Be Prepared: Make a First Aid Kit for Your Dog

April is Pet First Aid Awareness Month, Canine Companions would like to help pet parents prepare for the unexpected, and we have a few tips to share with you.

firstaidfordogs

Taking care of your dog in the case of an emergency can be challenging, frustrating, and all around overwhelming. Most families view their dog as an important member of the family, and seeing them in pain is heartbreaking.

Putting together a pet emergency kit can help tremendously in the event something should happen.

Supplies and Phone Numbers Every Dog Owner Should Have

There are certain supplies every dog owner should have in case of an emergency. First, before you put together all of the necessary materials, jot down all of the important phone numbers. Write down your veterinarian’s phone number, the phone number for the American Poison Control Center (888-426-4435), and don’t forget to write down any important medical history.

Most veterinarians will recommend the following in your dog’s first aid kit:

  • Gauze for wrapping wounds, cuts, etc.
  • Milk of magnesia
  • Active charcoal
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Adhesive tape
  • Nonstick bandages
  • An eye dropper
  • Digital thermometer
  • Muzzle
  • Blanket
  • Dog leash

You should also make sure the information on your dog’s collar is correct. And, microchipping your dog is a great idea should he run away or get lost somehow. In cases of emergency, like a natural disaster, your dog could easily become lost. A microchip will provide a pet professional with your information so your dog can quickly be returned home to you.

Don’t Take it Personal

A dog who is in pain isn’t likely to act like himself or herself. A dog in pain might nip, growl, and show other forms of aggression. It’s absolutely crucial not to take these behaviors personally.

Think about when you’re in pain. Are you irritable? Most people who are in pain are irritable, they don’t mean to hurt anyone’s feelings. They’re just not feeling well. It’s the same with our dogs.

Learn More About Pet First Aid

You can learn more first-aid procedures at the American Veterinary Medical Association’s website by clicking here. The AVMA has detailed instructions on how to take care of the following:

  • Poison and exposure to toxins
  • Seizures
  • Fractures
  • Bleeding
  • Burns
  • Choking
  • Heatstroke
  • Shock

Being fully prepared is critical to your dog’s well-being. And, if you’re reading this article, you’re in the right place.

7 Tips for Choosing the Best Dog Toys

Would you buy your 6 month old baby a nerf gun or an easy bake oven; of course not.

How do you decide what kind of toys to buy for your fur baby? Is it better to buy a bunch of cheaper toys so they will have more to choose from or a few that will last (hopefully) and be safe for them?

dogtoys

Tip #1: The Size of the Dog

More than the age of your dog, their size should be taken into consideration.  If you buy a toy for a small dog that fits their mouth, that same toy could get hung in a larger dog’s throat and choke them – to death.

Tip #2: Dog-Proofing the Home

Another thing to help keep your fur baby safe is the same as having a toddler in your home. You should make sure not to have strings, ribbons, pantyhose, or rubber bands within reach. These items WILL be eaten and they are not digestible. I am learning this even when buying the toys made of string which MY dog has ingested. She sometimes has to have help getting the strings to come out (not a pretty picture). Point in fact, don’t buy string balls, toys that have the string inside of them to make them stronger, etc.

Tip #3: Don’t Buy Rawhide for Your Dog

Some people believe that all the rawhide chewing toys are a good thing for any dog but there are things to watch for on this also. Asking your veterinarian would be a good idea to make sure which ones would be safe since some could come apart and cause your dog to choke. On top of that some rawhides have unsafe byproducts that come from the cruel international fur trade. It is better to be safe and a humane alternative to buy the hard rubber toys. These last longer and are safer. For my pittie, I buy Kong and they definitely last longer than normal toys. She also has a Nylabone that has lasted now for about six months (peanut flavor). There are different sizes in these also for different size dogs. For any toy that you buy be careful of when they are beginning to come apart so your dog doesn’t try to eat it and get choked.

Tip #4: Encourage Mental Stimulation

If you want to keep your puppy/grown dog busy for a while and distracted there are also distraction toys. These are toys that you can put treats in the middle of and they play to get these treats by moving the toy around.

Tip # 5: Comfort Toys

Soft stuffed toys are good for several purposes, but they aren’t appropriate for all dogs. Here are a few tips for choosing the right stuffed toy:

  • Some dogs like to carry around soft toys. If your dog sees their toy as a companion, pick one that’s small enough to carry.
  • Some dogs want to shake or “kill” their toys, so choose one that’s large enough to prevent accidental swallowing and sturdy enough to withstand the dog’s attacks.

