim Without Good Quality Clippers
Doing the job means doing the job right, and in all cases in life, that almost always means having the right equipment. The way to effectively trim your dog’s nails and to avoid mistakes is to do it with good-quality clippers. Choosing the right clippers can get confusing because there is more than one type out there. However, to break it down, there are generally three kinds of clippers that will work best for your pet. Choose which clipper to use and then find the clipper either at a brick and mortar location, such as a pet supply store or a drug store or buy your clipper on the Internet where you will find the most extensive range of prices and selections. Pay attention to descriptions as well of reviews of each clipper you’re considering if you choose to purchase online.
Scissor Clippers – These are clippers that resemble scissors. They are best for dogs that are large and that have bigger paws and thicker nails.
Guillotine Clippers – The guillotine variety is named as such because they have a blade that lowers and slices off the end of the pet’s nail. Therefore, you stick your dog’s nail into the hole, and then you squeeze. The blade cuts the nail. This kind of trimming mechanism is best for small to medium sized dogs.
Grinder – This mechanism doesn’t clip the nail. Instead, it grinds it. It is best for large dogs and dogs who strongly dislike getting their nails trimmed.
These are five mistakes when trimming dog nails that you should avoid. If you feel that you are too nervous or otherwise unable to trim your dog’s nails, leave it to a professional. Experts at veterinarians, dog groomers, pet stores, and more, can cut your dog’s nails the right way.