Get Answers To Important Questions About Dog Nail Trimming

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Get Answers To Important Questions About Dog Nail Trimming

By: Teresa James

Trimming your dog's nails is not usually considered sharing " quality time " with your beloved pet. But when done often enough, with the proper technique, and rewards for your dog's good behavior, it should be one of those regular grooming events that your dog will tolerate if not look forward to.

If not done often enough, with proper technique, and reward- training, it can be frightening and even painful for your dog. In this article are answers to many common dog nail clipping questions as well as tips on proper equipment and technique that will give you the advantage when you approach this simple home dog-grooming necessity.

Is dog nail trimming painful to my dog?

Dog nail trimming is not painful if you use a sharp nail trimmer and don't clip the nails too short. A dull trimmer can put a lot of pressure on your dog's toenail before it actually cuts through the nail. If this happens your dog may feel an uncomfortable pinching sensation. This is because the vein in the toenail is being squeezed. To avoid this always make sure that you're using a sharp pet nail trimmer.

What tools do I need to trim my dog's nails?

You will want to have a sharp clipper designed for dog nail trimming. Dogs come in all sizes so choose a nail trimmer that's right for the size of your pet's nails. The most common types of nail trimmers are the guillotine, pliers and scissor styles.

Guillotine style dog nail trimmers require that the dog's nail be inserted through a hole in the top of the trimmer. As the handles are squeezed together the blade comes down and cuts through the nail. Many people find guillotine style clippers more difficult to use on large breed dogs. Thicker nails can be more difficult to insert into the guide hole in the clipper. These dog nail trimmers have a cutting blade that must be changed frequently to maintain a nice clean cut.

Pliers style dog nail trimmers work similar to pruning shears. The two notched blades surround and cut through the nail as the handles are squeezed together. Some people like this style because they can see exactly where the blade will cut through the nail. If you have a large dog this type of trimmer works great on thick nails.

Just make sure to select a heavy-duty clipper designed to cut through the thick toenails of your large breed dog. Pliers style trimmers are available for small, medium and large dogs. These dog nail trimmers don't have blades that need to be replaced but they do need to be sharpened when they become dull.

Scissor style dog nail trimmers work just like a pair of scissors. The two scissor-like notched blades surround and cut through the nail as the handles are closed. These clippers are for light duty jobs only. These are not actually dog nail trimmers. They are best used for cats, birds and other small animals. Some people do use them on small dogs. They're usually labeled as cat/bird claw clippers.

The style you choose for your dog nail trimming needs is a matter of personal preference. If the clipper is the correct size it will get the job done. Just remember to keep your nail trimmer sharp so that it makes a fast clean cut. A dull clipper can pinch the nail, which will result in discomfort to your dog.

In addition to good quality nail trimmers, it is also recommended to have a pet nail file. You'll find that it is much easier to file down any rough edges with a nail file that has been designed for the shape of your dog's nails.

Next on the list is styptic powder. It's always a good idea to have it on hand for those occasional mishaps. A nail clipped just a little too short tends to bleed a lot. Applying some styptic powder will help stop the bleeding.

Finally, keep plenty of dog treats on hand to reward good behavior. You can also use dog treats to distract your pet during dog nail trimming. Treats work great to draw a dog's attention away from a bleeding nail.

Why do my dog's nails need to be trimmed regularly?

When a dog's nails become too long they interfere with the dog's gait and as the nails continue to grow, walking will become awkward and painful. Untrimmed nails can also split resulting in a great deal of pain, bleeding, and a trip to the veterinarian's office. In severe cases a dog's nails can curl under and grow into the pad of the dog's paw causing a very serious and painful infection. These types of ingrown nail problems are most common on the dewclaws.

The dewclaws are the nails located on the inside of the paw. Many breeders have the dewclaws removed shortly after puppies are born, so not all dogs will have dewclaws. If your dog has them remember to include them in your dog nail trimming routine. These nails don't touch the ground, so they don't wear down as fast as the others as your dog walks on rough surfaces. Trimming your dog's nails regularly will easily prevent these problems.

How do I know when my dog's nails need to be trimmed?

When your dog's nails are beginning to curve is one indication that your dog's nails need a trim. And if you hear a clicking or tapping sound as your dog walks across a bare floor it's definitely time for a nail trimming. But it is best not to wait that long - once or twice a month is usually a good rule of thumb for dog nail trimming.

If you let your dog's nails grow too long then it could take some time to get them back to a healthy length again. Regularly trimming the tips of your dog's nails is the best approach. Some dogs walk and run on rough surfaces and are able to wear down their nails, but most dogs will need some help. You will get to know how fast your dog's nails grow if you routinely inspect your pet's nails.

Even if you don't actually trim them each time, regular inspection will help assure that your dog's feet stay healthy. So, make nail inspection and trimming an important part of your dog's routine grooming.

When should I start trimming my dog's nails?

