Need Help Learning to Trim Your Dog or Cat’s Nails?

Dog/cat nail trims are important. Nail trims are good for our pets, as well as help to keep our floors, furniture, and our skin protected as well. But why do so many dogs and cats refuse, hate, or flee when it’s nail trimming time?

In order to answer this question, we first must dive into the actual anatomy of your pet’s claw. Although similar to our fingernails the anatomy is a bit different. For humans, we know exactly where our finger nail ends and the where our finger begins. For dogs/cats, it’s a bit different. Their nail is made up of an outer portion (which is like our fingernail) and an inner portion (which is like our nail bed). In cats/dogs, the inner portion is where all the nerves are located. When you trim their nails, it is imperative that only the outer shell gets trimmed. Otherwise, you “cut” into the nerve OUCH!!! It’s not difficult to see where the outer and inner parts begin and end EXCEPT if your pet’s nails are naturally dark. In this case it is almost impossible to detect where the nail bed begins.

There is only one-reason dogs hate having their nails clipped: PAIN! If your dog’s nail has ever been cut too close, even just once it is a sensation that is never forgotten. Keep in mind for animals; nature provides pain as a protection and if something hurts, it is an instinct for that animal to avoid that experience at all cost. This is true for cats as well.

Some short-legged breeds like the Bassett Hound or Dachshund commonly have joint problems. When their leg is pulled out to trim the nails it hurts. Again, the pain associated with pulling that leg out is something your dog will not forget and he/she will avoid that discomfort at all cost. For cats, their paws must be pinched to expose the claw, this is uncomfortable and if the paw is pinched too hard it’s painful.

What Can You Do?

Here are several tips you can try to help with the challenge of trimming your pet’s nails.

Let your veterinarian help

Sometimes having your veterinary staff or groomer handle it is the best option.

Small steps are always best for Nail Trims

If you have a puppy/kitten start him out right. Small steps are always best. Patience will be required but worth the wait. Before clipping the nails introduce the clippers to your pet along with giving them a treat. Let them smell the clippers and get used to them first. Make sure your furry friend associates the clippers with a positive experience before using them to actually cut the nails.

• Once your pet realizes the clippers bring “joy” trim one nail, give a treat and put the clippers down. Again, the process is going to take patience but your pet must have confidence in the process.

• If you have an older “wiser” dog/cat try clipping ONE nail and immediately put the clippers down and say “Ok, let’s go for a walk” or “time for some love”. Do the same thing the next day. After 3 or 4 weeks all the nails will be clipped. The process then starts over again. Eventually, you will be able to trim more than one nail at a time.

• If your pet is a breed that will require professional grooming, seek a groomer that has a puppy/kitten table training program. This will enable your pet to understand the grooming process including nail trims. Program like these can also save you money, as sedation is often required for unruly pets (especially cats) who refuse to allow that summer “shave” to be performed.

• Try touching your pet’s nails with objects other than the clippers. Use a pencil eraser, a spoon, a favorite toy, again be patient. After some trust is built, touch the nail with the clippers. Do not clip just touch then reward with a treat.

• Bring the clippers out and let your pet hear the sound of the clippers without clipping the nails. Leave the clippers out at all times for your pet to view. Several times during the day, pick them up, and let your dog/cat hear the clipping sound without having his/her nails clipped. Reward with a treat.

These are just a few suggestions on ways to improve the nail clipping experience. Owners must understand, patience is required for this process to be successful. So whether you plan on clipping your pet’s nails or using a professional source like your veterinarian or a groomer be willing to allow as much time as needed for your pet to feel comfortable.

Fleas and Ticks and Heartworms, Oh My!

As the weather warms up, we start thinking of green grass, sunny days, and parasites! Just as we start venturing out into Spring air, the fleas, ticks, and heartworms are getting ready to party as well!

The best offense is always a good defense and now is the time to make sure your pet is fully protected. Fleas and ticks can quickly move into our houses and reproduce in the carpets, cracks in the floors, walls, and upholstery. The fleas you see on your pet only represent 5% of the fleas in the environment! Ticks are not only creepy and gross, they can carry blood diseases like Ehrlichia, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and Lyme disease. These diseases are a danger to both dogs and people. Heartworms are carried by mosquitoes, which quickly appear as the weather warms. These worms actually fill your pet’s heart and large vessels and can be fatal. They are also very expensive to treat. Finally intestinal parasites increase in the warmer months as well.

Thankfully our vets can make protecting your pet against parasites easy! We offer multiple options for intestinal and heartworm control, including Sentinel (which also prevents fleas from reproducing, Interceptor Plus (which also controls tapeworms), and Trifexis (which also includes a flea killer), and Proheart, which is a 6 month heartworm prevention injection. Bravecto is a 3 month oral flea and tick prevention that is incredibly safe and effective, and now there is also a topical version that also lasts 3 months. Call us today to make sure nothing bugs your pet this spring and summer!

Doggie Daycare

What does your four legged furry pal do all day while you are at work, school, or running errands? Are they lonely? Are they getting into trouble with destructive behaviors such as chewing, or marking? Are they cooped up with too much energy and bouncing off the walls when you want to relax after a long day? Doggie Daycare through the Lodge at Countryside has a great way for them to have fun, meet new friends, and get that much needed exercise! We asked one of our clients who dog is a regular in our daycare group what he liked best. He said he loved taking home a tired happy dog!

Every dog gets an evaluation to insure all of our daycare dogs are safe and have fun. If needed, dogs are separated into appropriate groups for age and size and during good weather they play in our play yards that include obstacles to climb over and under, and a shallow splash pool for summer fun. We also have an indoor play area adjacent to our luxury suites that keeps the fun going even when it is rainy and cold. On a rainy day, daycare can be the perfect place for a pooch to play in our warm, dry play room. Whole day or half days are available depending on your pet’s needs. During lunch, dogs are allowed to rest in their own runs before starting back for an afternoon of fun. Autumn is our camp counselor and her constant supervision and interaction makes sure everyone has a good time and stays safe. If the occasional bump or scratch does occur, our vets are standing by to administer care.

Dogs are highly social creatures that would naturally live in a pack and have constant interactions with their friends and family. Daycare gives them an opportunity to play in a pack, practice communication, and learn positive behavior.

Daycare is available as needed, or we do offer packages for our regulars that provides a discount, and we do offer multi-dog discounts. All of our guests in the luxury suites can attend daycare at no charge, or opt for private play time. Daycare can also be added on to a regular boarding stay. If you are interested in learning more about our program or having your dog evaluated please do not hesitate to call and talk to our staff to find out how you can get your pup out to play!