?

Experienced and professional animal trainer provide their insights in answering this question :
A. Nail trimming should not be painful unless you are getting the quicks. Try clipping or grinding the very smallest bit of nail that you can for a while, but you will have to do it every week so the nails don’t grow too long. Try having someone let her lick a cup of ice cream while you work–this may help to distract her. Get her used to your handling her feet often when you are not doing her nails.

How to Identify Common Pet Problems ?

Our sources include academic articles, blog posts, and personal essays from experienced pet care professionals :

Benadryl: This mild antihistamine sedative helps calm your pet when it is nervous about clipping its nails. Melatonin supplements: Help regulate body rhythm and help calm down your dog. Natural sedation methods: Herbs like California poppy, chamomile, rosemary, or valerian are natural relaxants.
Dremel® is safe. It works best on the dogs with clipper anxiety. If your dog has thick nails, then the Dremel® can achieve a smooth, rounded nail edge without hurting him. Dremeling is a great way to maintain healthy nails.
Trazodone can both sedate a dog and relieve anxiety. This is a good dog sedative for grooming, veterinary visits, thunderstorms/fireworks, and other short-term stressful events. Side effects include low blood pressure, so trazodone may be used cautiously or avoided in patients with certain health conditions.
There are many owners who take their dogs to the groomers for trimming, for fear of hurting their pooch or getting it wrong. Nail neglect can lead to pain and health risks for your four-legged friend, including a splayed foot, reduced traction, pain when walking, and worse, deformed feet and injuries.
Desensitization to Nail Clipping

Keep the nail clippers in your dog`s sight and work your way up to petting your dog while holding the clippers and then gently touching the clippers on your dog. This will help them learn that the clippers pose no threat.

If your dog bites or tries to bite when you cut her nails, it is perfectly acceptable to use a muzzle on your dog. I recommend getting her used to the muzzle rather than just slapping it on her, but then, put the muzzle on, cut her nails, and be done with it.
Long walks can wear down your dog`s nails naturally over time. In the wild, wolves and coyotes keep their nails short through digging and running after prey for hours.
No Metal:​Using the dremel on metal will destroy the tool and produce sparks, which can ignite sawdust, resulting in a fire or explosion. Safe Bystanders:​If you are using these tools outside of the Woodshop, which likely means you are in the workspace, make sure everyone around you is safe.
Introduce Your Pet to the Electric Nail Grinder

Let the dog sniff and touch the tool for a minute, while you pet it and offer reassurances. Then turn the tool on a few times without trimming any of your dog`s nails yet. This will familiarise him or her with the humming sounds and the vibrations the tool makes.

Unless there is a medical reason not to sedate your dog, your vet should be able to do a sedated trim. Being sedated should make the nail trim process less traumatic for your pup.
General Anesthesia: For critical cases, the dog may require to be put under general anesthesia for the grooming. Of course, this is done at the vet`s office. This is frequently done in cases of overly troublesome dogs or when there may be pain or the need for the dog to remain still for extended periods of time.
At the center of every dog nail is a bundle of nerves and blood vessels called a quick. Cutting this quick, or even applying pressure to the area around it, can cause your dog immense pain. Some breeds, such as Shiba Inus, pugs, shepherds, labs, and bully breeds, seem to have exceptionally sensitive quicks.
Survival instinct

The main reason dogs hate getting their nails clipped is because of the pain. It doesn`t hurt them if they are clipped correctly but if your dog has been cut too close to their nerve in their nail, even once, he will remember it.

