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Time to trim the toe nails


Depending on your pet’s attitude, you may not want to say N-A-I-L T-R-I-M too loud. While some cats and dogs barely notice when you’re trimming their nails, others just plain don’t like it and will let you know by squirming, whining, or worse – growling or biting.{{more}} By knowing before hand the proper way to do nail trim on your pet, you may be able to save Kitty or Rover and yourself some distress. But if your pet simply refuses to cooperate, becomes aggressive, or if you just don’t feel comfortable doing it yourself, it may be better to let your veterinarian conduct the dreaded deed.

First you should know why trimming your pet’s nails is important. While long nails may be fashionable for supermodels, your dog’s or cat’s overgrown nails will drag on the ground and make walking or running uncomfortable for your pet. This in turn could result in soreness or other problems further up the leg. Dewclaws (the sixth toenail that’s found higher up on the paw near to a pet’s “ankle”) that are not trimmed regularly can curve back into the skin, which is very painful, and cause infection. Although it’s common for many dogs to have their rear dewclaws removed when they’re young pups, dewclaws on their front legs often remain. Cats can have them as well.

In addition to trimming nails for health reasons, a pet’s blunt nail tips are less likely to hurt you or your furniture by scratching.

If you hear a scratching noise as your pet walks on the floor or concrete, his nail are too long.

For Rover’s manicure, be sure to use only nail trimmers that are designed for dogs. For Kitty, you can use either specially made cat nail trimmers or human nail clippers. Never use scissors.

If your pet is not used to or is nervous about having his nails trimmed, be sure to start slowly. In fact, don’t even bring out the trimmers the first few days. Instead, gently lift each paw and just pet it or massage it to get your cat or dog used to having his feet handled. Reward him afterwards with praise or a yummy treat. When you’re ready to actually clip a nail, do so in a relaxed, quiet area where you won’t be disturbed. You may want to begin by clipping the nails on only one paw, or even just one or two nails on a paw, if Kitty or Rover becomes restless or fearful. Above all else, you want to make this as pleasant an experience for him as you can. So don’t rush it!

Since cats can retract their claws you’ll need to gently press Kitty’s paws between your finger and thumb to expose the nail. In both dogs and cats, trim only the end of the nail, at the point where it begins to curve downwards. And trim only small amounts at a time, so that you’re less likely to cut the ‘quick” of the nail. The quick contains the nerves and blood supply, so if you cut it, you’ll know it and so will your pet. Cutting the quick is painful and will make Rover or Kitty bleed. If bleeding occurs, you can hold a piece of cotton or gauze pad firmly to the nail until the bleeding stops.

If you’re new at trimming your pet’s nails, watch your veterinarian do it first, and then let him or her talk you through it as you try it. With practice, both you and your four-legged friend will learn that nail trims really aren’t that bad.

For further information, contact: Dr. Collin Boyle Unique Animal Care Co. Ltd. Tel: 456 4981