Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Nail Trimming

Trimming a dogs nails can be stressful for both the owner and dog. With the risk of trimming too short and cutting the quick, and the problem of the nail splitting or chipping when cut, many dog owners turn to a professional groomer or vet for routine nail trimmings.

But here’s a secret that can make this task easy and safe: A Dremel Tool!

You’ve seen those infomercials for Pedi Paws, saying how this tool grinds the nail, avoid the quick, is easy, safe, etc. In my experience Pedi Paws does not work very well, especially on larger claws like a Golden Retriever’s. I think the product would be fine for small dogs (no bigger than a Jack Russell Terrier, but most appropriate for toy breeds), but it simply does not have the power and/or durability for larger dogs.

Did you know the idea behind Pedi Paws is a Dremel tool? You can find this tool at any hardware store. For those who are unfamiliar with the Dremel tool, it is a tool that rotates a bit a high speeds and holds the bit in a collet. The Dremel tool makes use of speed rather than torque to get the job done. That is why Dremel tools have varying speeds ranging from 3,000 to 37,000 RPM.

Many different types of bits can be attached to the Dremel tool but for dog nail trimming purposes use the grinding or sanding bit. Many dog fanciers, top breeders, AKC show dog groomers and handlers swear by their Dremel as it allows them to quickly and safely trim dogs’ nails, and have used the Dremel for this purpose for years. The Dremel tool is available in both battery powered and cordless models.

If you decide to use the Dremel with your dog have plenty of treats handy and take your time. Let your dog adjust to the sound, the handling of his paws and finally the feeling and noise of the Dremel on the nail. Talk softly to your pet, and feed him treats throughout the process. For a skittish or shy dog it may take a few sessions to even be able to apply the Dremel to the nail, but in the end it is much better to have this be a positive experience.

1 comment:

  1. I have one of the PediPaws for Abby and have to say that it was probably a waste of money. It just takes way too long to file down a nail not to mention how loud it is. Abby is terrified of it! There has to be a quieter version out there. There are also nail clippers out there that have a sensor that tells you if you are cutting too close to the quick.