Groomers might cover an aggressive dog`s face with a towel while moving the dog. Aggressive dogs are restrained with a loop and most groomers have muzzles on hand for the toughest dogs. Neither of these devices will hurt your dog. Both ensure your dog stays on the table during the groom for her own safety.
It`s best to not cut within 2 millimeters of the quick. As you cut the nail deeper, a gray to pink oval starts to appear at the top of the cut surface of the nail. Stop cutting the nail at this point as additional cutting will cut into the quick and cause bleeding.
Some solutions are muzzles, medications, or special anxiety reducing jackets. Muzzles: If your dog tends to snap and bite during grooming, putting the muzzle over it can make the task easier. Some muzzles are padded to avoid discomfort for your dog.
Why Do Dogs Bite Their Nails? Dogs can bite their nails as part of the grooming process, especially if their nails are very long and uncomfortable. However, they tend to bite more for medical reasons, like allergies, a skin condition or infection, or even anxiety.
Generally, your dog`s nails shouldn`t touch the ground when he`s standing upright on all four feet. There is no hard and fast rule as to how far from the floor those nails should be; it varies from dog to dog. If the nails click on the floor, they are usually too long.
Correct length for a dog`s nails. If a dog`s nails are too long, you will hear them clack when the dog walks on hard surfaces. Deciding if your dog`s nails are too long is quite simple. The claws should not protrude over the pad and should not touch the ground when standing.
The MAKERX Rotary Tool has a universal fit system, so it is compatible with bits from other brands, including those designed for Dremel Rotary Tools. If you are looking for power, precision, portability, and versatility, MAKERX is the best rotary tool available.
Be sure to wear gloves to protect your hands.
Here are some tips to help acclimate your dog to nail grinding: Desensitize your dog to the sound of the grinder. Turn it on at its lowest speed, give your dog two or three treats, then turn it off. Repeat at varying speeds, so your dog learns to associate that sound with good things happening to them.
As long as your dog is not a chewer, leave the pet clipper out on the floor where your pet can sniff the tool and check it out on his own. Once your dog has had time to adjust to the sight and smell of dog clippers, just sit with him and bring the pet clippers close to the dog, but do NOT turn them on just yet.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

Q. My dog has a split nail, what should I do?
ANSWER : A. Split or torn nails are very common in dogs, and treatment depends on the level of the tear. If the nail is split above the quik (blood supply to the nail) then it can be safely trimmed back and the torn part removed. You can find the quik in a dog’s nails by looking for a red or pink line in light colored nails, or a darker groove on the underside of dark colored nails.

If the tear is behind the quik or the nail is bleeding, stopping the bleeding with styptic powder or starches such as corn or rice starch can help. It is then best to bring your dog into your local vet to have the nail safely trimmed back. This may require anesthesia or sedation depending on the size of the tear to make the experience less painful for your dog. Your vet may also recommend antibiotics if the tear is large to prevent infection from taking hold until the nail can heal.

Once the torn part of the nail is removed, the nail should be able to begin growing back as normal. Regular nail trims to keep nails short and in shape can also help to prevent tears and splits in the future.

Q. Which common foods are poisonous to pets?
ANSWER : A. That’s a great question. As responsible pet owners we need to be aware of food items that can be harmful to our canine or feline companions. Here are some of the most common foods proven to cause illness in our animals at home:

Chocolate: A favorite and irresistible treat amongst most humans, chocolate is considered toxic to dogs. In very small amounts it is usually not a huge issue, but with larger volumes and with darker chocolates pet owners should be concerned. Chocolate contains methylxanthine theobromine, which is similar to caffeine. Chocolate ingestion can cause vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity, issues with normal heartbeats, seizures, and in some severe cases, death. It is best to keep your favorite chocolate treats in a good hiding spot and out of reach of your dog or cat.

Grapes and raisins: Dogs should not consume grapes and raisins because of the risk of acute kidney failure. Most dogs experiencing grape or raisin toxicity will begin to have vomiting and/or diarrhea within 6-12 hours of ingestion. Other abnormal clinical signs include lethargy, abdominal pain, dehydration, and tremors. Kidney failure develops within 24-72 hours of the initial ingestion. There are some dogs that do not experience these devastating side effects. It is best to contact your veterinarian or veterinary emergency facility if you believe your pet has ingested grapes or raisins.

Garlic and onions: We often forget that our meals contain these two popular ingredients and will allow our furry companions a few bites or licks. Onion and garlic both can cause a type of poisoning that results in damage to red blood cells, making them more likely to rupture. They can also cause stomach upset and mouth irritation. Look for pale gums, increased breathing or drooling or any vomiting or diarrhea.

Bread dough: Unbaked bread dough is considered poisonous to our pets. The bread dough, when ingested, expands in the stomach because of the warm and moist environment. This can lead to a bloated or even twisted stomach. In addition yeast is often added to our baking products to help get bread to rise, and when this yeast is fermented it produces both carbon dioxide and alcohol. The alcohol produced can be absorbed into the bloodstream and causes dangerous drops in blood sugar, blood pressure and body temperature. Common clinical signs include vomiting or retching, distension of the stomach, weakness and collapse.