If you're starting with a puppy the answer is as soon as you bring your new puppy home. If you have an adult or an older dog the answer is pretty much the same - right now. If you start early it probably will not take too long for your puppy to adjust to a nail trimming routine. Make a habit of handling your puppy's feet everyday. Nail trimming will be much easier if your puppy doesn't mind having his feet handled.

Adult dogs, just like people, are usually set in their ways. So if your adult dog initially resists getting his nails trimmed you will most likely need to spend a lot more time getting him used to the procedure. As with a puppy, it's a good idea to start getting your dog used to having his feet handled before you attempt to clip your dog's nails. Be very patient and don't rush into the procedure.

Bring out the clipping tools ahead of time and let your dog become familiar with them. It is important that you remain calm. If you're nervous, your dog will sense it and associate fear or uncertainty with dog nail trimming. If your dog is nervous use gentle reassurance, but don't coddle your dog. Let your dog know that you expect him to behave, but don't push it too far.

If your dog can only manage to tolerate getting one toenail trimmed that's all right. Just be persistent and try for another nail at another time. And always remember to reward good behavior with your dog's favorite treat.

How can I cut my dog's nails when he doesn't like his feet touched?

Have patience and start working on getting your dog used to having his feet handled. This must be done gradually, so don't rush it. Try gently touching one foot while your dog is asleep. If your dog wakes up be very casual about it. Just remove your hand and act as if you didn't even notice that you were touching his paw. Anytime your dog resists don't react, just ignore the fact that you were even holding his paw and try again another time. Repeat this process and over time your dog will adjust to having his feet handled and you should even be able to start touching individual toes without an adverse reaction.

Whenever your dog allows you to touch his feet always remember to praise your dog and give him a dog treat. Your dog will begin to associate having his feet handled with a pleasant experience. Bring out the nail clippers when your dog is very comfortable with you handling his feet and you are confident that you have gained your dog's trust.

Will my dog ever adjust to getting her nails trimmed?

Many dogs may never like to get their nails trimmed, but if done regularly over time, dogs can learn to sit through this routine grooming procedure. Other dogs may never sit still. If you can't get your dog to sit still you may need to recruit the help of another person to hold your dog while you trim her nails. While some dogs can be distracted by dog treats alone, others may also have to be held. You may want to try clipping your dog's nails after a full day of exercise when your dog is looking to take a long nap. Tired dogs tend to be less resistant.

If you know that your dog tends to bite when stressed out, for safety sake you should muzzle your pet before you begin a dog nail trimming procedure. If the task of trimming your dog's nails proves to be too much, find a professional dog groomer or veterinarian for this part of your dog's routine grooming. If you can't get your dog to cooperate it's better that your dog doesn't associate you with this negative experience. If you know that your dog tends to react in an aggressive manner, be sure to let your groomer know what to expect so that the necessary safety precautions can be taken before they begin a dog nail trimming session.

What is the quick and what do I need to know about it?

The quick is the living part of a dog's nail and has blood vessels running throughout. Cutting into the quick during dog nail trimming is painful for your dog and will result in bleeding. If your dog has light colored nails your job will be easier since you will be able to see the quick. It will be impossible to see the quick if your dog's nails are black or dark in color. If your dog has at least one light colored nail you can usually use that nail as a guide for the others. If dog nail trimming is completely new to you, ask your veterinarian or groomer to show you how to trim your dog's nails or consult a good dog care book.

Another important fact to note is that the quick grows with the nail. As a dog's nails grow longer the quick will also lengthen. So if your dog's nails are over grown you will not be able to clip the nails to the desired length without cutting into the quick. You will need to trim the tips of your dog's nails often and over time the quick will shorten. To avoid cutting into the quick you'll want to start by trimming small pieces of the nail until you get the hang of it.

Help, I've cut my dog's nail too short and now my dog is bleeding! What do I do now?

Don't panic. Your dog is in a little pain but the prognosis is good - your dog will live! You've cut into the quick, the blood-filled tissue in your dog's nail. To stop the bleeding take a pinch of styptic powder and press it against the bleeding toenail. Now give your dog lots of treats. The nail should stop bleeding in about 5-10 minutes.

Try not to baby your dog too much. You don't want to bring a lot of unnecessary attention to the injured nail. You'll be surprised at how easily your dog will be distracted by the dog treats if you're not making a big deal out of the bleeding toenail. So just stay calm and upbeat and you may be able to finish your dog nail-trimming task.

If your dog is calm and enjoying the treats it's best to continue trimming. If you didn't finish with the paw that you were working on you may want to continue on another paw and come back to that one after you have finished the rest. If your dog is too excited you may need to try again at a later time. Don't be discouraged, even professional dog groomers occasionally cut into the quick.

If my dog's nails are over grown how can dog nail trimming get them back to a healthy length?

You will need to trim your dog's nails regularly. Start by clipping very small pieces of the nail tip until you can see a dark, round, kind of moist looking disk appear in the middle of the nail. This means you're approaching the quick and the nail will bleed if you cut it any shorter.

