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Clipping Your Dog's Nails
If you are clipping a puppy's nails, I would suggest clipping the nails by taking just the tip of it off once a week to begin with, just to get him/her used to the process. This will help avoid nail trimming problems in the future.

If you are going to start clipping your adult dog's nails, here are a few hints that you may find helpful:
  1. You can have your vet clip your dog's nails for a lower price than you would pay at the groomer. The next time you take your dog in for shots it would be worth asking your vet to clip the dog's nails while you are watching so he can show you in person how to do it.

  2. When walking your dog, make a point to walk him on concrete surfaces as this helps wear down the nails.
Equipment you will need if you decide to clip your dog's nails yourself:
  • A good pair of dog nail clippers - its worth paying a little more and getting a good pair as a good pair will last a long time.
  • Either a stylus pencil (the thing men use to stop the bleeding when they shave too close) or there is product at better pet stores designed to stop bleeding. If you don't find it in dog section, try the bird section.
  • A piece of rope large enough to wrap around the dog's muzzle and tie behind the head.
  • Mineral oil
  • Cotton balls
  • 2 people
I muzzle my dogs if I have a biter, you can either buy a muzzle or you can wrap a rope around the dog's muzzle, tie it under the dog's chin then wrap around to the back of head and securing a tight tie right behind the ears.

If your dog has never had it's nails cut too short then it's probably the sound of the nail clippers that is frightening them as well as the uneasiness your dog is sensing from you. First of all you need to gain confidence and portray this to the dog clipping nails is easy once you get the hang of it. Find someone strong enough to hold your dog for you; it is really hard to hold the dog and clip the nails at the same time. Have your holder put the dog on a table if possible. This removes some of the dog's confidence by disorienting him a bit. Have the holder hug the dog close to his body with one arm by reaching across dog's back and then under his belly and grabbing the dog just above the elbow on the leg closest to his body. The holder should place his other hand under the dog's chin and hold the dog's head pointed in the air. The holder should talk to the dog in soothing tones the entire time. The person clipping the dog's nails can then take the leg opposite the one being held by the holder and clip the nails, also talking to the dog.

Dogs have different colored nails. On a white nail, if you look carefully you will see where the pink shows in the middle of the nail. This is the quick - don't cut into that as it will bleed and is very painful, much like cutting below the line on your own fingernail. On black nails it is just a little harder to find the quick. Under these circumstances take just the tip off. The more you clip the nails, the farther back the quick line is each time. I like to just take the tip off the nails once a month and do it as a routine. If you should nick the quick and it starts to bleed, rub some of the stylus pencil over it or apply pressure until it stops bleeding.

I started clipping my German Shepherd Nala's nails when she was just a puppy. I never take off more then just the tip so as not to ever hit the quick and cause her pain. As a result when it is time to clip her nails, I simply call her and I sit on top of her dog house and she sits beside me as I clip the nails. I am able to do it without anybody holding her as long as nothing catches her eye and she decides to run and chase it. I also take this opportunity to wipe her ears out with some cotton and mineral oil as a preventive of ear dirt.

* As always, it is best to consult your vet if you are unsure of what to do.
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