Dirty laundry, such as an old t-shirt, pillowcase, towel or blanket, can be very comforting to a dog, especially if the item smells like you! Be forewarned that the item could be destroyed by industrious fluffing, carrying and nosing.

Tip #6: Making Toys Last

Rotate your dog’s toys weekly by making only a few toys available at a time. Keep a variety of types easily accessible. If your dog has a favorite, like a soft comfort toy,  you may want to leave it out all the time.

Provide toys that serve a variety of purposes — give your dog at least one toy to carry, one to shake, one to roll and one for comfort.

Tip #7: Let Your Pup Find It

“Found” toys are often much more attractive than toys that are obviously introduced. A game of finding toys or treats is a good rainy-day activity for your dog, using up energy without the need for a lot of space.

The Bottom Line on Toys

Many of your dog’s toys should be interactive. Interactive play is very important for your dog because they need active “people time,” which enhances the bond between you and your pet. Try balls, flying disks and other toys that help foster the bond between person and pet.

By focusing on a specific task —such as repeatedly returning a ball, Kong, or Frisbee® or playing “hide-and-seek” with treats or toys — your dog can expend pent-up mental and physical energy from boredom in a limited amount of time and space. For young, high-energy and untrained dogs, interactive play also offers an opportunity for socialization and helps them learn about appropriate and inappropriate behavior, such as jumping up or being mouthy.

 

 

Could CBD Help My Dog’s Seizures?

 

CBD Oil and Seizures: Does it Really Help?

It has been found that one to five percent of dogs have a seizure disorder. Watching your dog have a seizure is a frightening experience, especially when it’s the first time. You feel out of control. And, you’re not exactly sure how to help your dog. If this should happen, you should try to be calm and observe his surroundings to make sure he is away from anything that could harm him. You must also remember they could accidentally bite you if your hands get too close to their mouth during a seizure.

When we adopt our dogs, serious conditions like seizures aren’t usually our main concern. But, learning about everything that could affect our dogs is important.

If you’re unsure of what a seizure looks like, you’ll generally notice the following symptoms:

  • Collapsing
  • Stiffening of the muscles
  • Jerking
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Foaming at the mouth
  • Dazed/confused gaze

After a dog has a seizure, she might have difficulty walking. She may be disoriented. Or, stare off into space. You might also notice her bumping into things she usually knows are there.

CBD has become popular in the dog world. And, it comes as no surprise once you find out it’s not only been found to help with seizures, but with pain, sleep, anxiety, skin problems, cancer, and digestive issues, too.

There are 2 Types of Seizures

There are two types of seizures; symptomatic or idiopathic.

Symptomatic seizures are caused from an abnormality inside or outside of the brain (lead poisoning, encephalitis, head trauma).

Idiopathic epilepsy doesn’t have a cause, though. And, it’s thought to be genetic. Dog breeds who are commonly diagnosed with idiopathic epilepsy include English Springer Spaniels, Viszlas, Collies, Beagles, and Dachshunds.

What’s the Best Way to Treat Seizures?

The medication that is prescribed to dogs with seizures can carry heavy side effects including lethargy, long-term liver damage, and/or confusion.

One of the methods dog lovers are turning to is Cannabidiol, or CBD. CBD oil is a non-toxic, natural, and effective form of treatment (of course, make sure you talk to your vet).

When you’re researching CBD and seizures in dogs, there are hundreds of positive testimonials. But, it comes as no surprise that CBD is met with controversy.

CBD Dosage for Dogs

When you choose to use CBD oil for your dog with seizures, it’s important to start at the lowest dose possible. You can then increase the dosage if necessary.

The dosage of the CBD oil is also a discussion you could have with your veterinarian.

Side Effects of CBD Oil

When you’re looking for a new medication for your dog, natural or pharmaceutical, you want to know the side effects.

CBD has no known side effects when administered on its own. However, CBD can have interactions with certain prescribed medication by inhibiting a family of liver enzymes, called cytochrome P450. This enzyme metabolizes more than 60% marketed medications we consume.

