Monthly Archives

December 2018

Trimming Your Dog’s Nails

By General Health Care No Comments

When a dog’s nails become too long they interfere with the dog’s gait and as the nails continue to grow, walking will become awkward and painful. Walking on overgrown nails puts pressure on the toe joints. This can eventually affect the joint alignment and cause a future of continual discomfort for your dog. Untrimmed nails can also split resulting in pain, bleeding, and a trip to the veterinarian’s office. In severe cases the nails curl under and grow into the paw pad causing a serious infection. Trimming your dog’s nails regularly will easily prevent these problems.
It is best to start trimming your dog’s nails as soon as possible. If you start early it’s easier to adjust to a routine. Make a habit of handling your puppy’s feet every day. Nail trimming is much easier if your dog doesn’t mind having his feet handled. Adult dogs, like people, are usually set in their ways. So if your dog initially resists getting his nails trimmed you will most likely need to spend more time getting him used to the procedure. Be very patient and don’t rush.

Bring out the clippers ahead of time and let your dog become familiar with them. Stay calm, if you’re nervous, your dog will sense it and associate fear with nail trimming. If your dog is nervous use gentle reassurance, being careful not to coddle. Let her know that you expect her to behave. If you can only manage to get one toenail trimmed that’s all right. Just be persistent and try for another nail at another time. Always remember to reward good behavior with praise and a favorite treat.

Trimming nails is not usually considered sharing “quality time” with your pet. But if done often and properly while rewarding good behavior, it could be an event your dog will tolerate and even look forward to. If not done often with proper technique, and praise and reward- training, it can be frightening and painful for your dog. Once or twice a month is usually a good rule of thumb for nail trimming. Trimming nails is not as hard as it may seem. Start by clipping very small pieces of the nail tip until you can see a dark, round, kind of moist looking disk appear in the middle of the nail. This means you’re approaching the quick and the nail will bleed if you cut it any shorter. With white or clear nails, trim 1/8 of an inch longer than pink area. Dogs that walk on cement or rough surfaces can wear down their nails, but most dogs need some help. You will get to know how fast your dog’s nails grow if you routinely inspect them. Even if you aren’t actually trimming them, regular inspection will help assure that your dog’s feet stay healthy. So make nail inspection and trimming an important part of your dog’s routine.

Dog nail trimming is not painful if you use a sharp trimmer and don’t clip too short. A dull trimmer puts pressure on the nail and can result in an uncomfortable pinching sensation.

It’s a good idea to have styptic powder on hand for those occasional mishaps. A nail clipped just a little too short tends to bleed a lot. Applying styptic powder will help stop the bleeding. If you do not have styptic powder, you can use baking flour. Packing this on the nail and allowing your dog to rest can stop the bleeding. If the bleeding does not stop, contact your veterinarian.

Nail trimming is a regular home grooming task that helps keep your dog healthy and active. As with most dog grooming tasks, rewarding for positive behavior is an important part in the acceptance and tolerance of the activity. Learning the tricks to proper nail trimming, training with positive feedback, and showing patience and love will make the time you spend together a reward in itself.


Pets As Gifts

By Holiday No Comments



When we think of Christmas, we think of giving and we generally have the best intentions when trying to pick out the perfect gift for those we love but considering a pet as a gift, can be a big mistake.  Too many pets find their way into shelters or on the streets for a variety of reasons.  We’ve heard them all; too busy, new baby, allergic, high maintenance, moving, divorce, peeing on the floor – the list goes on and on.

Hollywood movies paint a pretty picture of puppies at Christmas. We’ve all seen it. Perhaps it’s just impulse or people caught up in the spirit of the season or simply the cuteness of the little critter at the time.  None of these are the right reason to add a new pet to the family.  Bringing a pet into the house is a long-term commitment that affects the entire household so it should be a family decision and a family commitment.

Responsible pet ownership is a lifetime commitment and one that we certainly cannot make for others.  Canidae describes responsible pet ownership as a promise to take care of the pet through sickness and health – in good times and bad – for the life of the pet.  The AVMA states, “Owning a pet is a privilege, but the benefits of pet ownership come with responsibilities”.  AKC has a list of 75 ways to be a responsible pet owner.

I decided to see what others thought of “pets as gifts”, so I put the question out on a social media sight.  Here is a small snippet of the comments:

  • “Nope, never”
  • “Pets are part of the family and should not be a gift”.
  • “Not a good thing. You don’t know if they’ll have a connection”.
  • “Choosing the right pet should be a family decision”.
  • “Horrible idea!”
  • “No! You’re just setting the pet up for disaster”.
  • “It should be a family decision and not one made lightly”.

Not one person welcomed this idea and many identified a pet as a family member. One person actually said she received a bunny from her uncle when she was five and mainly remembers how it liked to bite and scratch her.

If you are considering pet ownership, please do your homework.  Consider “where” you will get your pet and keep in mind that puppy mills are a huge business.  While you may rationalize and tell yourself that you’re saving a pet, you’re really investing in the future of puppy mills and deplorable breeding standards and care.  Consider adoption – It really is the best way to bring a new family member into your home.  But wait until the hustle and bustle of the holiday season is over.  The bond between a family and their pet is the best gift imaginable – let’s just reflect on that for a moment.