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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm a new parent and I need nail trimming advice. I've had my jet black lab mix for about two months and I have not yet trimmed her nails myself. I could take her to the vet but I would rather learn to do this myself as long as there is no chance of harming her. I have only had experience cutting the nails of dogs with light nails where I can see the quick. Chloe's nails are black as night and even with a flashlight there's no chance. I've read to trim them so they line up with the bottom of the pads. Plus a few of her nails are the correct length so I can measure the length against those but I am still nervous. Also the shelter did not clip her dewclaws for some reason. According to everything I've read they should be clipped. Are there any differences as far as the length of the quick of the dewclaws compared to the other nails? Should I follow the same basic rules. Any help/advice will be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
 

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I clip my cats' and dog's nails. My cats have clear nails which is nice and easy. My dog is a black lab mix, and only a couple of her nails are clear. Those are easy to do. As far as the rest, less is better. I've never clipped her quick, thank god and knock on wood. The dew claw or "thumbs" as I call 'em <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/grin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":D"> are no different. I read, or someone told me, when you cut their nails, the quick actually recedes, so eventually you'll be able to cut as much as "should" be cut. That's good for the animals that have never had their nails trimmed, or rarely had them done. Anyway, good luck! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)">
 

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Firstuly, condition your dog to nail trimming! If she's never had her nails trimmed, you want the first time to be a positive experience. In general dogs hate having their paws touched, so nail trimming can turn into a big ordeal if you don't condition the dog to like it. For example, the first several sessions would involve just touching the feet and rewarding the dog with treats; then touching the clippers to her toes and rewarding; then just cutting one nail and rewarding, and so forth until the dog is loving it and letting you cut all four paws with no fuss.<br><br><br><br>
Now that that's out of the way, don't be nervous or scared. Just get a bottle of Quik Stop in case you do cut them too short. It happens occassionally that you'll cut too short and the nail will bleed, so apply the quick stop and lots of praise and appologies if that should ever happen. Normally the "quick" of the nail will grow in proportion to the size of the nail, so only cut the tips of each nail initially, then after a week or two the quick will have receeded and you can go back and cut a little more, repeating the process every couple of weeks until they're at a good size (flat with the ground, no pointy downward tips). Also, taking her for daily walks will wear down the nails naturally.<br><br><br><br>
<- I've had Skip for nearly two years now and haven't had to trim his nails yet. He does so much running around that they stay the right length, so far.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Ah. Yes I meant to add that she is very good with "medical time". She is very calm and submissive when she knows she needs to be. She had an abrasion on her pad when we first adopted her and was very good when I applied antiseptic and bandaged it up. I've had her down and examined her paws with the flashlight and pushed her nails out so I could get a knowledge base and she does very well. Hmm, interesting. She goes running with me daily (or runs at the dog park on my lazy days <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"> ) so maybe her nails are short enough? I've been reading that if the nails "click clack" or go past the very bottom of the pads they are too long and some of hers do? Is this true? I think I'll just trim her dewclaws for now and wait for her vet check up and find out the exact length the rest should be. I wouldn't be concerned except some are longer than others. I think in the shelter they were probably alternately cut, the front ones first, then the back ones.<br><br><br><br>
Thanks for the very helpful advice <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"> There definitely will be more needed to come!
 

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If you're unsure I would take her to the vet/groomer and be shown how to clip your dogs nails. This way you can be shown how to do it by a professional. After you've been taught how to do it correctly you'll be fine.
 

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Oh, and dewclaws do need to be trimmed. If they aren't they can double back on themselves (curl around) and be quite difficult to deal with.
 

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I didn't know that the nail quick receds. That's awesome knowledge. 2 of my older girls have longer nails and I thought they were stuck with them forever. My rule of thumb for the dogs' nails is to cut them short enoigh so that I don't hear a clicking on the floor when they walk.
 

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I actually DON'T like letting anyone else (vet, groomer, etc) cut my animals' nails. They never seem to care if they cut too low, as long as they have the styptic powder stuff.
 

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hey, i'm a groomer and i would say have a groomer show you the first time because its easier then trying to explain it. but for black nails i would say trim little by little and once you see a small black dot stop. if the nails arent as short as needed wait awhile and yes the quick will receed then you can repeat. if you want you can buy a grinder which allows for a much shorter nail. keep styptic power on hand or flour works in jam. hope that helps!
 