Read more about CBD drug interactions here. Click here for a full list of Medications Metabolized by Cytochrome P450 3A4

CBD, Not THC

Dogs are extremely sensitive to THC. THC is the primary psychoactive component of a marijuana plant. Cannabidoil (CBD) is one of 113 compounds found in cannabis plants. The compounds, known as Cannabinoids, are natural and don’t contain any psychoactive properties or effects.

CBD with extremely low doses of THC may help dogs with seizures significantly, though. And, it has been found to be particularly helpful to dogs who are experiencing pain from cancer and/or seizures.

Dr. Stephanie McGrath is a veterinarian who specializes in neurology at Colorado State University. She is an advocate for CBD in veterinary medicine and is currently leading a clinical study on the treatment of epilepsy (which causes seizures).

 

Testimonials Say it All

Here at CannaCanine, we share testimonials so you’re able to hear real-world experiences about dogs who have used our products. Below, you will read a testimonial about Blaise, a dog who was experiencing seizures. His owner no longer wanted him to take phenobarbital… so she considered CBD oil. The CBD oil worked wonders on Blaise.

“Blaise started to experience seizures when he was just a year old. The seizures started to be mild and were few at the start. I thought nothing of it at first because they were so infrequent. When Blaise was around two and a half he started having partial seizures. These affected half of his body and he would suddenly tumble to the ground.  This was absolutely horrifying to watch as they came often without warning.

To help combat his seizures I was recommended to give him phenobarbital. Phenobarbital is a common medicine given to dogs to help treat seizures. Several people told me to hold off on the phenobarbital treatments due to the ill side effects on dogs. I decided to wait before starting treatment to see if the seizures would return. By Blaise’s third birthday he finally had a full seizure. My worst fears had finally manifested!

Our vet immediately put Blaise on a high dose of phenobarbital for every 12 hours. Blaise became so drugged up that he would lose his balance and fall over. The worst of it was when he fell down twelve flight of stairs! I hated seeing him like this. His perky and fun personality was gone, replaced by lethargy and sadness. Blaise became a shell of the fun dog he once was.

A a nurse I had read articles on the beneficial effects of CBD oil on seizures. I started to research natural and alternative medicine for canines to learn more about CBD oil. At first I was cautious but decided to try it on Blaise. It was the best decision I could make! I was glad I ordered the CBD treatment. Despite the process of weaning him off of phenobarbital, the first dose of CBD oil made him more alert. Little by little, I got him off the phenobarbital.

Today, Blaise is seizure free and no longer taking phenobarbital. All thanks to CBD oil!”

Chat with Your Vet

Before implementing CBD oil in your dog’s routine, you should talk to your vet first. If your dog is struggling with a medical condition, you want to make sure you have the dosage right. And, you also want to ensure your dog is a suitable candidate for CBD use.

If your veterinarian isn’t familiar with alternative medicine, you might consider contacting a veterinarian who specializes in it. You can find an alternative veterinarian by searching the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association’s website.

 Try it Today!

CannaCanine is 100% organic and non-GMO, two qualities you should search for in any CBD oil to ensure maximum quality. CBD that isn’t organic could contain pesticides and herbicides, which could result in more harm than good for your dog.

CannaCanine only contains two ingredients- organic MCT Coconut Oil and Organic CBD Hemp Oil. This is another factor you should consider when searching for CBD oil for your dog. Generally, the more ingredients there are in the oil, the lower the quality of the oil.

Why is coconut oil included? Coconut oil increases the absorbency of the CBD oil. And, it can work wonders for our dogs. Coconut oil can help with itchy skin, eczema, cuts, scrapes, wounds, and hot spots. And, on top of all of that, it’s a powerful anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and anti-viral.

I couldn’t wait to try CBD oil for my dogs after learning all the benefits. And, for a limited time, CannaCanine is offering a special promotion.

This year is the Year of the Dog, and to celebrate, CannaCanine is offering you 30% off of your store purchase. Start shopping now and use code YEAR before the deal ends!

 

*You can find this article on CannaCanine’s Blog here*

Written by Amber L. Drake, Contributor for CannaCanine

How CannaCanine’s CBD Oil Can Help Your Dog

As a Canine Behaviorist, I am continuously searching for new ways to help improve the lives of dogs and their families.

The most common ailments and illnesses I am approached with…? Anxiety. Separation Anxiety. Anxiety from cancer. Anxiety from new situations.

