Clipping pet nails: Every dog is not the same
When you may want to leave the grooming to professionals
Writer’s note as of July 17, 2021: I received the Dremel I ordered online. Although my Hound mix took off running like a lawnmower was going off and refused to get out from under my dining room table, I scooped her up, cuddled her and sat her on the couch next to me. I turned the Dremel on again, and she shoved her entire head in the couch pillows. However, she did poke her head out from under the pillows long enough to observe her nails becoming shorter. She didn’t jump at all and let me do all four paws in about five minutes. It took me longer to figure out how to assemble the Dremel and read the instructions than it did to handle her nails. She wanted no parts of any dog treats or baby carrots afterward — which is extremely peculiar and has never happened before — but she was down for the extra cuddling and licking my neck, relieved when it was over. She walked outside and tested her paws in the grass. Then we came back in, and she took a nap for about an hour, I guess from the stress of it all. Dremel wins. Clippers out!
When I first heard of the Dogfather of Harlem, I thought this was a very cool way for pet owners to be able to cross some chores off their list. I, on the other hand, had always bathed my dogs and brushed their fur. My mother was into brushing their teeth, so I never had to deal with that. And they knew I was coming for their eyes any time I saw sleep in them. The first time I ran into a grooming challenge was clipping my German Shepherd’s nails. I read the instructions and wondered why my parents happily passed this grooming task onto me.
It didn’t take very long for me to figure out — from a high-pitched squeal — that this was not going to be like giving my grandfather or mother a pedicure (something I always enjoyed doing). Although I didn’t keep up with it after elementary school, I used to really be into nail design and manicures. It should’ve been foresight for my future, but my signature nail design in sixth grade was little dog paws. I would put them on all of my friends’ and family’s nails who let me. I was pretty good at it, too. (To this day, my toenails are always painted. I’ve lost complete interest in fingernail polish though. It comes off too easily while watching dishes, including the gel kind, and I hate chipped polish. I file and buff them, massage cuticle oil on them, and that’s it.)
In my naive mind though, clipping a dog’s nails would be no different than human loved ones. My German Shepherd took off running like lightning after one nail. I really wish I’d have paid closer attention to the quick of a dog’s nails, but unfortunately, I did not. Interestingly, my German Shepherd, who had been slipping and sliding all over the kitchen tile floor for a couple of weeks, realized how quickly she was running — without slipping. She paused. Turned around. Ran back and forth again. Then she returned, laid on her side and put her paws right back on my lap.