Posts Tagged ‘dog’

Do You Trim Your Nails?

dog-toenailsWe humans regularly trim our finger and toenails, but what about our dog’s toenails?

I’m always finding myself talking to my dog whispering and grooming clients about how important it is to keep their dog’s nails trimmed short. Unfortunately, for most humans, they find the task of clipping their dog’s nails too daunting, so they just leave them long until the next grooming session.

Also, when you do not regularly keep your dog’s nails trimmed short, the vein or quick that grows in the nail will grow longer into the nail, which will then prevent you from trimming the nails as short as they need to be for your dog’s good health.

Nail clipping is really a task that you should not leave only to your groomer because many dogs require their nails to be clipped every week or two, and most full grooming sessions occur every six weeks. This means that many of the smaller dogs that spend much of their time indoors have toenails that are too long for most of their life.

A dog that is not regularly walked on hard surfaces, but spends most of their time playing on a grass covered back lawn or running about inside on carpet or hardwood flooring simply will not naturally wear down their nails. Also, many dog’s have dew claws that never touch the ground, and these will grow until they actually cut into the dog’s leg.

When a dog’s nails are too long, it adversely affects how a dog carries themselves. Toenails that are too long place undue stress upon the dog’s joints, bones and their entire skeleton because long nails cause a misalignment that begins in the bones of the dog’s toes and travels all the way up to the spine.

Conscientious dog guardians really need to begin trimming toenails when their puppy is very young because this way they will not learn to fear it when they get older. If you do not slowly introduce toenail trimming at a young age, you will have set your dog (& yourself) up for a lifetime of stress and trauma every time their nails need trimming, or even worse, because your dog has learned to hate the process, both of you will be so stressed by it, that you may just decide to not do it at all.

If you currently have a dog that is fearful or nervous of having their toenails trimmed, you need to spend the time to slowly desensitize them (& yourself) by working slowly and gradually until your dog no longer fears the process and will calmly allow you to trim their nails every week or two. Start by just holding their paw and giving a treat. Then hold a toenail and give a treat. Next, hold the clipper next to a toenail and give a treat. Once your dog is accepting of this preparation before actual clipping, go online and watch all the videos you can find about the proper way to clip a dog’s toenails. There are many that are very good and will give you the confidence you need.

You will only need to purchase a professional type of nail clipper once, because the best ones never need sharpening and will last you a lifetime. They can be purchased at just about every pet store and are not an expensive item. This is the “Miller’s Forge” or “Plier” type of clipper, which comes in small, medium or large sizes, depending on the size of your dog.

Also, in case of accidentally cutting too short and making the nail bleed, you need to buy a container of Kwik Stop powder. Before beginning the process, tap out a small amount of the powder into the cap and if you accidentally cause a nail to bleed, simply tap the bleeding nail into the Kwik Stop, which will almost instantly stop the bleeding. Alternatively, you can wet the end of your finger, dip it into the powder and apply it to the end of your dog’s toenail with a little pressure.

I also like to use a powered sanding tool or nail file after clipping to round off the sharp edges that are left after clipping, and some dogs actually fuss less when their nails are trimmed with a rotary sander, and this is a perfectly acceptable way to trim a dog’s toenails if you are really nervous about cutting too much nail and causing the quick to bleed. The rotary sander (such as a Dremel 7300-PT designed for dog nails) can be a less stressful alternative for both dog and human. NOTE: do NOT use a regular Dremel from your tool box because these are too high speed and will burn your dog’s nails.

No matter whether your dog tolerates nail clipping or hates it and screams and wails each time it needs to be done, and each time you clip a nail your dog yelps so loudly that you have a minor heart attack, what is most important is that you do not use your dog’s dislike of the process (no dog really likes having their nails trimmed) as your excuse for simply not doing it. If you cannot bring yourself to learning how to do this important grooming task, be kind to your dog and hire someone to regular do this for you every 2-3 weeks.

Regular nail trimming will help to ensure your dog will have a steady, even gait and will eliminate the pain associated with a misaligned skeleton that can also lead to a higher incidence of bone fractures. If you can hear your dog’s nails clicking on hard surfaces when they walk, chances are that their nails are too long.

The nails on the back feet are almost always shorter than the front nails as the back nails push off of surfaces and propel the dog forward when walking or running. Also, many dogs scratch the ground with the back feet to mark territory after they do their business.

