Thanks for joining me!
Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton
Thanks for joining me!
Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton
Cutting your dog’s nails can be challenging. Epecially black nails, which are a lot harder to cut because it’s harder to find the stopping point. I am going to explain how to cut your dog’s nails simply and to give you the confidence to do so.
Check out our video below as well after reading this article and prepare you even more for cutting your dogs nails.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD I CUT MY DOG’S NAILS
You should cut your dog’s nails every 1- 6 weeks depending on how fast your dog’s nails grow. An easy way to test if your dog’s nails are too long is by doing the sound test. If you can hear your dog’s nails when they walk on hard surfaces, then it’s probably time to cut them.
WHAT IS THE QUICK?
The quick is a portion in the dog’s nail that has blood vessels and nerves. You don’t want to cut that! It’s like cutting your own finger nails too short. It can blead and cause discomfort.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU CUT THE QUICK
However, if you do cut the quick of the nail you can use styptic powder. There are different brands available and to choose from. If you want to, you could also just use some corn starch or some flour from home. Take a little bit of it and apply it right to the nail if you accidentally cut too far.
FINDING THE QUICK
Finding the quick can be challenging with dark black nails. It’s almost impossible to see, but if you take a flashlight you might be able to see a shadow. That shadow would be where the quick is. Sometimes you can’t see the quick at all if the nails are super dark. That’s the case with my dog Ace. His nails are way too dark to see his quick.
If your dog has more clear nails or lighter nails you can typically see the quick. It will be the darker portion of the nail leading towards the tip.
With black nails you are going to be looking for a black dot. As you cut the nails you will usually start to see a white portion and in the center start to notice a dot. That dot is the beginning of the quick. It’s that shadow or darker area that we are trying to find. When you get to this point stop! You are getting really close to the quick.
RELAX AND STAY CALM
Again, don’t worry. If you accidentally cut too close just make sure you have some styptic powder or cornstarch nearby to apply to the nail. We have all cut our own nails too closely. Yes it causes discomfort and sometimes some bleeding. But the pain goes away pretty quickly and especially with dogs.
PREPARING YOUR DOG
Preparing your dog is super important. If your dog hasn’t had his or her nails cut before you’re going to need to give them some reassurance. Let them know that it’s okay, comfort them and love on them. I recommend having a couple of treats nearby to give a treat before, during and after. I prefer to give a treat after as a reward. I will let you be the decider of how to do that though.
SECURE YOUR DOG
Another, step in preparing your dog is to safely secure them. You can do this with a harness and leash. You can tie the leash off to a good structure so they can’t move much. You don’t want your dog pulling away or moving when you’re cutting their nails. I prefer a strong two handle dog leash. It’s easier to secure and great for walking your dog.
When I first got Ace I used a harness and leash and secured him to a concrete post in my garage that’s in front of my furnace. Now that he’s used to getting his nails cut I just have him lay down in the garage or the kitchen floor.
WHAT TOOLS TO USE
When cutting the nails I prefer to use nail clippers followed by a dremel tool that’s designed for dog nails. The dremel tool polishes up the nails and makes them smooth. Make sure the clippers are sharp and of good quality.
I have the same type of nail cutters below. They work great and they get the job done. You can click the image and check them out on Amazon.
Below is the type of dog nail dremel I prefer as well. It has a guard to help guide when polishing up sharp edges. It’s also available on Amazon. Just click the image as well to learn more.
CUTTING YOUR DOG’S NAILS
Once your dog is secure and ready to get his or her nails cut give them some extra reassurance by petting them and talking to them.
When cutting the nails make sure to hold your dog’s firmly and securely. Do not hold your dog’s paw loosely. By holding the paw firmly this gives them reassurance. It also makes it easier to spread their paw to cut each nail separately.
A key point to cutting your dog’s nails is to cut small and quick cuts. Cut vertically but at a slight angle of the nail. Follow the same natural curvature of the nail. After each cut take a look at the nail and make sure you haven’t reached the quick.