Try trimming this far every week or two and the quick will gradually recede. Over time the length of the nail can be shortened. Cutting into the quick to shorten a dog's over grown nails could lead to an infection. If your dog's nails are extremely over grown and this condition is causing health issues consult your veterinarian immediately.

Trimming your dog's nails is one of the regular home dog grooming tasks that helps to keep your dog healthy and active. As with most dog grooming tasks, rewarding your dog for positive behavior is an important part in your dog's acceptance of the activity. It's always best when your dog can associate the attention you lavish on him or her with a positive, happy memory. Learning the tricks to proper dog nail trimming, training your dog with positive feedback, and showing patience and love will make the time you spend together a reward in itself.

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Dog grooming doesn't have to cost a lot. Learn the basics of home dog grooming and keep your dog happy, healthy & clean.

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Teresa James is the Webmaster of a site dedicated to providing dog care advice on a broad range of dog-related topics. Includes articles, frequently asked questions, recommendations, and tips for dog owners. Free subscription


Kibble is King of all Crap 16.07.2009. 07:41

What is your favorite way to dress up your dog? (Jewellery, fancy collars, bandanas,hats? If you answer would be "i don't dress up my dog, it's dumb" then just run along to another question because your answers will not be answers to this question and you will get thumbs down.

So anyway, my favorite thing is a really cute top. What about yoU? Do you like shoes, jewellery, fancy collars, bandanas? or hats?
Cool. Thanks Catherine

Kibble is King of all Crap

Admin 16.07.2009. 07:41

"I don't dress up my dog; it's dumb."

That was worth a thumbs down! LOL!

It is important to me that my dog looks good. This means clean coat and ears, nicely trimmed nails, clean teeth. My dog is most beautiful naked! I do like well-made, expensive leather leashes and nice collars.

In the winter, if it is cold and we will be outside for a while, I may put a coat on my dog because she is a Doberman and she gets very cold. I choose the one that fits her best, allows her to move easily and keeps her warmest, not the one that is cutest.

I gave up dolls a long, long time ago.


Helen 24.05.2007. 16:10

What am I to expect, when I go to the lady having kittens? Hmm. I'm getting a kitten coming up, dunno what i'm going to expect when i go and get the little girl. Any experiences you have?


Admin 24.05.2007. 16:10

The woman may or may not ask you questions to determine how mature & repsonsible you may be. I work w/animal rescue & we require applications to be filled out. We want to adopt to those who are serious & plan to keep & care for the animal for its entire life. Too many people get them because they are cute & little, then have problems because they didn;t care for them properly or tire of them & toss them away like trash. So if you are asked questions, don't feel put on the spot, just answer honestly. As to what to expect with a kitten, get books or look up lots of info online. Kittens need to be at minimum 6 weeks old before you adopt & should really be w/mom cat longer if possible. Kitten should be kept inside only in a safe, warm environment. Kittens need a dry kitten chow & just a little canned food, no milk - it gives them diarrhea. Train kitten to use a litter box - it needs low sides at first as they are tiny. Take them there after they eat & scratch their paws in it & set there rears in it - they will learn soon, but may make a few mistakes at first. Keep dry food & fresh water available always. Monitor any children, kittens aren't toys, they are fragile. Start vaccines as soon as vet recommends, kittens have little immunity & its a time in their lives when they are most likely to die of a disease, so its very important to get those vaccines & get them dewormed along w/vaccines. The biggest problems I've ever had w/kittens are if they have diarrhea, getting it cleared up - so many come with worms or other parasites & sometimes it takes awhile to straighten them out, so don't get discouraged if that happens, but do get them treatment as it won't "just go away" & ongoing diarrhea can kill them. Indoor pets are much safer, so please keep inside always - if you take it out at all, it will drive you crazy to go out all the time. Outside kittys can get hit by cars, attacked by dogs & other animals, are more prone to diseases & injuries, & can be stolen, or killed by cat haters. Get it accustomed to nail trims & baths at a young age (use kitty shampoo only, dog shampoo can kill) so these aren't frightening later. Also, at about age 5 month, PLEASE get it spayed or neutered, before it goes into heat & gets pregnant. Unneutered male cats will mark their territory by spraying urine. head off these problems before they occur. Teach kitten at an early age where it is appropriate to scratch. If you are a responsible pet owner, having a cat will be a rewarding experience.


Ezza 01.04.2013. 12:31

My family is getting a dog soonish, I have some questions? Would a Whippet and a Miniature Bull Terrier get along? Those are the breeds my family plan on getting, we also plan that they are both female, and we will get them desexed and buy and raise them from puppies.
In the near future (January - February next year) my family and I plan on getting these dogs. I was just wondering, would these two breeds get along?
And here are some extra questions to answer, if you can;
Which dog should we get first, and how long should we wait until getting the next dog (we do not plan on getting them at the same time)?
Roughly how much would it cost (vet bills, the puppies price, ect.)?
Do any of you have Whippet's or Mini's and what are they like?
What are some good websites/breeders I could look into (Around Melbourne, Victoria, Australia) or any other helpful websites I should look at?