Macadamia nuts: Ingestion of these nuts are not proven to be fatal in dogs but can cause them to experience uncomfortable clinical sings, including fever, joint stiffness, vomiting, tremors and difficulty walking, especially in their hind legs. Often your pet will start to feel better after about 48 hours, but supportive veterinary care (such as pain medication) may help ease their discomfort.

Xylitol: The most common ingredient used in sugar-free gum is xylitol, which is a non-caloric sweetener. It is also found in some oral rinses, toothpastes and vitamins. Xylitol and dogs do not mix – it can cause a dangerous drop in blood sugars levels. Dogs will often display signs of disorientation, black tarry stool, tremors and seizures. If severe enough some dogs have developed liver failure. Keep your gum away from your canine companion.

Avocados: Avocados are not actually poisonous to dogs or cats but as many veterinarians can tell you the avocado pits can cause a foreign body obstruction. Avocados contain persin, which is actually toxic to the majority of pet birds. The abnormal clinical signs associated with avocado ingestion in birds include, respiratory distress, inability to perch, liver and kidney failure and sudden death.

Go forth and enjoy your favorite foods, but keep in mind which foods you should avoid sharing with your furry family members. Whenever in doubt, contact your veterinarian for healthy and safe food suggestions.

Q. Whenever I take my dog on walks he always barks at people and others dogs in my neighborhood. What should I do to resolve the problem
ANSWER : A. The very first thing to do is to make sure your dog is getting sufficient physical and mental exercise every day. A tired dog is a good, happy dog and one who is less likely to bark from boredom or frustration. Depending on his breed, age, and health, your dog may require several long walks as well as a good game of chasing the ball and playing with some interactive toys.

Figure out what he gets out of barking and remove it. Don’t give your dog the opportunity to continue the barking behavior.

Ignore your dog’s barking for as long as it takes him to stop. That means don’t give him attention at all while he’s barking. Your attention only rewards him for being noisy. Don’t talk to, don’t touch, or even look at him. When he finally quiets, even to take a breath, reward him with a treat. To be successful with this method, you must wait as long as it takes for him to stop barking. Yelling at him is the equivalent of barking with him.

Get your dog accustomed to whatever causes him to bark. Start with whatever makes him bark at a distance. It must be far enough away that he doesn’t bark when he sees it. Feed him lots of good treats. Move the stimulus a little closer (perhaps as little as a few inches or a few feet to start) and feed treats. If the stimulus moves out of sight, stop giving your dog treats. You want your dog to learn that the appearance of the stimulus leads to good things.

Teach your dog the ‘quiet’ command. Oddly, the first step is to teach your dog to bark on command. Give your dog the command to “speak,” wait for him to bark two or three times, and then stick a tasty treat in front of his nose. When he stops barking to sniff the treat, praise him and give him the treat. Repeat until he starts barking as soon as you say “speak.” Once your dog can reliably bark on command, teach him the “quiet” command. In a calm environment with no distractions, tell him to “speak.” When he starts barking, say “quiet” and stick a treat in front of his nose. Praise him for being quiet and give him the treat.

As in all training, always end training on a good note, even if it is just for obeying something very simple, like the ‘sit’ command. If you dog regresses in training, go back to the last thing he did successfully and reinforce that before moving on again. Keep sessions short, 15-20 minutes max, and do this several times a day.

Q. Rescued a dog almost two weeks ago, and now that her kennel cough is gone her personality shines!! No previous training, how should I start?
ANSWER : A. POST FOUR:

After your dog is familiar with the behavior you lured from scratch, and taught to your dog, you can start to use the “no-reward marker” I talked about. What you do is ask the dog to perform the behavior, and if the dog does not perform the behavior, you simply say your no-reward marker (choose one: eh-eh, hey, uh-oh, oops) show them the treat, put it behind your back, and BRIEFLY ignore your dog. Just turn your back for a second or two, before turning back to your dog and saying, “let’s try that again.” When you’re ready to start over with your dog, make sure you move around. If you are repeating the same cue while in the same position, while your dog is in the same position, you are likely to receive the same results. The more you move around, and start fresh, the better your chances are of having your dog listen to your cue the second time around. BIG rewards when they dog it successfully! Lots of praise and treats.

