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Trimming my dog's nails myself?

Hi Ladies, I am thinking of getting a pr of nail trimmers and trying to start doing my small chihuahua's nails myself. I read up on all my options and she is already skittish about having her feet touched and also w/noises so I don't think she'd like the pedi-paws. Does anyone have any tips for me? Her nails are black and I can not see the "quick" that is to be avoided according to what I have read. How will I know how much to cut off? Should I try it or will I hurt her? Thanks in advance! : )

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Asked by momrocks1000 at 11:38 AM on Nov. 3, 2009 in Pets

Level 4 (44 Credits)
Answers (10)
  • We have 2 large german shepherds and a husky and they don't mind the pedi-paw nail trimmer. I use it on them about once a month. They had never seen one before a few months ago and they are fine with it. The pedi-paw also has a guard on it so you won't go down too low.

    Answer by MrsLeftlane at 11:44 AM on Nov. 3, 2009

  • um Welll....... what i do is use reg nail clippers as long as your dogs nails are thin it will be fine but if theyre thick go ahead and get dog clippers. ANd when ur cutting barely cut anything just tiny bit everyother week just tiny bit will not hurt. if u go too far it will get infected bleed and hurt ur dog so be careful just do tiny bit and get a nail filer and file it and buff it like u would do your own nails file will help it shape round so when she jumps on u on couch wont rip anything and buff will make it smooth for her/him gl

    Answer by Butterflyluvn88 at 11:44 AM on Nov. 3, 2009

  • Trimming your dogs nails doesn't need to be that difficult. If you start handling her feet, and giving her lots of cookies and praise while doing so, she'll become less sensitive to it. If you use a regular nail clipper, however, she'll still pull back every time you touch her feet because they pinch the nail rather than filing them. You can desensitize her to the buzzing far more easily than you can to a regular nail clipper.

    I used to need to muzzle my dog and lay on top of him to get his nails done (he's 120 lbs), and it would take me half an hour just to get one foot done. I started using a Dremel on him at the age of 10, and on the first time using it I had all of his nails done in about 20 minutes. He was a little wary of the noise at first, but since it just buzzed his feet rather than clamping down on them, he was ok with it. Much less traumatic. I was shocked. Well worth the expense!

    Answer by kestrelscall at 11:49 AM on Nov. 3, 2009

  • A dremel like from the hardware store? WOW! I think my dog is too small for that though (she is barely 3 1/2 lbs.). So are you saying I should use the pedi-paws instead of clipping? I HAVE been playing w/her feet more and she IS getting more used to it... that's why I am about ready to take the next step and snip... but it sounds like you are agains snipping huh? Hmmmmmmmm.....

    Answer by momrocks1000 at 12:03 PM on Nov. 3, 2009

  • You can probably see the quick if you hold a flash light to one side of her nails, look for red coloring and then don't cut too close to it. if you look at the back of the nail it may be hollow up until a certain point, you can cut all the hollow part off, but not all dogs nails do this. If you're nervous about it I would have your vet or better yet a groomer show you a couple times first. I worked as a dog bather at a Petsmart when I was in college and I was always happy to show people.

    If your dog is nervous about it you can do one nail a day so that it isn't as stressful for her and so she gets more used to it because she is having it done more frequently. And always give her a treat right after!

    Good luck!

    Answer by Blueliner at 12:56 PM on Nov. 3, 2009

  • Momrocks: a dremel is another word for pedi-paws. It's what we use in the grooming industry, except it doesn't have a guard on it and it's a little more powerful. (Think about the nail filers they use in nail salons, the ones for acrylic nails; that's a dremel.)

    Answer by SarahLeeMorgan at 4:36 PM on Nov. 3, 2009

  • Yep, a dremel from the hardware store. It holds up better in the long run, but some folks find the guard on the pedi paws to be really useful. My dog's nails would be too fat to fit into the guard. I trained as a groomer years and years ago, and got to see first hand how much easier it is to use on a dog, especially one that is foot shy, than a clipper. I was shocked when I worked at a vet's office, and they didn't have one. So much less traumatic!

    They make them in all sorts of speeds and shapes, I have a battery operated one, but there's also one that is shaped kind of like a hot glue gun that might be easier to handle. It does have a power cord, which could be a problem for some people, but since your dog is so tiny, it might be ok.

    Good luck!

    Answer by kestrelscall at 5:26 PM on Nov. 3, 2009

  • I have a Pedi Paw and it's a great tool to trim my babies nails. The sound is very claming. Your baby needs to hear and smell it, while you give her treats the first time around. The second day do the same thing and tell them they are so so good. Give treat's! The third day trim one nail and plus give a treat. When using this pedi paw it will trim in a blunt style and you only file for 3 to 5 seconds. The sharpness of the nail will become dull. You will never hear that tapping sound on the floor again. I use it once a week , but my puppy is huge and she loves her treat's. LOL... Good Luck! When I had my tea cup pom's, I took them in the vet's office to trim their nails.

    Answer by goldielock37 at 6:36 PM on Nov. 3, 2009

  • Ug, yes that is what I am doing now, taking her to the vet but sometimes I have to wait a long time and they don't cut them very short (which I am glad they are careful and not making her bleed like the dumb groomer did) but that just means I need to go back too often.... It's becoming something I am dreading and since I am somewhat of a do it yourself kind of gal I thought I'd give it a try... but even my mom who is the queen of do it yourself doesn't trim her own dogs nails so I was looking for some usual there IS some good advice on here... I am still considering what to do... maybe I'll try the pedipaws like you said because I just CANNOT see her quick (even w/the tips on here). I'd die if I made her bleed! : (

    Answer by momrocks1000 at 6:42 PM on Nov. 3, 2009

  • I do my chihuahua's nails myself. She HATES it. I wrap her up in a blanket (including her face or she will bite) and yes she can still breath :) and it takes me about 5 minutes to do it when I do it that way. You will know if you are cutting too much off, depending on how long they are, you really can cut off a lot without making them bleed. If you do stick her paw in flour or corn starch and it will stop right away.

    Answer by newmomma14 at 9:25 PM on Nov. 10, 2009

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