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Toenail trim

Toenail Trim Essential to Pet Health

Hi, Chubbs here.

I want to apologize for taking so long between posts. Things have been kind of hectic lately around here. I know that I was promising some big things coming up and they are still in the works.

We have put together an informative report on how to improve your dog’s mobility that will be free with a subscription to our email updates.

Coming soon will be a monthly contest for subscribers with prizes such as pet store gift cards.

In a couple of days I will be posting about our research and use of a turmeric supplement that I have been taking to replace the Rimidyl that I had been taking for my arthritis and inflammation. I am getting the same results without the risk of liver damage that comes with the prescription medication. Oh yeah. It is also (much) cheaper as well.

One Thing Covered in our Free Report is Toenail Trimming.

For years Ron did not realize the importance of trimming my nails and I certainly wasn’t going to tell him.  Now that he realizes how this affects my overall health we are on a program of trims every couple of weeks until my nails are trimmed to a maintenance length.

We canines walk and run on our toes, like a horse.   When our nails become too long we are forced to adjust our posture to avoid the discomfort of the longer nails.This can lead to joint pain and back problems. Long term this can even lead to joint deterioration and arthritis.

In the wild, our ancestors would wear the claws off on rough terrain and being more constantly on the move.  Not so much with the typical pet.

Periodic trimming is essential to a dog’s overall health and, with some study and thought, can be a painless and even enjoyable experience.

Some dog parents prefer to take their pet to a groomer or a vet in order to avoid the hassle, but my advice is that your pet trusts you more than any other living being on earth, and so if there is any way that you can bring yourself to work with your pal on this it will be so much better for them.

Two Methods

We use a scissor style cutter that works well for us, but some prefer the guillotine style trimmer, with a stationary guide with a hole to insert the nail and a lade that draws across when you squeeze the handles.

Many prefer the powered rotary style trimmer that gently grinds the tip down.  I don’t like the noise and the vibration bothers me, but I suppose if I were younger I might be able to get used to it.

Having my nails trimmed has always been one of my least favorite things. I can’t even remember why, but research has led us to understand that the fear and loathing that many dogs experience upon having their nails trimmed is based on pain, and we dogs instinctively treat anything that causes pain as a threat.

And we have great memories!!

How Much Do You Trim?

A dogs nail is constructed differently than a humans but have similar parts. With a dogs claw there is the hard outer shell, similar to the human nail. and running down the center of this claw is the quick, containing blood and nerves. It is difficult with darker claws to see where the quick ends and this is where the difficulty arises.

There is no feeling in the hard claw part of the nail but if you trim too far and cut into the quick it is very painful for your pet. The quick can be compared to the tender flesh that attaches the human’s nail.

Cutting into the quick can feel like having a fingernail ripped off. Ron still does not allow his wife to clip his nails after she cut too deep. This happened early in their marriage and they have been married for more than thirty-four years now.

The survival instinct and avoidance of pain is not peculiar to the canine species.

Nail Trimming for the Fearful

What can you do once the damage has been done and your dog is afraid to have his nails trimmed? There is a solution but it takes patience and plenty of dog treats.

The first step is to just spend some time getting your pal used to the fact that you are going to be handling his feet.  The feet are not an area that gets a lot of attention unless there is a problem.

Touching and massaging your dogs feet can get him used to that sort of attention without threat.

It is human nature, I have noticed, to see something that needs done and blast through it as efficiently and quickly as you can.

You will have to dampen that urge to be successful trimming the nails of a skittish dog.

A Little at a Time

You don’t have to finish all of their nails at once. It will be less stressful to break it into smaller bites. Ron trims my back paws on one day and then the front paws a day or two later.

If your pet is not as patient and cooperative as I am you could break it down even further.  You might do one paw per night or even go as far as trimming one nail per night until they are used to the attention and convinced that it is painless..

Dog treats are another great tool for getting cooperation from us. Ron would suggest small treats, giving them often as you trim.  Serve up with heaping amounts of praise and attaboy’s, but I can’t for the life of me recommend small treats.  You be the judge, but my name is Chubbs for a very good reason.

Ask For Help

If your best friend is especially nervous you can enlist some assistance. Having someone to stroke your pet and reassure her during the process can also help greatly.

While trimming, be sure to remove only the tip beyond the quick. If the claws are dark and you can’t see the quick The rule is to take off about an eighth of an inch or less. The quick will recede quickly and you can trim again if needed in a couple week’s time for longer nails.

