September 10, 2008


Trimming Dog Nails

Trimming the nails of our first dog, Shylo, used to be a huge ordeal, and therefore it didn't get done very often. I had heard of grinding their nails, but it wasn't until after Shylo had died and we got our collie, Ellie, that I actually gave it a try. I didn't try it sooner because the grinders seemed awfully expensive compared to clippers, I didn't know anyone who actually used one, and I couldn't find one in a local store where I would be able to easily return it if it didn't work out. Then I found a new vet who told me that she uses a Dremmel. Dremmel is the brand name for a tool that you can find at any home improvement store. I'm sure there are other brands also. The grinders made for dogs are basically the same thing with a limited capability. There are many attachments which can be bought for a Dremmel making it a useful tool for detail work.

When using it on the dogs' nails I use a coarse sandpaper attachment which simply files down the nail. The dog doesn't feel any pressure like it does with clippers. You are also much less likely to cut the quick. I never have, but I have heard that if you do, it is not as bad as it usually is with clippers. The motor of the Dremmel is a little noisy, but my dogs don't seem to mind. It does cause some vibration when you do theme trimming my dog's nails with a Dremmelir nails, but this feeling is not painful. As you can see in the picture, my Dremmel has an attachment which gives me a smaller tool to have to hold. It also distances the dog from the noise a bit. This attachment really isn't necessary. I'm not sure, but the grinders sold specifically for dogs might be a bit smaller than the Dremmel. An Internet search will bring up places where you can order them and probably helpful information.

I have used this method on three dogs. Ellie was started out on clippers. She really didn't like having her nails done, and being a 50 pound dog, it wasn't easy doing them. After I got the Dremmel, she very quickly learned that it was much better than clippers. Although she wasn't completely cooperative, it became an easier and doable task. Of the two dogs we have now, Esca has always been good about it. Sometimes he pulls his paw out of my hand, but he doesn't try to move away. He is the one in the picture. Emma is a a Dremmel with an extensiondifferent story. From the very beginning, she was completely terrified of me doing anything with her nails, even just holding her pay firmly caused her to flip out. It didn't matter whether I had the Dremmel or the clippers, or anything at all. I took it very slowly with her and would only do a little bit and work on it very frequently. My vet recommended using a Bach flower remedy and that seemed to help. At nine months old she now submits to having it done, though she would rather not.

I wish now that I had gotten a Dremmel to use on Shylo. I'm sure it would have made nail trimming much easier for both of us. If your dog does just fine with clippers, then there is probably no reason to change. If not, checking in to griding your dogs nails could make a big difference for both of you.

For more great ideas visit Rocks in My Dryer's Works for Me Wednesday.


I may just have to try this. I have a 5 month old german shepherd dog who acts like the world is ending when I clip his nails (for the first few minutes anyway.) We've got a dremmel... maybe that would be less traumatic for him.

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