Tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick. Here comes your dog!

Dog toenails provide traction, aid in balance and stability and enhance her digging abilities. Toenails can also become too long if your dog doesn’t wear them down naturally. Most dog caretakers must trim the dog’s toenails to keep them the right length.

If you need pointers, watch your vet or dog groomer trim her nails. Some use the “guillotine” style; others use what looks like heavy scissors. Either is fine, but the guillotine style are easier to handle for most people.

Ask any questions about the process so the animal professional can explain how to trim dog toenails. Remember, veterinarians and dog groomers do this every day.

Don’t cut off too much or you will hurt your dog and build a strong negative association between toenail trimming and pain. This obviously makes future toenail trimming difficult.

The quick is the part of the nail that’s tender and can bleed. It is usually a different color than the rest of the nail. On clear or white nails, you can usually see the quick inside the outer claw part, just as you can see the colored part of your nail bed which is lower than the lighter crescent.

Move from toe to toe while supporting the paw with your hand and holding each toe between your thumb and index finger.
After snipping, shape and smooth the nails with a file. This reduces the chance of tearing and removes sharp, ragged edges.

Ply your dog with treats and praise through the whole process. It’s all about building good associations. Also, it may help to have someone else rubbing your dog’s ears while you trim. Dogs sitting in their favorite napping spot, just awakening, may be easier to trim than fully alert dogs.

If you can’t finish all his toes in one sitting, that’s okay. Just try again later. If you or your dog find the whole process too stressful, make an appointment with your groomer and try to file off any rough edges as they appear.

by Deborah Jeanne Sergeant

Fluffs of Luv Pet Care offers an array of customized pet care services, including in home pet sitting, dog walking, cat only pet sitting, overnight visits and cat and dog grooming and more. As the most reputable pet sitters and dog walkers in Charlotte and the surrounding area, Fluffs of Luv has put countless clients at ease by caring for their cherished companions while they were away.  Give Fluffs of Luv a call for a free in home consultation for pet care or to set up a grooming appointment 704-421-3492 or visit www.fluffsofluv.com