One of the products I have been learning about in the canine behavior and wellness field throughout the past several months is CBD oil. I wanted to learn as much as possible about the oil before recommending it to clients- and get some samples, talk to corporations, and professionals about the benefits.

When most clients hear the words ‘CBD oil,’ they are worried about their dog being “high” from the CBD oil… but dogs cannot get high from the CBD because it’s not psychoactive.

Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of 113 compounds uniquely found in cannabis plants such as hemp. These compounds, called Cannabinoids,  are naturally found in the cannabis plant. Unlike THC, found in marijuana, CBD doesn’t contain any psychoactive properties or effects. The hemp plant naturally contains a higher percentage of CBD compared to marijuana plants.

So, How Does it Work?

CBD interacts with a system known as the ESC (Endocannabinoid System)… a system present in all mammals (yes, even us). The ESC regulates many different processes in the body; sleep, mood, anxiety, stress. And, like many other systems in a mammal’s body, there are receptors to regulate these.

CBD binds to the receptors in the ESC to help balance the systems in your dog’s body.

It’s like a puzzle piece. One puzzle piece fits into another to help your dog feel better.

CBD Helps Your Dog in Many Ways

CannaCanine’s CBD Oil is not only used to reduce your dog’s anxiety, but can also be used for the following conditions:

When a dog has the above conditions, generally some type of pharmaceutical drug is recommended. Pharmaceutical drugs are often not natural and your dog runs the risk of side effects (short-term and long-term).

CBD oil offers your dog (and you) a natural alternative.

CBD for Dogs with Cancer

CBD has been studied extensively to help dogs with cancer. CBD has been found to have an anti-tumor effect and stop cancer cells from growing. CBD blocks the energy given to the cancer cells and increases the effectiveness of other cancer treatments.

Dogs with cancer are commonly known to have trouble eating, too. As a result, your dog starts to lose weight and becomes lethargic. CBD oil helps increase your dog’s appetite and, in turn, assists in maintaining their current weight or getting him back to a normal, healthy weight.

We’ll talk about dog cancer diet ideas in another article. But, if you can get your dog’s appetite stimulated when they have cancer, that’s huge. That alone could provide your dog with higher life quality.

Think about when you’re not feeling well, but your stomach is rumbling because you’re so hungry. You’re uncomfortable. You’re probably miserable. Would you try a natural product to help stimulate your appetite and make you feel better?

You speak for your dog. And, she depends on you to make sure all of her necessities are taken care of.

Which Brand Do You Recommend?

As a professional in this industry, I am continuously sent samples of products for my clients. By far, the best CBD product I have been sent is from CannaCanine.

CannaCanine

CannaCanine is 100% organic and non-GMO. There’s 17 mg of  CBD per dropper.

CBD oil that isn’t organic could contain pesticides and herbicides, which could result in more harm than good for your dog.

On top of being the best CBD product quality-wise, for every bottle that’s purchased at CannaCanine, a free bottle is sent to Canine Haven Dog Rescue. If you make a purchase, and you would like a free bottle to go to a rescue of your choice, you can e-mail the organization to have the free bottle sent.

And, since it’s the Year of the Dog, CannaCanine has a special discount of 30% on all of their products.

What Ingredients Are in CannaCanine’s CBD Oil?

Unlike many CBD oils you’ll find, CannaCanine’s CBD Oil has only 2 ingredients; organic MCT Coconut Oil and organic CBD Hemp oil.

What are the benefits of the coconut oil? Coconut oil can work wonders for our dogs. Coconut oil can help with itchy skin and eczema in our dogs. And, if you apply coconut oil topically, it can assist in the healing of cuts, wounds, and hot spots. And, it’s a powerful anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and anti-viral.

Wait… there’s more. Coconut oil also helps with digestive problems including inflammatory bowel syndrome.

You can see why their CBD oil is so powerful. And, why CannaCanine’s CBD oil is my oil of choice to recommend to my clients.

Frequently Asked Questions About CBD for Dogs

I’ve encountered many questions about CBD oil for dogs. And, I would like to address a few of them for you here. You might find some of the common questions have already been answered above. But, for those who don’t have time to read the article in full until later on, you can get a glimpse (but, make sure to come back and read the remainder of the article, it could really help your dog).

What is CBD exactly?