ALSO, I've read somewhere that Bull Terriers are not good with other dogs. Would this change if we got the Mini Bull Terrier after the Whippet, so it can grow next to it and see the Whippet as the more dominant dog?
And lastly, I have a 9 year old brother and an 11 year old sister, which would not hurt/annoy the dog in any way (they're pretty good with dogs, and we would never leave them alone with the dogs or anything) and I'm 13, so should these dogs be okay with two adults and three children those ages?
We are researching a lot on these breeds, but these are just some things I'd rather get direct answers from.

Thank you for any help or advice (feel free to give advice or share experiences)! :)


Admin 01.04.2013. 12:31

Temperament wise, the breed doesn't mean much. It depends more on training and socialization from a young age. Some dogs are friendly with other dogs, some aren't.

Whippets generally do get on with other dogs. When it comes to the bull terrier, it's more of a 'yes and no' situation - if they meet other dogs and are socialized from a puppy, they will be gentle. If it's left too long, they can become aggressive.
Important - introduce them to each other gradually, ideally with something that stops them getting too close, but so they can still see each other, like a crate. If any aggression is shown, separate and distract them - by feeding for example - in different rooms if needed. If they're not aggressive, reward them with a treat. This way, they come to associate the other dog as positive, not negative.

As for costs, it varies depending on what you buy:-
- A good quality food is needed for feeding. I'd recommend arden grange, iams or eukanuba, as they're good quality at reasonable prices. They can be fed a mixture of moist and dry food, or just one. Which way you do it is up to you. NB if you feed only dry food, ensure it's full food, not a 'mixer'.

- toys are important also to provide mental and physical exercise. I'd recommend that you get a variety to see which they prefer, such as squeaky toys, balls, soft toys and rubber bones. Check them regularly for wear and tear and throw any damaged ones away, as they could cause a choking hazard. Also, bring them out in rotation. This way the dogs will think that they're getting new toys all the time, but you're not constantly buying more.

- treats are useful for training, but not truly necessary for caring for a dog - if you have none, you can always improvise with dry food.

- bedding may be needed. You can buy dog beds, although there's no guarantee than they will be used. Plastic ones are usually easier to clean and long lasting than fabric beds, although you can improvise by cutting a 'U' shape down one side of an old cardboard box and line it with an old blanket. This is better for puppies, as they often chew their beds while teething.

- collars, leads and harnesses. By law, all dogs must wear a collar in public with the owner's contact details attached, either in a barrel which unscrews to show the info on paper, or engraved on a metal disk. A harness is better for walking a dog rather than just the collar - if the dog pulls on a collar and lead, they can end up choking themselves - this won't happen with a harness.

- poop bags. By law, if a dog is being walked and they poo in public, the handler must clean it up.

- food and water bowls. These would ideally be easy to clean, dishwasher safe, tip and spill proof and hard wearing. Metal bowls are more expensive, but worth it in the long run, as the worst which can happen to them via damage is being bent - plastic bowls can become cracked or broken as can china bowls, posing a health risk of choking or cuts.

- grooming equipment. Unless the dog is walked on hard pavement which will wear their claws down, they will need trimming regularly, particularly the 'dew' claw. NB Clip the tip of the nail and go gradually to avoid cutting the 'quick'. This is the dog equivalent of the pink part of human nails which will bleed and cause the dog pain if it is accidentally cut into. If you do cut the quick, put a clean dressing over it or dip the wound into corn starch to stop bleeding. A good grooming brush and comb is also needed for regular brushing, ideally every few days to remove shed fur and to keep an eye out for skin abnormalities such as wounds to the skin and fleas or ticks. If they get dirty, they will need a bath with shampoo. Dogs also need a toothbrush and dog toothpaste to keep their teeth clean.

- shelter (if the dog spends time outdoors). This is for protection fro the elements i.e. shelter from the heat in summer, cold in winter and the wet from rain.

Vet bills and getting the dogs will vary from one vet and breeder/shelter to another and depending on which treatments they are given. Some charge more, others less.

A website I recommend is pet if you need information for the medical side of dog care. It's technically American, but I find it's very interesting and was really useful for vet nursing work when I was at college.

Whippets are often good with kids, and, if socialized properly, miniature bull terriers will too. I know this because my mum has had English bull terriers for a long time and they've always been perfectly fine with me when I was a child and teenager.


crzycoookies 05.02.2008. 11:21

Do bengal cats make good pets? I'd prefer an answer from someone who's actually met a bengal in real life - Not just from reading websites, etc.
Troys Bucket: You shouldn't talk before you know what's actually happening. I was thinking of getting a bengal cat from a nearby bengal rescue. :)
So from everybody's description, it sounds, basically, like the bengal cat is actually more like a dog?(- the constant attention wanting) That's fine with me, or maybe a little bit better. I'm always looking for a challenge, anyways.


Admin 05.02.2008. 11:21

<---Bengal cat

Hi there...Bengal cats "CAN" be great house pets, however there are some important things to note about their temperament and personalities. They prefer the company of other cats and most do get along with cats IF/WHEN the introductions are done correctly as this applies to ANY cats who meet for the first time. However, there are some who are the exception to this rule.

