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---"I want to add my praise for WiggleLegs Frog toy.  My cat loves to play with WiggleLegs No other toy will do.  When I ask her to find WiggleLegs she goes right to it!  I just ordered 3 more as I'm afraid you will stop making them and then I don't know what we will do!"

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Each MetPet FlyToy is handmade by skilled artisans with great attention to detail.  They come in the form of bugs, amphibians, mammals and more in three very reasonable price points.

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Trimming your dog's nails

Check every 2 weeks or when you hear a clicking sound when your dog walks across the floor

MetPet.com Staff Writer

A dog's nails grow over time like a human's and usually require routine maintenance.  Some lucky dogs never need a trim.  Their nails are relatively soft and/or they wear them down through daily use usually by walking on hard surfaces. 

A dog's nails should barely touch the ground.  If the nails are too long, they can cause the feet to splay (spread out) creating discomfort and possible deformation of the foot.  Severely overgrown nails can actually curl under the foot and pierce the pads at the bottom of the feet.  Long nails are prone to breakage usually at the base.  Broken nails can be very painful.  They can become infected and require a trip to the vet.

Types of trimmers
There are two basic types of clippers: guillotine and scissors.  With the guillotine type you place each toenail into a rounded slot, squeeze the handles together and a blade comes up and cuts the tip of the nail off. 

The scissors type has short, squared or rounded blunt blades with a round opening specifically for cutting nails.  Dog nails are round and tough so human nail clippers will not work well if at all. 

The guillotine type of clipper is a bit more difficult to use but has more leverage for tough nails.  This type of clipper has to be kept very sharp otherwise it will simply crush the nail without cutting it.  For small dogs, the scissors type is probably easiest to handle.  The scissors type of dog nail clipper also makes it easy to see both sides of the nail while clipping. 

The nails
Dogs are digitigrade mammals.  Digitigrade mammals unlike plantigrade mammals such as bears and humans, walk on their digits or toes.  Most dogs have 5 toenails (or claws) on each foot.   The fifth nail or dewclaw does not touch the ground and is found well up on the leg.  It can be removed soon after birth since it does not appear to have a function and can become a nuisance.   Since the dewclaw does not touch the ground, it does not get worn and needs to be clipped.   In addition, it can snag on hosiery, bushes, etc. and be torn off resulting in a bloody and painful mess.

Some breed standards require dewclaws to remain intact so check with your breeder or the relevant breed organization (AKC, UKC, etc.) if you are planning to show your dog.   If your dog has all his nails, all of them need to be maintained.  Dewclaws can be surgically removed on an older dog but the operation requires general anesthesia and can be quite painful and expensive.  

clipnail1.gif (1879 bytes)The epidermis and the quick
The nail consists of an epidermis, or outer layer which is what we see.  It can range in color from an opaque black to essentially transparent.  Some dogs have nails of different colors.

The easiest nails to trim are those that are transparent.  The quick is easily visible as a pinkish triangle and can be easily avoided.  The most difficult nails to trim are those that are large, tough and black.

Within the epidermis is the dermis or quick which is shown here in pink.  The quick has blood vessels and nerve endings.  When cutting nails, it is essential to avoid cutting into the quick.   Even though it can make your dog uncomfortable, cutting just the tip of the epidermis does not cause any pain.  However, cutting into the quick will cause the nail to bleed and your dog will likely squeal in pain and run away.  If that happens, apply a styptic pencil or powder to the end of the nail to stop the blood.  Alternatively, apply gentle pressure for a few minutes with a clean tissue or towel until the bleeding stops.  If the bleeding is severe, you will need to bandage it and/or see your vet.  Styptic powders are widely available at pet stores.

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