See the Improvement

If your best friend has been walking gingerly for a while you will notice the difference almost with the first trim.  I know that I did, and it was obvious to Ron as well.  He noticed that I was wanting to walk farther at the park and I was making it up and out the door more often.  It is just that much less painful for me.

You can do that for your best friend too.  Take the time, build their confidence, and then get trimming.  They will thank you with a renewed bounce to their step and an even greater trust that you can help them to feel better when they are hurting.

If you absolutely cannot trim their nails yourself, my advice is to check with your vet.  They may suggest sedation to avoid stressing your pet.  Less traumatic than being restrained.

Much Still In the Works

Again I apologize for the long wait between posts and pledge to do better.  Please sign up for email updates and be first to grab that free report and get news of upcoming contests.  Don’t forget to visit us on Facebook at Chubb’s Walk.

And be sure and visit our gardening page, Ron’s Nutritious Gardening and Carving Place.  You will find great information and advice for gardening in the Pacific NW along with news about everything related to your health and nutrition.

Remember, Keep Those Tails Wagging!!!

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dog food

Raw Dog Food Diet Re-Set

Hi, Chubbs here.

I may have mentioned it before, but dog food is a subject very dear to my heart.

Last post I told you of our plans to switch to a raw diet.  We researched what the best foods for a dog of my experience (I’m not old!) would be and found that even the best kibbles fell far short of providing me with the nutrition that I need.

We settled upon mixing our own food to bring the most benefit to my brothers and I.  The raw diet seemed to best ensure the nutrients, enzymes and all other good stuff that is packed into the food remains.

Another Direction

Life gets in the way, though, and circumstance has delayed our switch to homemade cuisine.

We looked into the alternatives.  It turns out that there are some companies out there that do have my best interests in mind and make raw or “gently cooked” pet foods that more closely mimic our natural diets.

Raw Dog Food

We looked at Darwin’s Natural Pet Products and were impressed with their ingredients, knowledge and products.  I think that in the future we may use them in a pinch, but I found no local outlet nearby and so convenience changed up our plans a bit.

Gently Cooked

We found a product in local stores, in a refrigerated cabinet, FreshPet dog food.  Rhonda, Ron’s better half picked up a loaf of their gently cooked dog food for me to try.

I loved it.  It is much more tasty than the old dry food; even though we mixed in canned food and added some water, kibble was still just kibble.

My little brothers and I  have been eating the FreshPet for about a week and a half now and I am already feeling the difference.  (Murphy won’t eat it, but then he is pretty high-strung anyway, if you ask me)

Quick Results

In fact I had the energy to climb onto the pillow-top bed without too much help yesterday.  I haven’t had the inclination to try that for about a month or better.  It just looked like too much effort.  It looks doable again.

We plan to mix our own food eventually, when things settle down around here.  For the time being I think we have found an affordable alternative to get us through until we create a list of recipes and begin to mix our own.

I do know that I am through with the grain fillers that are in so much of the commercially prepared foods.  That, combined with the lack of nutrients and enzymes is likely the reason for most of the ailments that are assailing me over the past couple of years.

Ready to Walk

The cumulative effect of that diet has me overweight (just a bit) and out of energy but after getting back onto my glucosamine/chondroitin treats for my joints and eating the new food for a week, I am feeling like going for walks again.

The food that I have been eating comes in refrigerated  six pound loaves.  You then cut off the measured portions to feed your pet.  Ron uses the same knife to cut it up into smaller pieces and adds a bit of warm water to remove the chill.  Even the mutants (notorious picky eaters) dig right in.

And their energy has gone from a high level to off the charts.

dog food

Mutant force

It is amazing what a good meal can do for your outlook on life.  Food has always been quite important to me and this feels like I am eating gourmet.

Natural Ingredients

They have a complete line of natural dog and cat foods in Beef, chicken, turkey, and salmon alone and in combination.  It is also has great stuff like spinach, blueberries, broccoli, and more.  You can learn more here.  This is Chubb’s recommended.
Ron and I will be sharing more as we see more improvement.  I will also share our search for a natural replacement for the prescription rimadyl that I am taking for the inflammation in my joints.  We have ordered some curcumin chews that should arrive any day now.  Curcumin is the active ingredient in turmeric.  I will let you know how it goes.

More To Come

Remember, always check with your vet if your pet is on prescription medication to make sure that there is no negative reaction.

Until next time, keep those tails wagging.

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