One of the important aspects of dog health is – trimming nails! However, care should be taken as we are talking about trimming nails in hunting dogs.
How to trim hunting dog nails? In essence, that decision depends on the characteristics of the dog itself, as well as the environment in which it lives. Most dogs walk and play on hard surfaces, from home parquet to asphalt.
Because nails grow constantly in dogs, as in humans, they can become too long in inactive dogs.
Such nails can cause pain to the animal, interfere with its movement or injure, and infect it. In these cases, it would not be bad to shorten your pet’s nails.
Nail trimming in puppies
It’s best to start with this very early – in fact, puppy nails can be cut as soon as they start to be sharp, sometimes even while sucking, to avoid scratching the bitch’s mother’s breasts.
Of course, who has had puppies and children – knows that it is not easy nor can you immediately cut off all the nails of one paw/hand – let alone more than that.
For puppies that are quite small, it is easiest to do it while they are sleepy, and for those 2 months and older – the rule is “one nail, one biscuit”.
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In the beginning, they will whine and fight because dogs generally don’t like to have their paws touched, unless they have learned to do so from an early age.
Ideally (if you bought a dog) the breeder has already taught the puppy to touch all parts of the body, which is done while the puppy is still quite small.
Such puppies will have no problem cleaning their ears or touching their paws.
It is also important that you, as its owner, practice touching the paws, muzzle, teeth, ears, tail, and the whole body in general from the first day of life together.
Although to most this may seem like an unusual hint, because is there anything sweeter than bothering a puppy.
It is important not to cut (almost) anything in the beginning, but to click with a snack and touch finger by finger to get the puppy used to the sound and feeling associated with it.
In dogs with transparent/pinkish-white nails, you will easily see how far the root of the nail reaches, and in dogs with dark nails – it is always better to cut it short or leave it to an expert.
If you cut too much, there will be bleeding and unnecessary injury to the nail root which is not life-threatening but any wound on the body is always a potential focus for inflammation.
If this happens, put a little antibiotic powder for dogs on the bottom of the nail.
Always reward your dog with milk bone when you work around his nails, so you will ensure much-needed cooperation on this issue, here you can see how – instead of clicking you can always say the same, positively intoned word like “Bravo!” with giving snacks.
Namely, there are dogs who hate cutting their nails so much that the veterinarian has to sedate them so that they do not bite.
Nail trimming in an adult dog
Of course, if you have adopted an adult dog who is not used to such a procedure, it will be difficult to teach him to endure it without protest, but a lot of patience and rewards should give good results – unless the dog is traumatized and hostile.
If it is, then it is better to leave the matter to the vet.
Nails can also be cut in dog hair salons, but if you do not have a dog that requires professional fur care/trimming/haircut, my opinion is that it will be more stressful for him to come to an unfamiliar environment where he will be touched by strangers instead of learning to shorten nails. to your dog.
Seven steps on how to trim a dog’s nails
Purchase appropriate scissors
The first thing you need to do is get the right scissors. You can buy them in a pet shop and that will significantly make your job easier and reduce the chances of your dog getting injured.
Use these BOSHEL Dog Nail Clippers and Trimmer if you want to safely remove your dog’s nails. This product is recommended by professionals. It has a friendly design. Nails are easily and safely shortened.
There are several different types. The most common are classic scissors and “guillotine”. Scissors work like any other – just put a nail between the two ends and cut it off.
We also recommend this great solution to arrange your dog’s nails. SuReady Dog Nail Clipper – safe to use, safe for your dog, made of high-quality materials, ergonomic shape, recommended by professionals.
The “guillotine” has a hole through which you pass a nail and a blade which you then press, similar to the infamous device from the French Revolution. The “guillotine” is considered by most owners to be easier to use. rel=”nofollow” class=”amazon-link”
Calm your dog
Another problem you will surely face is the reluctance of the dog to calmly allow you to shorten his nails.
That is why it is important to calm the dog, relax, and connect the claw cutting ritual with pleasant associations such as food and sweets that will reward your best friend after an unpleasant session.
Before you start cutting your nails, gently caress him and massage his paws to relax.
Control your dog
Make sure you have control over the dog when you shorten his nails so that he does not wiggle and thus injure himself.
First, trim your dog’s hind paws. Lay the dog on a table or bed, turn away from the side he is looking at, and press his body lightly so that he does not wiggle too much, but not too hard so that he is in pain or uncomfortable.