Next, take another cut at the nail until you see that black dot. Void on the side of caution. If you think you are getting too close then just stop. It’s fine to stop to where you feel comfortable. Move on to the next nail. Don’t forget the dewclaw. That’s that nail that’s grows higher on the dog’s legs.
Remember just take a little bit off of the nail at a time. Go a little bit further. The key is quick and short cuts. You can also trim the nails at a 45 degree angle to take off the sharp edges.
POLISH AND SMOOTH UP NAILS
After you have cut all the nails take the dremel tool and take the rough edges off the nails. Because even with short nails they can be a little sharp. It’s just like when you have a sharp edge after cutting your own nails. It may need to be filed down some.
GIVE YOUR DOG A TREAT
Don’t forget to give your dog a treat after you have completed the nail trimming and dremel off the rough edges! Dog’s love treats. This helps encourage your dog for a job well done.
You can also give treats before, during and after. Be the judge of how you would
like to reward your dog during the process.
Cut your dog’s nails every 1 to 6 weeks. (Depending on how fast your dog’s nails grow.)
Sound test if your dog’s nails make noise on hard surfaces, it’s probably time to cut them.
Secure your dog so they don’t move. You know your dog so use good judgment.
Have styptic powder or cornstarch handy in case you cut into the quick.
Find the quick and use a flashlight if your dog’s nails are really dark.
Have treats ready and give your dog reassurance.
If you can’t find the quick look for the black dot as you’re’ cutting.
Cut vertically and at slight angle. Use the nails angle as a guide.
The key is quick and short cuts.
Check after each cut to see how close you are to the quick.
Polish your dog’s nails to take off any rough edges.
Give your dog a treat after the trimming!
Remember you and your dog will get better with practice. With each time it will become easier.
Bookmark this page as a reference to come back to.
Check us out on Youtube as well. Here’s a video that shows you how to do this. If you want to be updated on more health and fitness for you dog then subscribe on Youtube and our Dog Blog.
Dog etiquette is important no matter where you live, but in urban areas it’s even more critical. City dog parents face a host of challenges when out with their dogs that require a keen sense of their surroundings, other dogs and other people, at all times.
Here are a few tips for urban dwellers and their pups that will make life in the big city with dogs a little easier and more neighborly.
Dog trainer, pet expert and author Nikki Moustaki says while many trainers teach dogs to walk on the owner’s left side at the heel, city dogs learn early that there are lots of goodies on the sidewalk. Moustaki, who specializes in urban dog training, encourages city dog parents to walk their dogs a little in front of them so that they can see if their dog is nibbling something from off of the street — chicken bones, rat poison, wrappers and more can all be tasty treats that you don’t want your dog to have.
“Curbing” your dog simply means that you should encourage your dog to do his important business at the very edge of the sidewalk. Some people take it to mean that the dog should step off of the curb into the street to find relief, but Moustaki doesn’t recommend straying off the sidewalk because it can be dangerous. “It’s easy to curb your dog,” she says. “Simply make sure that every time your dog has to ‘go,’ you pull him to the curb.” Your dog will learn what to do quickly, she adds. “Dogs are creatures of habit.”
It’s unsanitary and just plain rude to leave your dog’s poop on the sidewalk. Plus, certain parasites and diseases, like hookworm and roundworms, can be transmittable through feces. And come on, who wants to step in a mess like that?
All pet guardians, not just those who live in a city, need to recognize that not all dogs you meet are friendly says Moustaki. “It’s important to ask before allowing your dog to bum-rush another dog,” she advises. And, if your dog isn’t particularly friendly, Moustaki recommends using a yellow leash or putting a prominent yellow ribbon on the leash (or both), which is an initiative by the Yellow Dog Project that’s catching on as the universal sign for “my dog isn’t that friendly.
According to the ASPCA, the well-trained city dog needs to respond to a minimum of four basic commands: “Sit-Stay,” “Heel,” “Leave it” and “Come.” Moustaki also urges her clients to pay particular attention to ensuring his or her dogs sit when the dog walker stops. “You might be stopping at the curb to cross a busy avenue, or stopping to talk to a friend. Either way, your dog’s rear end should be on the ground,” she says.
