Do you trim your dog's nails yourself?

@Zinkle (23)
United States
June 7, 2008 5:29pm CST
Or do you take your dog to the vet or groomer to have their nails trimmed? I am always so nervous that I am going to cut our dog's nails too short and cause him tobleed, so we cough up $16 every time he needs his nails trimmed and take him to the vet.
4 responses
@julievy (595)
• United States
8 Jun 08
We have 3 dogs, so it's too expensive to have the groomer or the vet trim the nails (not to mention that we're a long drive away from the vet or groomer and gas is expensive. I bought a dremel like tool that grinds the nails. Since it takes off such a thin layer at a time, there is less chance of cutting the quick. If you trim them yourself and do accidentally cut the quick, then stick the nail into a dab of cornstarch. It will stop the bleeding almost immediately. I always keep a little dish with about a tablespoon full of cornstarch handy when I do the trims.
1 person likes this
@Zinkle (23)
• United States
8 Jun 08
Did it take awhile before your dogs got used to the noise of the dremel like tool? Our dog is afraid of the vacuum cleaner, so I wonder how he would respond to the sound. That sounds like an interesting possibility, and when I worked as a veterinary assistant, that was how the techs would trim down birds' beaks when they got too long.
@julievy (595)
• United States
8 Jun 08
They don't really like the dremel, but they tolerate it - especially when they see the Greenie sitting on the table and they know they get it when the grinding is done! I don't think the noise bothers them.
1 person likes this
@Zinkle (23)
• United States
8 Jun 08
LOL, Greenies solve everything!
• United States
8 Jun 08
I cut my dogs nails myself when I give him a bath. He is such a good boy about the whole process. I have a set of nail clippers for dogs that have a little stop on them so you can't cut too too much off at once, in case the dog twitches at the wrong time. I used to have the kind without the stop and did cut the quick once, just a little. Luckily, it stopped bleeding almost immediately, and he wasn't too traumatized by it.
1 person likes this
@Zinkle (23)
• United States
8 Jun 08
That's pretty cool that your nail clippers have a safeguard on them. Have you seen the ones that have some sort of "quick detector" in them? Apparently they have colored lights that let you know if you are too close to the quick. I've often thought about buying a pair, but they were kind of expensive the last time I saw them at Petsmart.
• United States
8 Jun 08
That's pretty neat, I've never seen those! My dog has dark nails, so those would have come in handy. I've been cutting his nails for 4 years now, though, so I've pretty much got the hang of it.
1 person likes this
@ZephyrSun (7385)
• United States
7 Jun 08
I trim them myself. I have a big baby that thinks I am killed him but I will not pay for someone to do what I am able to do. If your dog has clear nails you can see the line and where it ends, the vet told me that if you usually keep your dogs nails short then the line is short, it's when you allow the dog to long between cuts it actually grows out further than it should be. My dog has black nails, and I cut just a little below the paw pad about half an inch. The pet stores sell something that you can put on the nail if you cut it to short and cause bleeding, but a vet tech told me not to waste my money because flour (the baking kind) stops the bleeding. I have never cause my current dog to bleed but I did on a previous dog that I had and I pushed the dogs foot into floor and the bleeding stopped.
1 person likes this
@Zinkle (23)
• United States
8 Jun 08
I have heard that flour works as a great alternative to styptic powder. Thanks for the response!
@mentalward (14697)
• United States
7 Jun 08
I've had many dogs in my life and almost always cut them myself. I was always afraid to cut the black nails since you can't see the vein. But, at the moment, I have two Maltese who have all light nails so at least THAT part of it is easy. One of my babies is so sweet and unassuming, she'll just sit there and let me cut them with no resistance whatsoever. The other one... whew! Just the opposite! I usually end up chasing her around the house just to get one nail trimmed before she bolts off again. I usually end up having her nails trimmed by a groomer. (She's the same way with haircuts.) I would love to know just how the vets and groomers know exactly how far to cut when the nails are completely black. They never seem to cut too close. Maybe it's a prerequesite for becoming a vet or groomer... some sort of natural instinct. I don't have a clue.
@Zinkle (23)
• United States
8 Jun 08
It's funny how the reaction can differ from dog to dog when it comes to getting their nails trimmed/feet touched. Our dog only has one white nail on each of his two front paws; if they were all white, I think I would feel more comfortable trimming them myself. I actually used to work as a veterinary assistant and was amazed at how quickly and accurately the veterinary technicians could clip nails. Our dog still has his dew-claws and we do trim those ourselves; they seem to grow much more quickly than his other nails and tend to become very sharp, almost like talons.