CBD is short for Cannabidiol. It’s the main compound found in cannabis plants. CBD doesn’t alter mental function, and it doesn’t get your dog high (or you, if you are interested in trying CBD for your anxiety).

Does it have to be used daily to work?

No, it can be used on an as-needed basis. And, is actually most frequently used as-needed rather than daily.

Is CBD legal in the United States?

Yes, CBD is legal in the United States. Any dog owner has the ability to purchase and carry CBD oil.

Do I Need a Prescription for CBD oil for my dog?

No, you don’t need a prescription for CBD oil.

 

The Bottom Line on CBD Oil for Dogs

CBD oil is generally a safe, healthy alternative to traditional pharmaceutical drugs. Instead of giving your dog Xanax, in my professional opinion, it’s at least worth a try to see if this natural oil could help your dog with his anxiety.

If your dog has a skin condition, why not try a natural oil before applying a pharmaceutical ointment?

More and more people are leaning toward natural alternatives to keep not only their dogs healthy and happy, but themselves as well.

If you’re still on the edge about CBD oil for your dog, take a look at a few of CannaCanine’s testimonials here.

You can also take a look at some of the videos people have submitted about how CBD oil has helped their dogs below:

Veterinarians and Dog Owners Recommend CBD:

CBD Gets Rid of Dog’s Seizure:

CBD Relieves Dog’s Anxiety:

CBD Oil Relieves Dog’s Pain:

Disclaimer: The following are the opinions of a Professional Canine Behaviorist. Prior to the implementation of any product, you should first consult your veterinarian to ensure safety. 

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5 Steps for Successful Leash Walking

Dogs aren’t natural leash walkers. And, it takes patience to train a dog to walk on a leash… so don’t feel discouraged if your dog isn’t quite comfortable yet. It can be frustrating to feel a constant tug at the leash… but remember if they’ve never walked on a leash before- it’s a completely new experience.

Before you begin, make sure you have the right equipment to walk your dog. Yes, the right collar/harness and leash make a huge difference. Don’t choose a leash that’s too long, or too short. Harnesses* are generally recommended for beginners, too. A harness is less likely to harm your dog when they tug than a collar (especially for small dogs- if you tug on a small dog or puppy’s collar, you put the dog at risk for a collapsed trachea).

…featured on Moving Babies! Featured on MovingBabies

Dogs are also generally more at ease with a harness* than with a collar- which helps during training.

Training Steps for Leash Walking

Step 1: Help Your Dog Acclimate

Your dog should be given some time to get used to the collar or harness before you strap a leash to her. Try putting the collar or harness on, then give praise in the form of a low-calorie, healthy treat or a “Great job!” Give your dog a few days to get used to having the collar or harness on his or her body.

After a few days pass, you can clip the leash on your dog. Try just walking inside the house at first- where he or she feels comfortable. There are fewer distractions inside- and if your dog slips off the collar/harness or you lose the leash- you’ll be certain she’s safe.

You can even let him drag the leash around the house- giving him plenty of praise along the way. So, he associates the leash with happiness and rewards.

 Step 2: Teach Off-Leash Commands

Ensuring your dog has the basic obedience skills mastered will help you with leash training. Your dog should understand, “sit” and “come,” at minimum so you can make sure she’s safe outside. Teacher her these commands also strengthens the bond you share with your dog- which results in more trust.

When a dog trusts you, you are more likely to have success on the leash. She will understand you aren’t doing anything to put her in harm’s way.

Step 3: Give Her Commands While on the Leash

Now that your dog is comfortable wearing the collar/harness, and you have mastered some basic obedience commands, you can start working on her general obedience while on the leash (again, indoors).

Step 4: Walking Outside

When you first walk outside, remember- to a dog- there are so many things to see, smell, hear. You might notice your puppy or dog is easily distracted. That’s okay. Try to keep the walks short. And, keep a handful of low-calorie snacks in your pocket to re-direct her attention if she gets distracted.

Step 5: Prevent Pulling

You’re ready to go outside, and she’s no longer afraid of the leash, but she’s still tugging on the leash… now what? When she begins to tug, turn the opposite direction of the way you’re walking. For example, if you’re walking west through your yard, immediately turn east (being careful not to tug). You might see her look at you like “what are you doing?” But soon, she will understand you are the leader.

I Need More Help!

