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Responsible Pet Owner's Month

February is Responsible Pet Owners’ Month. I cannot believe that a person would purchase a pet just to neglect it – the thought of it just makes me sick inside. Please make sure if you have a pet you love and never neglect it! If you know of a pet being neglected or abused, you can contact the SPCA in Calgary at 403-205-4455 and they have a direct line just for neglected and abused animals.

Did you know there is an organization based in Strathmore called the Happy Cat Sanctuary, which is run by a small group of dedicated volunteers dedicated to rescuing and rehabilitating stray and abandoned cats? You can reach them at 403-804-8571. They are in need of donations and their wish list includes dry or canned food, litter of any kind, cat beds and clean blankets, towels, cat toys and treats and any donation of money is greatly appreciated – 100% goes to the cats and they issue tax receipts for donations over $10 – their email is Help them out if you can!

We have 2 dogs and “spoiled” is the word that comes to mind to describe them. As a matter of fact, we call our smallest dachshund, Kayla, the “little princess” – she has her own pillow on our bed. Recently, we have started clipping our dogs nails ourselves. If you have not tried to cut your dog’s nails before, let me tell you it truly is a traumatic experience for all involved. The dogs are small so we figured out if we wrap them in a blanket before the operation we can hold on to them a little better – one person holds and one-person clips. It seems to be getting a little better each time and we give them lots of snuggles and treats after, but the whole process is not for the frail of heart and not one little bit fun – at all. I was so nervous the first time because I have heard all sorts of nightmarish stories about people cutting the nails too short and hitting nerves and veins and seriously hurting them. I would feel guilty forever for hurting one of my precious friends, so I did a bit of research to help just incase the traumatic event ever occurred.

What to do If You Accidentally Clip a Pet's Nail Too Short

Clipping a dog's nail too short can cause pain and bleeding. The nail quick is also prone to infection if a dog's nail is broken or trimmed too short.

Clipping a dog's nails on a regular basis is an important part of home dog grooming. But many dog owners get nervous when it comes to clipping a dog's nails, and even the most careful and cautious pet owner may accidentally cut a dog's nail too short, causing pain, bleeding and even a nail infection that can spread up into the toe and paw. Before starting a dog's nail trimming, get some styptic powder - a powder that promotes blood clotting, thereby stopping the flow of blood from a dog's broken nail or a nail that's been trimmed too short. Keep the styptic powder nearby, just in case of a nail trimming mishap.

  1. If a dog's nail breaks or if the dog's nail is trimmed too close to the quick, bleeding will occur almost instantaneously. Dip the dog's bleeding nail into the styptic powder. In the absence of styptic powder, use cornstarch. If cornstarch is not available, try flour.

  2. Once the styptic powder (or styptic powder substitute, like cornstarch) is applied to the dog's broken nail, keep the dog quiet and do not allow him to walk. Distract the dog and do not let him lick the injured paw.

  3. If the bleeding from the dog's nail is heavy, apply additional styptic powder.

  4. After the bleeding slows (it usually takes a couple of minutes), get a clean paper towel and apply pressure to the dog's injured nail.

Be aware that nail injuries in dogs can be very painful and the dog may cry out, snap or bite. Use of a muzzle is strongly recommended to avoid injury to the dog's caretaker.

Now that I have shared this most important information about clipping your dogs nails, perhaps you may feel a little bit relieved to know they will not die if you clip their nails too short. Personally, I’m not feeling relieved at all, but I have lived through the clipping experience a few times now with no complications other than personal heart palpitations and the dogs seem just as happy as ever when it is over – that could change some day if there ever is a serious wound. So for those brave and adventurous nail clippers out there, I raise my glass and cheer, “I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it.” ~Pablo Picasso

Author: Kathryn Hartwell


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