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what about cats?<br><br>
my cat uses his scratching post regularly but his claws just seem to get too long. our place is mostly carpet and he doesn't go outside except for the odd time to eat grass from the bottom stop of the porch. sometimes when he walks around his claws stick out, not sure if he does it on purpose or if it's because they're too long, but you can hear them sticking in the carpet as he takes each step.<br><br><br><br>
the vet did them today for free. she took him back for a blood sample, brought him back out and said "i gave him a freebie nail trim cause he was armed and dangerous!!". apparantly he didn't like the electric shaver <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/wink3.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=";)"><br><br><br><br>
i do have clippers for him somewhere but he won't let me do it. i find i can get one or two claws while he's half asleep or really calm sitting in his chair with his legs hanging over, i can get on the floor underneath and sneak them without having to touch his feet too much. as soon as he figures out what i'm doing that's the end of that. i've even tried filing them and he wasn't too bad with that but it didn't really do the job well enough
 

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I got my mama cat when she was about a year and a half from a rescue. I fostered her and her 6 newborns (about 10 days old when I got 'em) I don't know if I just got lucky with her and how great she was/is.<br><br>
I trimmed the babies' nails from the time I got them until they were adopted out. I ended up keeping the mother and 2 of the kittens. It's now over 2 1/2 years later, and I still clip their nails every couple weeks. When they were little, I clipped all 4 feet. Now, their back nails don't get as needle-like as their fronts, so I only do fronts.<br><br>
I pick them up, I sit down, I prop them up in my lap, almost like they're sitting on their butts, leaning up against the inside of my left arm, I use my left hand to extend their nails, i use my right hand to clip them. It takes seconds. I kiss them on the top of the head, push them off my lap, and get up to do the next one.<br><br>
Like I said, I'm fairly sure the babies are ok with it because I've been clipping them their whole lives. The mama cat, I'm not sure why she's so ok with it. She's totally opposite of what a siamese is "supposed" to be like, though.<br><br><br><br>
I never used to like cats. I think these ones came along to purposely change my mind.<br><br><br><br>
Giving 6 kittens and a mama cat liquid medicine 2x a day, now THAT was tricky. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/grin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":D">
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I got her all trimmed up. I just cut a little bit and no cutting of the quick. She'll have a check up at the vet in about a month or so and I'll have the vet show me about how far I can cut since I only cut a bit. Especially on her dew claws since they have never been cut. I cut a teeny bit and will do just a little more. Yea and they better not cut to the quick even with styptic powder! I have it but it's as a precaution, not an okay to be careless.
 

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LadyFaile, I have one cat who turns into a bunny kicking, biting maniac when I try to trim his nails. I've had to resort to the cat burrito method. Basically, you wrap them up in a towel, with nothing but the paw you're trimming exposed. I try not to wrap the head, just have a layer of towel between my hand and the bitey parts. He hates it, but it goes pretty fast and I give him yummy treats when it's over.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Blue Plastic Straw</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
I've had to resort to the cat burrito method.</div>
</div>
<br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/laugh.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":lol:">
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Blue Plastic Straw</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
I've had to resort to the cat burrito method.</div>
</div>
<br><br><br>
I wonder if I could do a dog burrito method on my 12-lb chihuahua mix...<br><br>
I think he's just scared of the clippers. He'll chew on my hands to try to get me to stop, but instead of running away, he thinks he can hide in my lap to get away from the big bad clippers...<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/worried.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":worried:">
 

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Heh. I've never tried trimming my cat's nails, but would like to try, especially now with two cats. The people in the cat department at our shelter make it look so easy...
 

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It is easy as long as you're not afraid and you can hold them securely (without harming of course).<br><br><br><br>
It is even easier when you have two people!<br><br><br><br>
I trim my cats sometimes but only when I feel they're getting too dagger-like, because even though it is "easy" it is still time consuming (for me at least). Usually they are happy to use their nails on the cardboard thing I buy them and I don't have to worry about furniture 'n such.
 

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Okay, I have a question. My dog is a golden/lab mix and is 14. She's not good at all when it comes to the vet and shots and stuff. She goes for a long walk everyday, and I think we've only had her nails trimmed one time because the vet never said anything about them. Well, we've changed vets, but this one hasn't said anything about her nails either.<br><br><br><br>
But, just last week one her front nails broke off after a walk, it bled for a bit and then stopped, and so far it looks okay-no infection or anything. That got me thinking maybe she needs her nails trimmed, so I looked at her back feet and those ones look fine, but her front nails are long, longer than the bottom of her feet. The thing is, especially since she will just now let me touch the foot where the nail broke off, it will be EXTREMELY difficult to have the groomer cut her front nails, she will fuss and jerk constantly...so I don't know if it's worth it or not since I really don't want them to accidently cut too far because she definitely won't stay still.<br><br><br><br>
Is it okay to just let it go, or do her nails reallly need to be clipped?
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>DreamWavez</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
it will be EXTREMELY difficult to have the groomer cut her front nails, she will fuss and jerk constantly...so I don't know if it's worth it or not since I really don't want them to accidently cut too far because she definitely won't stay still.<br></div>
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If you take her to a good groomer or vet they will be able to do it. They are trained to do these things. I used to assist the groomer when dogs were difficult and I would hold them while she trimmed so we could get it done as fast a possible.<br><br><br><br>
Having the dog on a grooming table and having an extra set of hands makes it much easier.
 
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