If you need more help regarding leash walking, feel free to join the Dog Behavior Group on Facebook where readers of the Dog Behavior Blog share ideas and ask questions.

Dog Talk: The Full Edition

Dog Talk: The Full Edition is now available on Amazon. Discover the world from your dog’s perspective. Learn why your dog is behaving the way she is. And, solutions to nearly every dog behavior problem.  Learn what makes your dog ‘tick,’ how to improve your bond, and methods of training.

The Chapter Outline of Dog Talk: The Full Edition

The chapter outline is as follows:

  • Chapter 1: Introduction to the Dog
  • Chapter 2: Canine Intelligence
  • Chapter 3: The Bond We Share
  • Chapter 4: Before You Adopt
  • Chapter 5: Bringing Your Dog Home
  • Chapter 6: Basic Training
  • Chapter 7: Training Methods
  • Chapter 8: Aggression in Dogs
  • Chapter 9: Separation Anxiety
  • Chapter 10: Barking Excessively
  • Chapter 11: Inappropriate Chewing
  • Chapter 12: Preventing Destructive Digging
  • Chapter 13: General Behavioral Problems
  • Chapter 14: Punishment is NOT the Answer
  • Chapter 15: Your Dog’s Health
  • Chapter 16: Canine Nutrition
  • Chapter 17: Dinner and Treat Recipes
  • Chapter 18: Basic Grooming

Amber L. Drake’s Testimonials

  • “Amber is amazing! I was dog sitting when I discovered Mama Husky was pregnant. We knew it couldn’t be a big litter because she was barely showing but none the less… I have never been around a dog giving birth and I had NO IDEA what to do. Luckily I went to school with Amber and we remained friends. I messaged her immediately! She talked me through everything from how the mom was acting to how to handle her after the birth. Mom and baby did wonderfully and made it just fine. If she had not have been there, I don’t know what I would’ve done.” – Noelle W., Lexington, SC
  • “Where to begin? My dog had so many problems. She went to the bathroom indoors, chewed the walls, pillows and anything else she could find. She stole our clothes out of the hamper and hid them all over the house. Attacked our lab and attacked the cats. Tipped the garbage to eat the garbage. Barked anytime she sees anything outside. Jumps on people. Jumped on my kids. With Amber’s help we were able to see some progress. She worked with us every step of the way and was always there when we needed help.” – Paula B., Sherman, NY
  • “Amber’s help with modifying my dog’s behavior has been invaluable. My lab had too many behavior problems to list and Amber helped me every step of the way.” -Sherry S., San Antonio, TX
  • “Amber is amazing at what she does. She spends so much time learning more information to tell us and her heart is really in it.” -Pat B.
  • “Amber did a great job with our dog, Lily. She has never been left in the care of anyone else before so we were nervous to say the least. Lily’s experience with Amber was great. She came home happy. I wouldn’t hesitate to use Amber’s services again!” -Shannon H.
  • “Amber is everything you look for in a canine behaviorist. She’s reliable, compassionate, calm, willing and able to provide expert help, flexible, friendly, and above all reassuring that anything that’s going on with your pup can be worked on.” -Ana P., Jamestown, NY
  • “We brought our dog to Amber’s home after some reactive episodes in bigger daycare programs; his adjustment to Amber and her family was stress-free and very quick. I would recommend Amber to anyone.” -Ana P., Jamestown, NY “Amber did a great job with my dog while we were home for the holidays. Would definitely recommend her services!” -Daniel S. “Amber is professional and super attentive to the needs of our pet. We will be using Amber again.” -Debra W. “We are so thankful for Amber.” -Darlene B., Jamestown, NY “Amber was wonderful to work with. She was super flexible, answered all my questions, and took great care of Luna. I would recommend Amber to anyone!” -Marissa M., Bemus Point, NY
  • “Amber was great with my pup. I will definitely be using her services again.” -Jane C.

Are You Afraid to Cut Your Dog’s Nails?

Most dog lovers are deathly afraid of cutting their dog’s nails. We often worry about cutting too far, and hurting our dog.

Sometimes, our dogs are so active we don’t even have to worry about cutting their nails. But, in the winter time, even active dogs might need their nails trimmed.

Do I Have to Cut My Dog’s Nails?

Yes, unfortunately. You do.

Eventually, your dog’s nails will become so long it pains him to walk.

When a dog with long nails walks, her nails push against the hard surface forcing pressure on her nail bed.