As a city dog guardian, being aware and courteous during all activities with your dog will go a long way in ensuring a positive urban living experience with your best furry bud.
Walking your dog can be a chore but it doesn’t have to be! Here are some tips in choosing a harness.
1. Choose a harness that can be really easy to put on.
The easier it is the more likely you will walk your dog. Lets face it, if it isn’t easy we probably
won’t do it.
2. Choose a harness that is comfortable for your dog.
You want your dog to be comfortable. Some harnesses can put strain around the neck
causing choking or rubbing.
3. Choose a harness that can adjust for growth.
Make sure the harness can be easily adjustable that allows your dog to grow into it
or for that little extra winter weight they may put on.
Training your dog to walk on a leash:
A key element to walking your dog has to do with the harness and leash you choose. But
no harness or leash is a substitute for good training.
Proper training is going to overcome a lot of obstacles and allow you and your dog to
enjoy walking and playing together.
Front Harness Vs. Step in Back Harness
I have studied and reviewed a lot of different harnesses on the market. There are many
mixed reviews, comments, studies, and sales pitches out there.
On our own personal dog “Ace” we have tried different harnesses. He is a young strong
90lb lab that gets all excited to go on a walk. So he’s a perfect example of what it’s like
to walk a energetic and spry dog. Side note: When we got Ace he had never been trained
to go on walks. So he’s not used to it! He’s a great case study.
With a front harness I have found that I can pull him to a direction I want when he strays
off. I have noticed that it pulls fairly hard around his neck as well. So I had some control
but the comfort wasn’t there for my dog.
The front harness didn’t stop him from pulling nor did it deter him from pulling. I still had
the challenge of walking him while creating discomfort around his neck area.
I also found out that many dogs have been having trouble with health issues due to front
harnesses causing strain.
Dr. Zink explains that these harnesses sit on top of the biceps and supraspinatus tendons, two of the most commonly injured structures in dogs’ forelimbs, particularly in canine athletes. She asserts that, just by logic, one has to assume that the pressure this kind of harness exerts on the dog’s forelimbs in an activity where the dog is supposed to be extending her forelimbs (i.e., running, walking), is not a good idea. (Whole Dog Journal)
I tried a step in back clip harness as well. Ace would pull the same as he did with the front
harness. When I would tug back he didn’t turn around as easily but I wasn’t yanking on his
throat and neck area either or causing strain any where.
The harness seemed to evenly distribute any pressure comfortably for him. So instead of
pulling him back like I did with the front harness I would just stop and call Ace to come back
Ace would then circle back to me. Then we would begin our walk again. If he started pulling
again I would stop and have him circle back again.
A side note as well is I had a two handled dog leash which also gave comfort to my hands
when walking and if he did pull not only did it not put discomfort on Ace but me as well!
I prefer the step in dog harness with the back clip. Here are the reasons why.
1. When my dog Ace did pull it wasn’t pulling on his neck or throat area. He was comfortable.
2. The control was about the same with either the front or back harness.
3. The step in harness was super easy to put on with a snap of a clip.
4. The back clip was a double ring giving more strength unlike the front harness.
5. I can easily adjust the harness if his weight fluctuates or as he grows.
So, Ace and I both comfortable walking now! To be completely honest… he still pulls
some and I need to work with him more. No product on the market can substitute good
training and spending time with your four legged friend.
This is one reason I started Dyno Paws! I want you and your dog to get out into the outdoors
and enjoy walking again. This is why we custom designed our own step in dog harness and
soft padded dog leash.
Dr. Zink puts it best. “I do not believe that there is a harness on the market that is nonrestrictive and that also helps the dog not to pull,” says Dr. Zink.” There are however some very nice, well constructed, nonrestrictive harnesses on the market. However, those should not be considered as a method to teach a dog not to pull. In my opinion the real way to get a dog to stop pulling is to train it.” (Whole Dog Journal)