My no-reward marker is “hey.” When my dog does something wrong I say, “hey” and she immediately understands that she needs to offer a different behavior. This is clear to her. I don’t have to say it in a mean way, I simply say, “hey” in a normal tone of voice and she understands what the word means.

Once you’ve built up that connection and communication with your new dog, you can work on all kinds of fun behaviors! I personally enjoy the more zen-like behaviors: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ruy9UMcuGh8

I like to teach my dog fun tricks that offer her a “job” to do of sorts like object retrieval: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I4iertZSva8

(object retrieval training completed; what it looks like: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jx0Dml28FGY)

Scent-games are fun too! Very confidence building. Hide a REALLY smelly treat in a box, and place that box in a line of boxes. Let your dog go in the room while saying something like “search!” or “find it!” and watch them hunt for that smelly treat! Lots of rewards when they find it!

Q. I have tried everything to cut my dogs nails and it is impossible. Dremel and clippers. They are causing her a lot of pain. What should I do?
ANSWER : A. Nail trimming should not be painful unless you are getting the quicks. Try clipping or grinding the very smallest bit of nail that you can for a while, but you will have to do it every week so the nails don’t grow too long. Try having someone let her lick a cup of ice cream while you work–this may help to distract her. Get her used to your handling her feet often when you are not doing her nails.

Q. My dog keep hacking like a cough or something in her throat, what can I do?
ANSWER : A. Hacking and coughing can be caused by a number of things ranging from foreign bodies such as twigs stuck in the mouth or throat, to infections or illnesses such as Bordetella or Kennel cough, common in dogs that frequent kennels, dog daycare or dog parks. In older dogs, heart and lung issues can also be indicated by a cough that does not go away.

If you think there may be a foreign object stuck in your dog’s throat, you can sweep a finger gently through the back of the mouth or throat if your dog will let you. If something feels stuck and is not easily moved by the finger, it is best to contact your vet to have the object safely removed. This usually requires sedation so that your dog does not become panicked or move, causing the object to become further stuck or cut the throat.

If your dog is showing other symptoms of illness in addition to the cough such as runny nose or eyes, fever, lethargy or changes in appetite, it may indicate a viral or bacterial illness such as kennel cough. These are usually treated with a cough medication in severe cases, plus rest and treatment of any additional symptoms until the condition improves. In bacterial causes, antibiotics may also be given to help your dog feel better.

If your dog has a constant cough that does not go away, or has had changes in ability to exercise, breathing, or appears to have swelling around the chest or abdomen, in may indicate a lung or heart issue. Your vet can thoroughly examine your dog for any signs of heart or lung problems and can then offer care as needed depending on the cause.

Q. How do I determine how much my overweight pet should weigh?
ANSWER : A. There are many tools to determine overweight and obesity levels in pets. A new tool, morphometric measurements and body fat index, are available to accurately determine a pet’s ideal weight; this will allow an accurate determination of the amount of food a pet should receive to achieve weight loss. Feeding the correct amount will lead to greater weight loss success.

There are many weight loss food options to help pets reach their ideal weight. Your veterinarian can help make a ideal weight recommendation. Here are some tips to help your dog lose weight in a healthy and safe way:

1. Diet: Providing a healthy and well balanced diet is essential to your pet’s overall health. Finding the right food for your dog can be a challenging process. For those overweight animals many commercial dog companies offer weight loss diets, but it is important to evaluate food labels for adequate nutritional content.

You want to ensure you are not missing other essential vitamin or mineral content. Volume of food is also important and the amount of food that works for one breed of dog may not be the same for another breed of dog. Portion control as opposed to free-choice feeding can help your dog to drop a few unnecessary pounds.

There are also prescription weight loss foods designed by veterinary nutritionists, such as Hill’s r/d (http://bit.ly/1AoENSd). Some pet owners find that home cooking is the best option for helping to provide a well-balanced and realistic diet plan. There are websites such as balanceit.com that offers recipes to fit your dog’s specific needs. Consulting with your veterinarian or a veterinary nutritionist to find the appropriate diet is a great way to help your dog be as healthy as possible.

