Most dogs are very sensitive when it comes to touching their nails and no dogs love clipping nails.
But maintaining your dog's nails is essential for their posture and joint health. Hence, grooming should be done regularly to keep their nails short.
The Importance of Clipping Dogs' Nails
Over time, unkempt, overgrown nails can do serious damage to your dogs (not forgetting your beddings, floors, and furniture).
With the increasing number of urban dogs being confined indoors (while their owners are at work), dogs have less time spending outdoors.
But if your dogs spend a good amount of time playing outdoors while running on various hard surfaces like concrete. These activities can welcome friction hence, making their nails naturally worn down and less of a need for nail-grooming.
With long nails always touching the ground, they exert a force back into the nail bed that triggers an unpleasant pain and pressure on the toes and paws for your dogs.
Imagine the pain we experienced, when wearing a too-tight shoe while walking in the street.
Without proper or regular nail grooming, this can impact the alignment of joints of the foreleg, resulting in a splayed or flattened foot.
Trimming nails are equally essential in older dogs to improve good posture.
Those neglected nails can actually generate a vicious cycle considering your dog's paws are sensitive or painful with any contact. Therefore, your dog refrains from having them touched, resulting in a displeasing or uncomfortable trimming session.
Correct Length for a Dog's Nail
Dog's nails are made of tough protein called keratin and like human nails, dog claws grow constantly. Their nails have an outer, thick covering called "unguis" in which the keratin fibers run perpendicular to the direction that nails grow.
Unlike humans, underneath their "unguis", dogs have this so-called softer, flaky "subunguis", with a grain that is parallel to the direction of growth. The faster growth of the unguis is what gives the dog’s nail its characteristic curl.
So, what is the Ideal Nail Length you asked? How often a dog's nails need to be trimmed depends on the breed and lifestyle, which can change with age.
The general rule of thumb is quite simple. The claws or nails should not stick out over the pad and shouldn't make contact with the ground when standing. If they grow past that point, then that's when they need trimming or clipping.
Thus, if you hear clack sound when your dog walks on wooden floors or hard surfaces, it means her nails are too long.
The Canine Toenail Quick
Cutting or trimming your dog's nails at home can give you some nightmares. Especially if you haven't tried it before due to lack of confidence.
However, clipping your dog's nails at home isn't that hard particularly if your dog has a clear or light colored nails. Which means, the "quick" is visible from the side.
The "quick" is a vein that runs through the top of your dog's nail. If it's being trimmed, it will ooze blood because this part is filled with blood vessels. It looks like a sort of pink-colored shadow within the light colored nail.
Being aware where the "quick" is will help you trim to just before that point.
It is recommended to cut approximately 2mm away from the quick and as soon as the center of the nail starts to appear pink, you should STOP.
Useful Tips on Cutting Dog's Nails
Giving the nails a quick grind will ensure that the friction caused by grinding won't create heat and give your dog pain or discomfort.
Cutting Thick or Dark Claws
My dogs' nails are thick and tough, and I felt it would be cruel to use a clipper. I found an alternative way to trim their nails.
So, I carefully and gradually trained my dogs to a (Dog Nail Grinder) starting when they were puppies but it can be done at any age.
When teaching this process to your dogs, take it slow and do it in many sessions. Be sure to proceed SLOWLY and determine how your dog can handle before moving on to the next step.
Train / Desensitize your Dog Before Using a Grinder
The first session should be just sniffing and touching the "off" Dog Nail grinder.
The next session will be the grinder is "on" but NOT near them. Get him use with the sound.
The third session - once your dog gets a bit comfortable, slowly work on getting the grinder close enough to touch. Start by just barely touching one nail at a time. Shower him with treats and praise constantly.
I admit, at first it was a bit of a struggle to get the trimming session done. With lots of perseverance of course (and lots of praising and treats to distract them), we were able to trim their paws.
Listen to your dog. If he snatches his foot away, let him. Do not make it a tug of war. It is his foot, respect him. Go slowly, praise and pet.
Precaution When Using a Nail Grinder:
If you opt to use a nail grinder, NEVER put the sanding head right up to the tip of the nail and hold it there while grinding the nails away.
Nicking or clipping this sensitive part of the tissue too closely is excruciating for your dog as blood can ooze from the cut nail. ( If this happens, having a Kwik Stop styptic powder handy can aid to stop bleeding and shorten the misery).
Watch How to Grind Dog's Nail
Useful Tools for Dog Nail Grinder
Until now, many dog owners are not familiar with the nail grinder, it's a handy tool which is far more effective than clipper, that is only if your dog can tolerate the sound and vibration.
As much as dog hates clipping, lot of dogs cannot tolerate the vibration and the motor noise. Getting the dog trained to tolerate the nail grinder should be far safer and easier to use rather than traditional dog nail clipper.
Here are some of the top selling Nail grinder with honest reviews.
Dremel 7300-PT Dog Nail Grinder
Dremel nail grinder is an easy way to grind dog’s nail without having to make mistake. It's easy to handle with even with small hand and very precise in grinding nails for big or small dogs.
Dremel is a very reputable brand and makers of a variety of commercial tools who also specialize pet grooming product.
This is one of the best sellers with so many reviews. Lots of satisfied customers with over 4,000 reviews thus, 80% of the customers were satisfied with the product purchased.
Whether it is for the small or big dogs, Dremel did the job. Customer finds that the machine is powerful and will only take about 5 to 10 second on each nail on high power.
The manual is overwhelming but the grinder itself is very easy to use and effective. When sanding, even at high speed, it is fairly quiet and vibration is minimal.
After 15 min use, the body produced less heat and the battery was still going strong.
Yes, the price is little higher compare to other brands but most people find this product to be well worth it. Having a great customer service by Dremel, any defects were fixed and sent back to customers.
Having said all positive about Dremel nail grinder, some people find this product to be a hit or miss. When a product fails after a couple of use or not having enough power is a defective product.
Many complaints the product failed after a year. Most of the problems were the battery failure after a year or after of couple uses.
As for the rechargeable batteries, this is very typical issues and not able to finish the job in one charge.
Hertzko Electronic Pet Nail Grinder
Hertzko pet nail grinder is a cordless small compact size that gives minimal noise and vibration for gentle painless trimming.
Hertzko is a popular brand that makes a variety of pet grooming tools that comes in bright color.
Their specialty is using a grinder with Diamond Bit Grinder, which reduces of risking clipping too much that can hurt your pet.
Depending on the nail size, this product comes with adjustable Ports (openings in the grinder). It is very simple to use and portable.
With over 80% satisfied customer reviews, most customers thought this is a miracle product for grinding nails for their dog.
It is so quiet that even some first-time use on dogs doesn’t seem to mind. The battery hold charges most of the time until finished job according to many customers.
Several customers stating that even after 20 minutes of use, the battery was still going strong. With the safety cap, only nails can be inserted and very safe to use on any size pets.
Any dogs that have fear of nail clipping, when properly used, it is a life saver for many dog owners.
Less than 10% of the customers were not satisfied with the purchase. Due to portable and cordless, there isn’t enough power to grind thicker nails.
Using it on small, less than 10 lb dog is great but if you have a large dogs, you need a stronger grinder. Most complaints were simply taking too long to grind and not for the medium or large dogs.