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by Tracy L. Ferrick

Keeping your dogs toenails short should be part of his weekly grooming routine.  The earlier the dog begins this routine, the easier it will be to continue once he becomes an adult.

We start with "baby" clippers at 2 days old and then graduate to a dremmel tool by 5-6 weeks of age. The new "Pedi Paws" tool works great!!!

Puppies nails grow at a fantastic rate, so trimming must be done every 3-4 days.  Then when they're older, you can maintain their nails on a weekly basis.  Try to keep the nails no longer than 1/2" in length, measuring from the nail bed.

There are two benefits for keeping your dogs nails short.  One is for neatness, showing others that your dog is well taken care of.  Then other is for safety, both yours and your dogs.

If your dog's nails are too long, they can catch on items and be ripped out of the nail bed.  This is very painful for the dog and the nail bed will bleed profusely.  By keeping the nails short, you will also prevent the pasterns from falling and the toes will not become splayed  (webbed appearance). Long nails also contribute to the feet of the dog turning out(giving an east-west appearance), becoming deformed.  The dog may be in pain from the deformed feet and pasterns.   This my lead to arthritic changes in the feet, pasterns, hips, hocks, elbows and shoulder.  If left untreated, these changes in anatomy may lead to constant veterinary care.  Rimadyl, costing $1.70 per pill,  is the drug of choice for many veterinarians for arthritic problems in dogs.  Also, if your dog's nails are too long, they may scratch you or the kids.  And believe me, it hurts!

It only takes a few minutes.  I have the dog sit next to me on the couch, and one of my kids rubs the dogs belly and we talk in soothing tones. Turn on the dremmel tool, and it's over and done with in no time at all!  Don't just say, "Oh, I'm tired, I'll do it tomorrow".  Tomorrow will be too late!  You will end up with a 140# dog, with "Monster Nails", and it will become a battle to trim his nails!


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