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How To Groom Your Dog's Nails & Paws

Pet Grooming

Does it seem like a hassle every time you have to drag your pet to the groomer? Do you hate watching your pet whimper in the hands of a stranger because they are afraid? Should you groom your pet yourself? All pet owners know that having your pet groomed can be a very long and expensive process. Grooming your pet at home can be very beneficial in many ways. Not only do you save money by doing it yourself but you also develop a deeper connection with your pet. Many people believe that it is too hard to trim or clip your dog's paws at home.

Economically, you benefit tremendously because all you pay for is the grooming equipment. You may not see the complete benefit after a single grooming but eventually those trips to the groomer start to add up.
Emotionally, pets seem to stress when they are put in a uncomfortable position. Grooming your pet provides him/her with regular sessions in which to experience pleasure at the hands of humans. With repeated gentle handling, this will help pets overcome trust issues they might have with humans.
Bonding with your pet is obviously a good thing. The one-on-one time you receive while trimming your pet's paws will give you a chance to see how they react and how they start to feel more comfortable by trusting you.
Whenever you are grooming your pet, you want to make sure you praise them for being so brave. The more they see you praising them for this experience, the harder they will try to be on their best behavior in order to receive more praise. You also want to make sure you start grooming your pet at an early age so they become accustomed to it.

Basic Guidelines

Make sure when you are trimming your pet's nails that you only trim excess lengths of the nail. You want to avoid reaching any nerves or blood vessels. You also want to make sure you clean your pets nails and paws before starting.

1.) Gather all your materials - you will need some trimmers, and also some styptic powder. You'll need the styptic powder to stop the bleeding just in case you cut the nails too low. Don't panic when this occurs, it is a common occurrence. With the powder, bleeding can be stopped almost immediately.

2.) You want to get into a comfortable position so that you and your dog are comfortable. Many people like to sit on the floor with their legs crossed. This way you don't have to worry about balancing yourself just in case your pet is a little jumpy. You can also have someone else hold your dog so that you can concentrate on the task at hand. Next, you want to push gently on your pet's paw so you can extend the nail.

3.) Every dog has what is called a "quick". A quick is where your dog's blood vessels are. This is the part of the nail that you want to avoid. This is the darker part of the nail that runs down the middle of the nail.

Using a nail trimmer
You want to cut below the quick at a 45- degree angle. If your dog has dark nails or is a larger dog with larger nails, you might want to start by making a series of small clippings and work your way down. Remember to use a file after you are done clipping so smooth out the nail.
Recommended Products:
"Bamboo" Dog Nail Clipper, Styptic & File

Using A Grinder
When using a nail grinder, you want to use the same tactic used with the clipper. You simply want to keep grinding until you are about to reach the quick. When you feel like you are going to reach the quick, you want to stop and begin to start making your pet's claws rounded. Many people believe using a nail grinder is a safer and more effective way of grinding your pet's nails. A nail grinder can give you more control while grooming your pet, but at the same time you can end up going too low trying to make your dogs claws perfectly rounded.

Recommended Products:

The Guillotine Trimmers

The toe nail is going to be placed inside of the stationary ring. Make sure that the cutting blade is facing you and not the dog. The handles should be facing the dog. By doing this, the cutting blade is a little bit further from the quick. With one quick clip, the cutting blade will advance through the nail. If your pet has dark colored claws, you might want to take several small cuts to reduce the chance of cutting into the quick.

Recommended Products:
Alternatives for cats:

Soft paws is an effective, safe and humane alternative to declawing! Your Cat will love you for it! Each Soft Paws kit contains 40 nail caps, 2 tubes of adhesive, applicator tips and easy to follow instructions. One kit contains enough for 4 front paw applications. Each application lasts approximately 4-6 weeks therefore each kit lasts approximately 4-6 months.