Hold your dog tight
Hold his paw firmly, but not too hard, with one hand and special scissors with the other. Raise your paw just as much as you need to.
Cut one nail at a time, and only the curved part, carefully, so as not to injure the nerve in the middle of the nail and cause bleeding and pain.
Take the appropriate pose
When you move to the front paws, it is best to take a pose by looking at his upturned paw from above.
We repeat once again – it is very important that you do it gently and lightly.
Praise your dog
When you are done, be sure to praise the dog and reward him with a tasty snack and a walk. The walk will also come in handy for him to file and round his shortened nails.
Get a hemostatic treatment
Make sure that when shortening your nails, you always have a preparation to stop the bleeding, because, no matter how careful you are, injuries often happen.
If your dog’s paws are injured while shortening your nails, the best way to stop the bleeding is to use Four Paws Quick Blood Stopper Powder. This is an antiseptic made in the United States.
In any case, even if you do not use any preparation (for some dogs it is more uncomfortable even than cutting the nails), the bleeding should stop after five minutes at the longest.
The importance of nails for the anatomy of the dog’s body
You may be wondering why the whole text about a cosmetic procedure, however – it is important to know that dog nails are very important for the whole anatomy of the body.
Unlike cats, dog claws are not weapons that can be pulled out as needed.
The dog uses its claws to have better contact with the ground when accelerating or entering a curve.
Dogs that move a lot outside wear out their nails in a natural way, but those who spend more time in the house with occasional outings to the landscaped garden (soft surface) need occasional nail trimming.
The length of the nails affects the overall posture – long nails lower the metacarpal bones and those phalanges 1 and 2 and thus change the angle at which the paw bones stand.
Changing the angle at which the paw stands creates pressure on the joints and can be painful for the dog and even lead to premature arthritis.
It can also cause deformity of the lowering of the foot in a dog.
If you’ve ever worn high heels (of course if you’re a lady), then you know how different the position of your foot is when the statics of your feet change.
A similar thing happens in a dog’s foot when it has neglected nails.
With such nails, it cannot adequately compensate for some movements, so there is a greater possibility of falls and injuries.
Of course, the problem is not only in the bones of the paw, but the wrong angle is also reflected in the posture of the dog, or spine.
As you probably know, the body compensates for any injury by positioning it in relation to the painful area to protect it with its position.
Therefore, an injury to the joint can cause pain in the opposite hip (I know firsthand, or leg – my own).
And even an improper bite can cause headaches (and I know this first hand, that is, the head).
Dogs tolerate pain quite well, especially chronic pain – so we can’t always rely on them to let us know when something is bothering them – and it’s often hard for us to figure out what.
And since our dogs can’t cut their own nails – it’s up to us to make sure they’re always the right length.
Some breeds have nails that grow fast, while others grow much slower – it is also important on what surfaces the dog moves, for how long, and at what speed.
From my experience, walks around the city consume more nails (concrete, asphalt) than walks on dirt and grass surfaces.
Nail trimming in certain dog breeds
Also, terriers grow their toenails very quickly because they are designed for digging, while hind toenails do not need too much shortening (In Russell terriers, toenails should be shortened every 3-4 weeks and hind toenails every two months).
Of the other breeds that come to mind, I know that all cave breeds (eg Dachshund) should also have their front toenails shortened regularly, and greyhounds also have fast-growing claws that are very important in their “occupation”.
People who have dogs that pull hard on a leash and often walk down the street have very likely also noticed that their pets wear their nails harder.
But it is always necessary to be careful that the nail of the thumb does not grow too long because it can get caught on a soft surface and even get out of the roots, which can be very painful for the dog and even cause limping – and is always a potential focus of inflammation.
Also, unprofessional wrapping of such an injury can cause an even bigger problem – therefore, if your dog breaks or pulls out a thumbnail longitudinally – consult a veterinarian.
For successful nail cutting, it is best if two people are involved – one who holds the dog or just the paw and the other who cuts (or grinds) the nail.
For smaller dogs, it is enough to buy a large nail clipper for human use, while for larger dogs, it is necessary to buy special scissors/pliers that you can find in all better-equipped stores.
There are also grinders that are bought in stores for professional groomers, and if your dog really enjoys touching his paws, try plain file paper.
It is also good to have a powder to stop bleeding (so-called alum – but flour can also be used), but if you are careful and shorten often and a little – you will never need it.