Hi, Chubbs here.
I want to apologize for taking so long between posts. Things have been kind of hectic lately around here. I know that I was promising some big things coming up and they are still in the works.
We have put together an informative report on how to improve your dog’s mobility that will be free with a subscription to our email updates.
Coming soon will be a monthly contest for subscribers with prizes such as pet store gift cards.
In a couple of days I will be posting about our research and use of a turmeric supplement that I have been taking to replace the Rimidyl that I had been taking for my arthritis and inflammation. I am getting the same results without the risk of liver damage that comes with the prescription medication. Oh yeah. It is also (much) cheaper as well.
One Thing Covered in our Free Report is Toenail Trimming.
For years Ron did not realize the importance of trimming my nails and I certainly wasn’t going to tell him. Now that he realizes how this affects my overall health we are on a program of trims every couple of weeks until my nails are trimmed to a maintenance length.
We canines walk and run on our toes, like a horse. When our nails become too long we are forced to adjust our posture to avoid the discomfort of the longer nails.This can lead to joint pain and back problems. Long term this can even lead to joint deterioration and arthritis.
In the wild, our ancestors would wear the claws off on rough terrain and being more constantly on the move. Not so much with the typical pet.
Periodic trimming is essential to a dog’s overall health and, with some study and thought, can be a painless and even enjoyable experience.
Some dog parents prefer to take their pet to a groomer or a vet in order to avoid the hassle, but my advice is that your pet trusts you more than any other living being on earth, and so if there is any way that you can bring yourself to work with your pal on this it will be so much better for them.
We use a scissor style cutter that works well for us, but some prefer the guillotine style trimmer, with a stationary guide with a hole to insert the nail and a lade that draws across when you squeeze the handles.
Many prefer the powered rotary style trimmer that gently grinds the tip down. I don’t like the noise and the vibration bothers me, but I suppose if I were younger I might be able to get used to it.
Having my nails trimmed has always been one of my least favorite things. I can’t even remember why, but research has led us to understand that the fear and loathing that many dogs experience upon having their nails trimmed is based on pain, and we dogs instinctively treat anything that causes pain as a threat.
And we have great memories!!
How Much Do You Trim?
A dogs nail is constructed differently than a humans but have similar parts. With a dogs claw there is the hard outer shell, similar to the human nail. and running down the center of this claw is the quick, containing blood and nerves. It is difficult with darker claws to see where the quick ends and this is where the difficulty arises.
There is no feeling in the hard claw part of the nail but if you trim too far and cut into the quick it is very painful for your pet. The quick can be compared to the tender flesh that attaches the human’s nail.
Cutting into the quick can feel like having a fingernail ripped off. Ron still does not allow his wife to clip his nails after she cut too deep. This happened early in their marriage and they have been married for more than thirty-four years now.
The survival instinct and avoidance of pain is not peculiar to the canine species.
Nail Trimming for the Fearful
What can you do once the damage has been done and your dog is afraid to have his nails trimmed? There is a solution but it takes patience and plenty of dog treats.
The first step is to just spend some time getting your pal used to the fact that you are going to be handling his feet. The feet are not an area that gets a lot of attention unless there is a problem.
Touching and massaging your dogs feet can get him used to that sort of attention without threat.
It is human nature, I have noticed, to see something that needs done and blast through it as efficiently and quickly as you can.
You will have to dampen that urge to be successful trimming the nails of a skittish dog.
A Little at a Time
You don’t have to finish all of their nails at once. It will be less stressful to break it into smaller bites. Ron trims my back paws on one day and then the front paws a day or two later.
If your pet is not as patient and cooperative as I am you could break it down even further. You might do one paw per night or even go as far as trimming one nail per night until they are used to the attention and convinced that it is painless..
Dog treats are another great tool for getting cooperation from us. Ron would suggest small treats, giving them often as you trim. Serve up with heaping amounts of praise and attaboy’s, but I can’t for the life of me recommend small treats. You be the judge, but my name is Chubbs for a very good reason.
Ask For Help
If your best friend is especially nervous you can enlist some assistance. Having someone to stroke your pet and reassure her during the process can also help greatly.
While trimming, be sure to remove only the tip beyond the quick. If the claws are dark and you can’t see the quick The rule is to take off about an eighth of an inch or less. The quick will recede quickly and you can trim again if needed in a couple week’s time for longer nails.
See the Improvement
If your best friend has been walking gingerly for a while you will notice the difference almost with the first trim. I know that I did, and it was obvious to Ron as well. He noticed that I was wanting to walk farther at the park and I was making it up and out the door more often. It is just that much less painful for me.
You can do that for your best friend too. Take the time, build their confidence, and then get trimming. They will thank you with a renewed bounce to their step and an even greater trust that you can help them to feel better when they are hurting.
If you absolutely cannot trim their nails yourself, my advice is to check with your vet. They may suggest sedation to avoid stressing your pet. Less traumatic than being restrained.
Much Still In the Works
Again I apologize for the long wait between posts and pledge to do better. Please sign up for email updates and be first to grab that free report and get news of upcoming contests. Don’t forget to visit us on Facebook at Chubb’s Walk.
And be sure and visit our gardening page, Ron’s Nutritious Gardening and Carving Place. You will find great information and advice for gardening in the Pacific NW along with news about everything related to your health and nutrition.
Remember, Keep Those Tails Wagging!!!
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