The first couple months of having a puppy are very expensive. Toys, food, and cages all add up, but it’s the vet bills that can burn a hole in your pocket. Puppies have to get a number of shots and boosters in order to be protected from diseases they’re vulnerable to at this young age. But once you’re over that hump, vaccines only occur annually.The first thing I usually do after taking Watson to the vet’s office is check the bill for wallet damage. Luckily for me, they have everything already broken down price by price. As my eyes scan past $32.00, $18.00, and $19.30 I see an unfamiliar $0.00. Following this line it says ‘Nail Trim – Courtesy.’

Now, I’ve worked at a vet clinic before and there’s nothing worse than trying to cut a dog’s nails. They can be very tricky (especially black nails, which Watson has three of) because if you cut them too short, they’ll start to bleed. White or clear nails show where the quick (the blood vessel) is, but with black nails, it becomes a guessing game. Both Mackenzie and I would rather leave it up to the vet assistants to cut them so we don’t have to. And with the rate we were taking him in for vet visits, his nails were being trimmed every 2 weeks. That meant we didn’t have to do a thing. But the growing boy he is, his nails were coming back in as fast as they were being trimmed.

So one day I decided to go to Petsmart and pick up a pair of clippers to give it a shot. Aside from the three black nails he has, the pinkish quick on the white nails are pretty easy to see. Seven out of 10 isn’t bad if you ask me. Before you begin trimming your dog’s nails, make sure they’re comfortable with you touching their paws and sticking some cold, metal contraption around their nails. If dogs aren’t used to people grabbing their feet, they can become aggressive, and you don’t want that with your fingers being down by their chompers.

Once they’re comfortable with this, cutting nails can be pretty easy. Watson can be a little fidgety, so we had to distract him with some Cheerios the first time we cut his nails. The first time was easy. I nicked a nail, but no real damage was done. The second time he was a little bigger, a little more wiggly, and I ended up cutting just a little too much off the top. He started bleeding instantly and this time was no joke. I got a Kleenex to put on it at first, but that didn’t stop the bleeding, so Mackenzie went to Google. She found a recipe for a paste that you can smear on the wound to work as an anti-hemorrhagic. It was easily made from things found in our pantry, just flour and water. We had to monitor the paste after application because Watson just licked if off. But after reapplying and keeping him off his paws for about 5 minutes (the longer the better, but like I said, he’s super wiggly), it did the job. From working at a vet clinic I knew of other store-bought remedies that work quickly, but the flour mixture works well in a pinch. Just in case, we went ahead and picked up some Kwik Stop styptic powder for future nail-trimming emergencies.

Watson has gotten pretty used to his monthly pedicure. It seems to be relaxing for him. Do any of you look forward to a nice nail trim or new nail color (like Mackenzie)?



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