Bengals are a very hyperactive breed of cat well as extremely vocal and loud cats much more than Siamese cats. They are very demanding for attention and interested in everything their owners are doing. They certainly enjoy affection however only on their own terms as they rarely like being held or are lap cats. However, some are an exception to this rule. Ideally, they may not be a good fit for young children, because children want to cuddle and Bengals are far from being such a cat who likes to be restrained. If they are left alone for long periods of time it's best to have the company of another cat or dog, which is preferable or they can be quite mischevious as well as destructive as a result of loneliness and/or from boredom.

Please consider speaking with Bengal breeders before purchasing one because these cats are very demanding in general. Some important information about Bengals. They should never be declawed as it leads to overcompensation with vicious biting since they have larger canine teeth than a typical domestic cat as well inappropriately soiling (urinating/defecating) around the home. Something we have witnessed too frequently with the rescues we take in. As a manageable alternative we show prospective Bengal families on how to trim cats nails and provide the following website video produced by Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine on how to trim cats nails:

Bengals should never be allowed to roam freely outdoors as they are apt to be stolen and later sold sometimes for profit. However, they will take to leash training easily and it is the safest way to give them some of the outdoor enjoyment. In some regions the Bengal cat is outlawed as a pet so be sure to check with your local humane society in your region to learn if they are legal. Georgia, Hawaii and a few other states have banned Bengal cat ownership.

Many Bengals require a healthier diet of closer to raw as many suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)--loose stools syndrome. Royal Canin 27 is generally what Bengal breeders use to feed their cats since this is highly endorsed with The Int'l Cat Assoc (TICA). There are premium brands such as Innova EVO or Nature's Variety Prairie (see other diets listed below) that help easy the problem with IBS. Any of the cat foods that contains the ingredient corn, corn meal (e.g. Iams, Science Diet, Purina, Whiskas, etc) causes severe bowel distresses so it's best to choose cat food products that steer clear of these ingredients.

To learn more about Bengals consider joining the Bengal Chat forum: or .

As a rescuer we always let new Bengal families know if in event there's a time in the future you are unable to keep your bengal perhaps to allergies, medical illness in the family or moving overseas, etc all responsible Bengal breeders WILL take their cats back (no questions asked) as it is their ethical agreement with TICA in the sale of the kittens. There are also Bengal rescuers located all over the world and we are also willing to help with rehoming if necessary. We try to keep Bengals from ending up in the shelters as many euthanize them quickly believing they are a wild cat and not safe as a pet, when in fact they are domesticated since they are four or more generations removed from their wild relative the Asian Leopard Cat (ALC).

Diets for Bengals:
Their diet should consist of very high protein rather than the usual commercial cat food, which contains corn, corn meal and preservative fillers... for example those would be: IAMS, Science Diet, Purina, Whiskas and many others...essentially, anything from the grocery store and pet stores. The reason being is that Bengals commonly suffer from lifelong Irritable Bowel Syndrome so if you live in a large metropolitan city look for a specialty pet store that carries any of the following products to help minimize his bowel distresses:
Innova EVO and/or California Natural:
Nature's Variety Praire:
Chicken Soup for the Cat Lover's Soul:
Life's Abundance:


Abiie 06.06.2012. 19:05

What are ALL responsibilities with owning a dog? Hey Guys!
I want to know all the responsibilities that come with owning a dog/puppy.
I really want one, but my dad keeps telling me it's hard work. What issues come with a dog?

please include:
-health measures. eg. injections etc.

