Here's how to make clipping your dog both fun and easy!
Very few people see clipping their dogs as an art form. Instead, they just tackle certain areas, such as scraggly fur on the feet, to keep their dogs from tracking in mud. In an effort to get rid of undesirable hair, however, many owners forget that clipping their dogs can actually cause damage.
Remember to pay attention to the breed of your dog when clipping his or her fir. Long haired breeds must be clipped correctly to prevent dirt from accumulating close to the skin and causing problems. Fleas, ticks, and many other parasites may also breed more easily in a poorly or improperly clipped coat.
You also need to clip your dog's toenails correctly to keep them from breaking accidentally and making walking painful. Longer nails will tend to twist sideways, and in serious cases even dig into the foot and cause injury. Dogs with overly long claws will often catch them on hard surfaces, splitting or breaking them.
It's easy to accidentally hurt your dog while clipping his or her nails, since the quick in the nail's center bleeds when cut. This is where the nerves and the blood vessels are located, and it keeps the nail alive and growing. However, if you cut the nail too short or accidentally splinter it, the exposed quick will be painful.
To cut your dog's hair and nails, always use the sharpest clippers you can, and choose the right tools. Human nail clippers are wrong for dogs' nails - use ones purchased at your local pet supply store instead. There are a number of great new nail clippers out there that are made to keep pain and damage to a minimum.
If you live in an area where it gets cold in winter, don't clip your dog's coat during the chilly part of the year. The coat helps protect your dog, and clipping it can increase stress on the animal. Remember that dogs get frostbite the same way you do.
Never cut your pet's hair too short in the summer, either. Otherwise, you could expose her skin to the harmful rays of the sun. Dogs' fur keeps them cooler in the summer as well as warm in the winter. A slight cut will be fine, but make sure you leave enough fur to protect your dog.
It's also important to avoid clipping unhealthy dogs. This can cause them stress, so clip sick pets only when absolutely necessary. Walking your dog on concrete daily can help keep him or her healthy. This will help you wear down the nail on a gradual basis and will keep them even. That way, you and your dog don't have to go through the clipping process.
Of course, to get the best results, you'll want to find a professional groomer who knows the correct way to clip particular breeds.