Monday, August 25, 2014

Ask Toto #56

Dear Toto,

My owner takes me to get my toenails cut a lot. I HATE IT.  Doesn't she understand that it hurts!  WHY does it hurt?  And WHY does she want to paint my toenails? What is the DEAL!?

- Anti-pedicures for Pets

Hi Anti-PP,

Well, first things first, it is important that our toenails get cut.  'Cause if they don't, they get all long and wolf-like and then they get caught on things, and that's no fun at all.

They also need to be cut because humans don't like being scratched.  That's a biggie.

It's true, some people don't understand how to cut their dog's toenails.  Quick refresher, humans: DO NOT CUT INTO THE QUICK.  Humans don't understand, because their nails don't have blood vessels and nerves in their nails.  And dogs that have black colored toenails are especially difficult, because you can't tell where the Quick stops and starts.  Here is a nifty How To picture that gives you a visual.

But you generally want to steer your human towards the guillotine type of clippers for a cleaner cut (though your human is going to pick the one your human feels the most comfortable with.)  And nudge your human to also cut the dew claw, which is easy to forget because it doesn't touch the ground normally.

And this is very important - train your human to give you a treat after a successful clipping.  That way you'll have a reward for going through this not-necessarily fun task.

In terms of painting toenails, well, this totally falls into the category of Don't Put Clothes On Your Dog category.  Don't Put Clothes On Your Dog, And Don't Paint Their Toenails.  It's dumb. Don't understand why humans paint their own toenails, don't understand why they want to paint their dog's toenails.  This is where I definitely recommend the Wiggle And Squirm Technique.  There is no reason to stay put for a toenail painting.  Run run far far away.

Thanks for the question!

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