Thank You in advance!!!!!!!! xoxo


Admin 06.06.2012. 19:05

A dog can be a great companion for individuals and families. But, before bringing a new dog or puppy into your life, it's important to decide whether or not you really and truly want a dog.
By this I mean, are you willing and able to take on the responsibilities of owning a dog?
If you've never experienced dog ownership before, then most likely you are not aware of the amount of time, money, and energy that it takes to care for a dog. If you're thinking, I had one when I was a kid so I think I know what it takes. Well, kids usually are not the primary caretaker of family pets. Therefore, you may have an idea but, probably need to learn more about dog owner responsibilities, i.e. what's actually involved in raising a well-behaved, well-cared-for, happy dog.
Owning a dog requires a commitment of time, energy, and money. This is a long-term commitment because a dog can live for ten or more years and will rely upon his owner for almost all of his needs for his entire life.
Before taking the plunge, learn about how much money and personal time is required to properly care for a dog. Then, take an honest look at yourself to determine if a dog will fit into your current and future lifestyle and if you're ready for dog owner responsibilities.
Do you have time to care for a dog? You'll need to spend a lot of time with your new dog or puppy to enable him to become a well-behaved, well-adjusted, and happy member of your family. You will be responsible for raising the dog and for providing for almost all of his needs. These new dog owner responsibilities may disrupt your life and will require you to change your routine and adjust your lifestyle. Are you ready for this and will you be able to make the required changes?
Although your dog will require your time and energy throughout his entire life, he most likely will require a lot more of it during the first year. Initial dog owner responsibilities include:
Bonding. When your dog first comes home, you'll need to spend time bonding with him. You'll need to help him become acclimated to his new home.
House Training. Nobody wants a dog that pees and poops in the house. It will take time and energy to house train a dog or puppy.
Obedience Training and Socialization. You'll need to be involved in training your dog how to behave.
Research. You'll need to learn about how to care for your new dog. Some of the initial questions that you may have are: How do I train my dog? What should I feed my dog? How do I to correctly solve behavior problems? What are the health problems that are more common to my breed and how can I prevent them? It's impossible to learn everything before getting a dog and along the way you'll have questions and will probably make some mistakes. But, a responsible dog owner will seek advice and do research to get answers to all of these questions and more.
Finding a Good Veterinarian. You may want to do this before bringing your dog home.
Some dog owner responsibilities are ongoing for the dog's entire life including:
Daily exercise and attention. Dogs have energy. Some breeds have more than others. All dogs need exercise to maintain good health. Dogs are social animals. Therefore, they desire and will seek attention from family members.
Medical Care. Including routine care, care due to an unexpected illness or condition, emergency care.
Grooming. Brushing, bathing, nail trimming, care of teeth and gums, ear care, etc. Some breeds require more grooming than others.
Other. Daily nutrition, research to answer new questions that may arise, time to clean up after your dog.
I'm going to state the obvious. All of these tasks will take time. If you're unable to figure out how you'll fit all of these dog owner responsibilities into your life, then you probably do not have time for a dog.
Do you have the means to care for a dog? It's difficult to estimate the yearly cost of owning a dog. Ownership costs of an individual dog will vary depending upon a number of factors including breed of dog, cost of living in your area, and general dog health. For example, a large dog will require more food than a small dog. Some dogs require more grooming than others. An illness or injury can lead to unexpected medical costs.
Here's a list of many things that you will have to provide if you own a dog:
?high quality food
?dog bowls
?obedience classes
?toys and healthy bones for chewing
?dog bed
?Routine medical care - including but not limited to neutering, annual exams, vaccinations, dental care, routine prescriptions for preventative health care such as heartworm pills
?Medical care expenses due to an unexpected illness or condition including emergencies
?grooming fees
?grooming tools and supplies
?collars and leashes
?books about dog care and dog health
?boarding costs when you go on vacation
?dog tags


???? 31.12.2009. 21:42

I would really like to know some basics on the Papillon? I think i may be getting one in a few months but i want to know if they are extremely subject to disease and things wrong with their bones. Also how much is a purebred female? Thank you!


Admin 31.12.2009. 21:42

Hi there!

First, I would recommend that you visit the website for the national breed club

Papillon Club of America

Some things to know about papillons:

* They are a VERY smart breed. A well-bred papillon's personality can vary from sweet to energetic, rather like a small border collie. They like to go on adventures, but can settle down and cuddle happily next to you on the couch to enjoy a good movie. They excel in agility and obedience, love to play ball\fetch just like a big dog, and they love to learn.

* They have a lot to say and are not at all shy about sharing their words of wisdom. If you are looking for a quiet breed, paps are not a good choice.

* They do shed, but it's definitely manageable.

* Grooming is not difficult. Bath, trim the hair under the feet. Clip the nails. Take care of the ear fringe if you want it to grow long and beautiful. Other than that, I don't fuss.

* They can be challenging to housebreak. Consistency and positive training methods are your best tools for success in housebreaking and all training endeavors. It is not generally wise to get into a battle of wills with a papillon.

* Contrary to what people may tell you, they are not hypoallergenic, although they are better tolerated than many breeds.

* Overall, paps are a healthy breed and can live long lives. I have one that is 7 years old and people still ask if she's a puppy! The biggest health concerns are probably patellas (kneecaps), and PRA (eyes). CERF (eye test done by a veterinary opthamologist) and OFA (Heart\Patella) testing should be done on both parents and the breeder should provide copies. Rarely, paps can have epilepsy, liver or heart problems. They can also have problems with anesthesia, and sometimes do what is called "reverse sneezing, which doesn't hurt them any, but looks a bit scary. You have to be careful in the event of intestinal or gastric upset as it can quickly turn into more serious issues like hypoglycemia or even hemoraging. It's also important to choose a quality food to prevent tooth decay and loss and food allergies. (I find that my dogs have problems with food that has beet pulp in it.) Thankfully, reputable papillon breeders are a vigilant bunch who are very protective of their breed and, with the help of the Papillon Health and Genetics Committee, work hard to screen out genetic health issues. The majority of the above issues are now found infrequently in well-bred paps. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the backyard breeders and puppy mills.

* Cost for a pet quality girl can run between $800 and $1800 depending on location. $1200-1500 is common in my area. I give a break to friends who actively compete in dog sports.