2. Exercise: Another great tactic for weight loss for your dog is exercise. Whether this is through running, walking or playing with a favorite toy all of these are wonderful types of exercise to help keep your dog at a lean and healthy weight.

For those pet owners with busy schedules utilizing professional dog walking services or playtime through dog daycare services is another option. It has been shown that those pet owners that exercise regularly with their pets generally live a healthier lifestyle.

3. Physical therapy: As animals age pet owners offer encounter their favorite canine having more difficulty walking and have a dwindling desire to play with toys. Physical therapy, specifically hydrotherapy is a wonderful way to help older and arthritic animals gain more mobility and lose weight. Hydrotherapy has been proven to have several therapeutic effects on the body including, muscle strengthening, relief of swelling, decreased joint pain, less stiffness in limbs, improved circulation, weight loss, and increased tissue healing to name a few. For more information on the benefits of hydrotherapy:
http://bit.ly/1w1qqoy

4. Veterinary visit and blood work: Weight gain can also be related to underlying health concerns such as hypothyroidism or other endocrine disorders. Scheduling a veterinary evaluation and routine blood work can be another important component in increasing the longevity of your dog’s life. Conditions such as hypothyroidism that predispose dogs to gain weight can be treated with a daily medication to improve hormonal balance. If feel that your dog is unnecessarily overweight there can be an underlying health condition that needs to be addressed.

5. Healthy treats: Pet owners love the chance to reward their favorite canine companion with treats and most dogs jump at the chance to consume these delicious products. The problem is many treats, which can include commercial dog treats or table scrapes can add many unnecessary calories to your dog’s daily intake. Reading labels and making note of the calories in these treats is an important component of understanding your dog’s overall health. Treats should not exceed more than 10 percent of your pet’s daily calories. There are healthier treats that can be offered to your pet to keep calories lower yet provide a fuller sensation. A pet owner can add steamed or pureed vegetables, such as carrots, green beans or sweet potato to add more fiber and thus a fuller feeling for your dog.

Q. My Bulldog puppy growls, barks and even tries to bite me when I say “no” to him. What can I do?
ANSWER : A. First, avoid scolding him and acting aggressively towards him if you don’t want him to be acting aggressively towards you. There are other methods you can use to communicate to your dog that you don’t want him to continue doing what he is doing. I recommend you stop telling him “no”, scolding him, or raising your voice at him. Everything coming from you should be 100% positive and 100% calm.

Try to figure out ways to clearly communicate what you want to your dog. If you want your dog to leave something or someone alone, I strongly suggest teaching your dog commands like “leave it”. Here is a link to a video in which I explain how to do it:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=R1TS5nA7z5Q

Another thing I suggest you use is a no-reward marker. This clearly communicates when your dog has done something wrong. No-reward markers have to be introduced during your training sessions. You should be doing at least three training sessions per day, that are something like 3-10 minutes long (working on different things each training session). If you are teaching your dog something BRAND NEW, do not use the no-reward marker, as you do not want to discourage your dog from performing behaviors for you. Use the no-reward marker for known behaviors only. Here is another helpful video about this:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=sdU5a6fXKlg

Lure each new behavior (as shown in the video) using high value treats. Let’s say you’re working on “down” which is a behavior your dog knows fairly well. Present the treat to your dog. Ask your dog to “down” (only ask once). If he does not go “down” immediately, say, “uh-oh” or “eh-eh” in a gentle tone, and then place the treat behind your back. This communicates to your dog that they did something to make the treat go away.

After you place the treat behind your back to show your pup “that was wrong” you need to communicate to your pup “let’s try again” by getting your pup to walk around for a second, and then start the behavior all over again. If your puppy is very young, chances are you haven’t taught him a solid “down” behavior yet. So, as I said, do not use this method until you have lured each new behavior as shown in the video.

This is the order in which you should teach behaviors: Lure using a high value treat as shown in the video. After a few successful food lures, lure with an empty hand. If the pup is successful with the empty hand lure, reward with lots of treats. If the pup is unsuccessful, then go back to food-luring a couple more times. After a few successful empty-hand lures, you can begin to add the cue. Say “sit”, then lure with an empty hand, and then reward. Once your pup understands the cue, begin to work on the no-reward marker.