This could force the toes to be pushed side-to-side. And, result in the paws being sore.

Ok, Let’s Get To It: The Nail Cutting Begins

The guillotine-type nail trimmers are often painful to our dogs, and they crush our dog’s toes. Nail scissors for dogs usually aren’t painful, and they’re easier to use. Either way, if you use the guillotine-type or the scissors, make sure you keep them sharp.

If you really want an easy way to trim your dog’s nails, you might want to try the nail grinder by FURminator.

How to Use the Grinder

Most dog lovers are new to the dog nail grinder. If you want step-by-step directions on how to use the nail grinder, this video is a must-watch.

What If I Hit the Quick?

Of course, this is our biggest worry. We don’t want to hit the quick. If you do hit the quick, you can use corn starch or Qwik Stop to stop the bleeding.

What If My Dog is Afraid of Me Cutting His Nails?

To get your dog comfortable with nail cutting, you should first get her used to you handling her paws.

When you’re petting her, pet her legs. If she’s okay with you petting her legs, move to her paws. Gently petting them. Eventually, she should let you touch her paws comfortably.

You might also need to get him used to the nail trimmer. Slowly introduce the method you chose (guillotine, scissors or grinder) by holding his paw and clipping one nail.

If your dog is okay with you clipping one nail, continue to do the others. If not, give her a treat for being still while you cut one nail, and then give her a break. Try again in an hour or two.

This is a process, and it’s not natural for them. In the wild, their nails would naturally be filed with their ‘wild activities.’ Be sure to be patient. And, remember to praise your dog for doing a good job.

General Tips for Nail Trimming

  • Make sure to cut the nails in a well-lit area
  • Don’t overtrim the nail
  • Don’t squeeze his toes– ouch!
  • Associate your dog’s good behavior with nail trimming… with treats, love and praise.
  • Check your dog’s nails every 2-3 weeks

Get Started Trimming Your Dog’s Nails

Trimming nails can be worrisome for us. But, our dogs can get used to nail trimming. And, with time and patience, nail trimming can become just another routine task.

Why Do Dogs Bite Ankles?

There is a commonality among herding dog breeds– they bite ankles! Why?!

Dog breeds like the Corgi, the Great Pyrenees, the German Shepherd, and others, and even mixes are known to bite ankles when playing.

Well, they’re trying to herd you. Think about their instincts for a moment. Way back when, the sheep or other livestock would be running and they would be nipping their ‘ankles’ lightly to get them to stay in line, and get to where they want them to be.

Now, take today’s situation. Let’s say you are running with your dog, playing… her natural instinct may be to bite at your ankles. They’re copying the behavior they were originally bred to do.

Altering the Behavior

Even though this behavior is based on instinct, of course that doesn’t mean we’re okay with our dogs nipping at our ankles. So, we need to re-direct our dogs in an effort to remove this behavior from their ‘behavior menu.’

If you’re noticing this behavior, your dog needs a job mimicking this behavior… or even just a little bit of extra exercise. But, make sure to give them a purpose. They need to feel like they’re being productive.

Don’t pay attention to this behavior. If you give your dog extra attention when he bites your ankles, he will either see it as positive (like you wanting to continue playing), or as punishment which can be damaging to the bond you share with your dog. And… if you think about it… he may not understand why you’re mad (remember, instinctual behavior).

Ideas to Rid of Ankle Biting

The following are several ideas you can try out to remove this behavior from your dog’s mind (or just make him content):

  • Toy balls: Herding dogs often love toy balls. Throw them in the yard and let them run, and chase.
  • Keep a toy ball available during play. When you’re playing, and she nips at your ankle, throw the ball to redirect her attention.
  • Puzzle toys: Puzzle toys are recommended for not only this behavioral issue but many others well. Puzzle toys stimulate the mind and decrease problem behaviors.

Thundershirt Eases Anxiety

The Thundershirt applies a gentle, but constant, pressure to your dog’s body to ease her anxiety throughout different situations. Of course, the Thundershirt often helps dogs get through thunderstorms (which is why it’s called the thundershirt)… but it can also help decrease separation anxiety… or anxiety in general.

The Thundershirt is often recommended before you begin trying any kind of medication. After all, if the Thundershirt helps, why would we want to medicate our dogs?

To read more about the Thundershirt, click here.