* Pap bones are fragile, especially as puppies. They have a tendency to jump off high places and hurt themselves, so you have to be very careful for the first year of their lives with where\how you let them play, with small children, and with other dogs. They are also one of the most attacked breeds of dogs, because of the way they look and move, which, for prey-driven dogs, can seem very rabbit-like. I have even heard of birds of prey carrying paps off when they were on a hike with their owners. Not trying to scare you, it's just important to realize how much they look like prey to other dogs and even wild animals.

Expect a reputable papillon breeder to ask you many questions. If they don't, keep looking. They should require you to spay your girl, and be prepared to take the dog back at any point in her life if you can no longer care for her. Be prepared to get on a wait list once you find that breeder you're comfortable with. It's well worth it to end up with a healthy puppy and a new friend who will answer all your questions for the entire life of the dog.


Aaron 08.07.2011. 00:49

does any know anything about Icelandic sheepdog? can anyone answer this questions?
- what is the overall personality of an Icelandic sheepdog? what does the dog do as in its job?
- what are the exercise requirements?
- what is the best fit family for an Icelandic sheepdog?


Admin 08.07.2011. 00:49


The Icelandic Sheepdog had a large nose and black-pigmented lips. The eyes are medium sized and dark brown. The head is arched with a rather compact muzzle. It has sturdy forelegs and double dewclaws which are similar to those of a Lundehund. The Icelandic Sheepdog is a Nordic herding spitz, slightly under medium sized with prick ears and a curled tail. Seen from the side the dog is rectangular; the length of the body from the point of shoulder to point of buttock is greater than the height at withers. The depth of the chest is equal to the length of the foreleg. The expression is gentle, intelligent and happy. A confident and lively bearing is typical for this dog. There are two types of coat, long and short, both thick and extremely weatherproof. There is a marked difference in appearance between the sexes.

The Icelandic Sheepdogs are tough and energetic. It is a hardy and agile herding dog which barks, making it extremely useful for herding or driving livestock in the pastures, in the mountains or finding lost sheep. The Icelandic Sheepdog is by nature very alert and will always give visitors an enthusiastic welcome without being aggressive. Hunting instincts are not strong. The Icelandic Sheepdog is cheerful, friendly, inquisitive, playful and unafraid. Most adore children and get along well with other dogs and pets. Owners need to be consistent with the rules, calm but firm. They do best with some type of job to do.
Height, Weight

Height: 12-16 inches (31-41 cm.)
Weight: 20-30 pounds (9-14 kg.)
Health Problems

Usually a fairly healthy dog
Living Conditions

The Icelandic sheepdog needs a lot of activity and exercise and needs close contact to the family. Many of these dogs have "home alone anxiety" problems, because they don't like to be home alone.

This is a very active breed that needs to be exercised every day.  This breed needs to be taken on a daily walk or jog. While out on the walk make sure the dog heels beside or behind the person holding the lead, never in front, as instinct tells a dog the leader leads the way, and that leader needs to be the human. In addition, they will enjoy sessions of play.
Life Expectancy

About 12 years

The Icelandic Sheepdog has a double coat - thick and extremely weatherproof. There are two variants: Short haired: The outer coat is of medium length, fairly coarse, with a thick, soft undercoat. The hair is shorter on the face, top of head, ears and front of legs, longer on the neck, chest and back of thighs. The tail is bushy and the hair length is in proportion to the coat. Long haired: The outer coat is longer than the above, fairly coarse, with a thick, soft undercoat. The hair is shorter on the face, top of head, ears and front of legs, longer behind the ears, on the neck, chest, behind the forelegs and back of thighs. The tail is very bushy and the hair length is in proportion to the coat. This breed does shed and normally blows its coat twice a year. It is important to trim the dewclaw nails regularly as because they have no contact with the ground they can easily become too long.
The Icelandic Sheepdog is Icelands only native dog. It was brought to Iceland with the first Viking settlers (AD 874 - 930). The Icelandic Sheepdog and its method of working adapted to the local terrain, farming methods and the hard struggle for survival of the Icelandic people over the centuries, making it indispensable in the rounding up of livestock on the farms. The Icelandic Sheepdog s popularity has increased over the last few decades and, despite the fact the breed is still very small in numbers, it is no longer considered to be in danger of extinction. It is most likely descended from dogs introduced by Scandinavian colonists. It is probably a relative of the Norwegian Buhund. The Icelandic Sheepdog was recognized by the AKC in 2008.

Group 5 (Spitz and primitive types), section 3 (Nordic Watchdogs and Herders)



Aaron 23.07.2010. 18:21

Im thinking of working in a dog kennle in about 2years but to do so i need to know do i need any qualification? im finking of working ina dog kennle do i need any qualification and if not how do i apply do i just go in and ask for a jobb ????? please someeeoneee


Admin 23.07.2010. 18:21

A kennel as in a boarding kennel or as in a breeding kennel? Either way, no, you shouldn't need any qualifications, though having experience with dogs (and cats if they board those!) are helpful in landing the job.
I worked at Cedarhope, a kennel filled with Shetland Sheepdogs. This lady had champion stock that she bred and showed and I was in charge of weekend care for them so she could actually have a life sometimes! I needed no qualifications for that. She trained me how to groom them, trim nails, train pups, etc.

