Friday, August 16, 2013

Quick Dog Nail Grinder Safety Tips

          I personally like using a grinder to file down my dogs' nails. My dogs also prefer it to a nail clipper which creates lots of pressure on the nail and has a higher rate of clipping the quick. Whether you use a grinder specifically made for dog nails or something like a Dremel rotary tool there are some safety tips to keep in mind.

1. Tap - The action of the grinder on a dog's nail creates friction which in turns creates heat. To keep from burning your dog always use a taping motion to file the nail instead of constant contact. Remember you want to make nail trimming a positive experience not a painful one.

2. Hey, watch the fur! - Before using a nail grinder you'll want trim up any long foot fur. Not only does it make it easier to see the nails but it will help reduce or eliminate the possibility of the hair entangling in the grinder. Also keep the grinder away from the rest of your dog's coat because that grinder will snag onto the fur very fast. If your dog has long fur make sure that when you use the grinder that you have your finger next to or on the off switch just in-case. I had a situation where one of my dogs kicked the grinder in my hand which knocked it close enough to grab a chunk of her hair, luckily my finger was next to the off switch. Even though I turned it off in seconds the tool still managed to tangle in her coat, thankfully she didn't get hurt. Nail grinding is safe as long as you stay alert and vigilant.

3. Eye Protection - Your face is right in the "line of  fire" for the flakes of nail to shoot out and get you in the eyes. Please protect your sight by either wearing your corrective eye glasses or eye wear designed specifically for eye protection. A scratched cornea is no fun nor is having grit in your eye.

4. Protect Your Lungs - We all have seen what our dogs step in when they are outside. When you grind your dog's nails all the nail debris, dirt, and other nasties become airborne. Unless you plan on holding your breath the whole time you are going to end up breathing all that stuff in. In my grooming room I keep a box of ear-loop surgical face masks that I put on every time I do my dogs' nails. The face masks are easy to find and can be bought at most drug stores like this one at Walgreens.

5. Let There Be Light - It is always the best idea whether you use a grinder or nail clipper to have good lighting. Even with a grinder you can still hit the quick, so being able to see what you are doing is a must. I also recommend having your dog on a grooming table, it just makes everything easier for you to see and to do grooming.

6. Don't Get a Speeding Ticket - Grinders have a speed dial you can adjust. I recommend not to have it on the fastest setting, I usually have it set on medium to medium-high. Going at to high a speed you run into taking off to much nail in a blink of an eye. Set it to a low speed first to try it out on your dog's nail, then adjust the speed to where you feel comfortable and where the tool easily grinds off the nail.

7. The Ol' Stand By - If you use the nail grinder according to the instructions and follow safety procedures you are unlikely to nick your dog's quick.  Even so, I still recommended having some sort of styptic to stop bleeding on hand just in-case. Better to have it and not need it then to need it and not have it.

          Do you have any safety tips regarding the nail grinder, leave your comment below I would love to hear them.


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