Until our canine companions master the skill of speaking English and can tell us when their long nails are causing them shoulder, back, neck or headache pain, it’s up to us humans to make certain that this ongoing grooming maintenance is carried out as often as is necessary for our particular dog to be healthy and pain free.

The left side image in the diagram shows the correct alignment with a short toenail, whereas the image on the right side of the diagram shows the angled misalignment caused because of a toenail that is too long. (Image provided by Dr. Lisa Kluslow)

^..^ Asia Moore
Author, Dog Whisperer, & Groomer
85+ dog breed books and counting!

A Tough Way to Find a New Home

dogbumper“A stray dog in China was hit by a car and managed to get stuck in the grill of the car at the moment of impact. The driver thought he had hit and killed the dog, but didn’t realize the dog was stuck in the car until the dog started making noises.

Unable to remove the dog, they had to drive 250 miles to the nearest town to get the dog out. After freeing the dog, they took it to a nearby veterinarian who checked the dog over and said other than some scratches and bruises, the dog was completely unharmed.

The driver of the car felt that it was fate that put the two together and decided to adopt the dog. The driver, known as only Mr. Zhang, describes the dog as his “best friend” – what a story!” ~ Three Million Dogs

Asia Moore
Author & Dog Whisperer
80+ dog breed books & counting!

Pudgy Pups

FattyDogIs your dog a little or a lot on the pudgy side?

Perhaps it’s time to think about an easy way to reduce your dog’s daily calorie intake and help return them to the fit athlete they were always meant to be?

Most dogs that are overweight are bored and often because they just don’t get enough exercise, and when this happens they often become obsessed with eating because this is the highlight of their day.

Try this to help those hungry pups lose excess weight and get healthier…

Replace some of your dog’s regular mealtime portions with crunchy green beans, and if they aren’t too keen on eating them uncooked, try steaming lightly before cutting them into pieces and adding into their food.

Low calorie green beans will give your dog an added burst of healthy plant fibre, plus vitamin C, K and manganese, and the beans will help to fill them up without the calories.

Asia Moore
Author & Dog Whisperer
75+ dog breed books & counting!

Dr. Dog More Accurate than Tech

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA“A trained scent dog accurately identified whether patients’ urine samples had thyroid cancer or were benign (noncancerous) 88.2 percent of the time, according to a new study, to- be presented Friday at the Endocrine Society’s 97th annual meeting in San Diego…

Bodenner’s colleague at UAMS and a study-coauthor, Arny Ferrando, PhD, previously “imprinted,” or scent-trained, a rescued male German Shepherd-mix named Frankie to recognize the smell of cancer in thyroid tissue obtained from multiple patients. Ferrando, who noted that dogs have at least 10 times more smell receptors than humans do, said, “Frankie is the first dog trained to differentiate benign thyroid disease from thyroid cancer by smelling a person’s urine.”

In this study, 34 patients gave a urine sample at their first visit to the university thyroid clinic before they went on to have a biopsy of suspicious thyroid nodules and surgery. The surgical pathology result was diagnosed as cancer in 15 patients and benign thyroid disease in 19. These urine samples were presented, by a gloved dog handler, one at a time to Frankie to sniff. Neither the dog handler nor the study coordinator, who recorded the dog’s responses after the handler announced them, knew the cancer status of the 34 urine samples.

The handler interspersed some urine samples that had a known cancer status so he could reward the dog for correct answers: alerting to a cancer sample by lying down, and turning away from a benign sample to alert the absence of cancer.

The dog’s alert matched the final surgical pathology diagnosis in 30 of the 34 study samples, the investigators reported. The sensitivity, or true-positive rate, was 86.7 percent, meaning Frankie correctly identified nearly 87 percent of the pathology-proven thyroid cancers. The specificity–the true-negative rate–was 89.5 percent, which meant Frankie knew that a benign sample was actually benign almost 9 of every 10 times. There were two false-negative results and two false-positives using canine scent detection.

Bodenner said they plan to expand their program by collaborating with Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine in Auburn, Alabama. The veterinary school reportedly will dedicate two of its bomb-sniffing dogs to become trained thyroid cancer-sniffing dogs using UAMS patient samples…” ~ Science Daily

P.S. looking for a breed specific book? Perhaps I’ve written a book all about your favorite fur friend? 70+ books and counting. Check out the titles at: (more added all the time).

Asia Moore
Author and Dog Whisperer