I currently work at the PetSmart PetsHotel. It may sounds fancy... but it's still a boarding kennel. ;)
My experience at Cedarhope got me the job (or so I was told by the manager). All I had to do was read about their safety guidelines and take a quiz on the most important of safety rules. I passed and was trained to further ensure I knew what I was doing. I also had to take a drug test (but that's PetSmart) and get a background check done (probably to check if I had any animal abuse priors). The pay isn't much and I'm around heavy duty cleaning chemicals frequently... but the job is rewarding.

Let me know if that helps. If not, give me some details about what you mean and I'll try again. :)

Volunteer at an animal shelter until then to get your experience in there!

EDIT::: I apologize, I forgot to answer the second part of your question haha. To apply, find a kennel near you and call them to see if they're hiring. You can call them now to see if you can do volunteer work, like filing papers, until you want the job. That will DEFINITELY get your foot in the door.

Why do you want to wait 2 years? Is it an age thing? In may place it's not legal for you to work with live animals until age 18. An employer can get into a LOT of trouble if a minor is working for him/her and gets a dog bite. Any job with health/safety hazards has age restrictions.

Speaking of health hazards... I'm not too familiar with all the laws surrounding this type of business. Make sure they require all dogs are up to date on vaccinations.

If you have any more questions about the topic, feel free to e-mail me.


Claire 05.10.2007. 03:52

First pet.. not saying cost is an issue, but just wondering how much a vet checkup cost and..? And do they bill you or its a right then and there thing?


Admin 05.10.2007. 03:52

The most important thing is to find a vet you are comfortable with, who will take the time to educate you and answer all your questions. Look into feline only pracitces, as lots of "mostly dog" vets don't understand cats and aren't up to date on the latest feline treatments.

Price varies greatly according to where you live, but if you were to come into my clinic, assuming you are bringing a new kitten, unvaccinated, untested and un-neutered, the recommendations would be:

exam - $43

feline leukemia and fiv combo test - $57 (optional, but useful)

fvrcp - $23 (protects against distemper and sneezing viruses - we would repeat this vaccine in one month - without another exam fee - , again in one year, then every 2 - 3 years after that.)

rabies - $20 (required by law, every year or every 3 years depending on your state)

rabies license - $6 (also required)

feline leukemia vaccine - $27 (we would not give this at the same time as the rabies so as not to overload the cat's immune system. We would separate the shots by a month - no exam fee one month later. We would only repeat this vaccine if lifestyle called for it. If the cat is indoors only with no contact with any cats that go outside, we would not continue to give this vaccine. If the cat goes outside or has contact with cats that do go outside, we would give this vaccine every 2 years.)

intestinal parasite exam/fecal - $16

deworming - $12 - $18 depending on fecal results

nail trim - first one to teach you is free, after that - $9

recommend to spay (female) or neuter(male) at 6 - 9 months. Cat must be at least 5 pounds at time of surgery. Spay - $260 - includes preanesthetic bloodwork, fluids, pain medications, surgical monitoring - the works. Neuter - $130 for the works.


david s 05.11.2008. 02:27

how do you take good care of house rabbits? Array

david s

Admin 05.11.2008. 02:27

This may be a long answer lol. But im glad your researching before jumping in blindly. Rabbits need at least a 2 by 4 cage, but in my opinion thats extremely small. Pens are better then store bought cages, mine is 4 by 6 and growing to 5 by 10 soon lol. I love mine so much id do anything for them (can you tell lol). They have very complex digestive systems, check out the link below for that. They need high quality pellets and hay. The pellets have to limited depending on age, the hay is always unlimited. They also need certain veggies everyday (again check out the link for a list). Mine gets 3 cups a day, 3 meals-1 cup per meal. They need yearly check ups at the vet (mine goes twice a year) just to look because they hide illness and it takes a trained eye to notice. You kind of need to regulate their poop lol. For different amounts, shapes and sizes can mean illness. They need their nails trimmed monthly and in some cases their anal glands cleaned monthly, or every few months depending on your rabbit. 3 hours of play time daily is recommended, however mine get 4 to 5. Their vet bills are generally more then cats and dogs, because they are considered exotic and require different meds and more monitoring. Spaying/neutering is Absolutely needed. Females are likely to get cancer by the age of three without being fixed. Both males and females are better pets, less destructive and less hormonal when they are fixed.

I know this sounds like a lot, and it is. But to me its all worth it. I love my bunny and would do anything for him lol. For the right person rabbits are wonderful, but for the wrong person they are a disaster. Im not trying to scare you away from them at all or discourage you, but i think its really important that you know just exactly what you are getting into. The second link is a website that i belong to the forum in. Its a great site and forum, so any questions you have, ask there because they know more then some here most of the time. Good luck! And thanks again for researching beforehand!


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