Dogs have different grooming needs regarding their coats, depending on the breed. Long haired breeds usually need brushing and sometimes even cutting, while the short haired breeds, such as Bull Terriers are comparatively low-maintenance with their coats.
However, there are some things in dog grooming every dog benefits from, when it comes to hygiene and body care:
Nail clipping, dental care, bathing and ear cleaning are important to keep your dog happy and healthy.
Some dogs need to get their nails clipped frequently. If you do it yourself make sure to use the right tools.
The best tool I know is a nail clipper especially made for dogs.
I use this one:
It feels kind of small, but I find it perfect. It cuts smoothly through the nail without making a loud clipping noise, which helps a lot if your dog tends to get nervous about the nail clipping.
Always, and especially if your dog is nervous about nail clipping, make it a great experience for your dog. Have a treat or two ready to reward her afterwards.
If she gets very nervous, don’t try to build Rome in one day. There’s no harm in doing one paw or even only one claw at a time.
In this article I explain how I trained my dog to not fear nail clipping, because of her dog nail trimming anxiety.
How to cut correctly:
If possible in any way, avoid cutting into the quick. The quick is filled with little blood vessels and will bleed when cut into. Cutting into the quick is also not painless for your dog and may promote a future fear of nail clipping in your dog. There are agents available you can have ready for the worst case. If you cut too deep, you can use styptic powder to stop the bleeding:
But actually, if cautious enough, you will never have to stop any bleeding. Always take away only tiny bits of the nail rather than too much! In the beginning this also gives you the chance of practicing with your dog more often, because you have more “material” left to cut :).
The image below shows how to correctly cut the claw – not too deep and in a 45 degree angle:
If you have difficulties finding the quick of a clear claw, rubbing some baby oil on the nail can make it more visible for a moment.
If your dog has dark nails, cutting needs to be done even more careful. Only small pieces at once, then inspect the bottom of the cut claw. Once you notice a small white circle occurring at the cut area, stop cutting! That is the quick appearing.
In general it is good to keep your dog’s nails short by cutting once or twice a month – depending on the individual situation. This keeps the quick from excessively growing into the nail, which will often make it even harder to trim.
Read more on the next page about dental care and bathing.
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