Grooming & Regular Care (Part 3)
Paws and Claws
The basic tools needed are a pair of trimming scissors, a pair of thinning scissors and a pair of clippers for keeping claws trimmed – some designs of clipper include a safety device which limit how much can be cut at a time.
Keeping the feet trimmed
There are only two actions to be performed. Firstly, under the feet: Trim the excess hair that grows between the pads with a pair of scissors so that it is level with the pads. Do not be attempted to cut the fur out between or below the level of the pads, as it can cause the dog to go splay-footed.
Trimming the feet – simply cut across the foot for the fur to be level with the pads.
Secondly, to avoid untidy looking feet, simply use the scissors to trim around the outline. Use the thinning scissors to get a softer, more natural result when trimming around the shape of the foot.
Hocks and Pasterns
On the front legs, trim the bottom inch up towards the pasterns quite short to keep the feet neat. A pair of ‘thinning’ scissors is ideal for this as the result will look softer and more natural.
On the rear legs, brush the fur on the hocks outwards and backwards, and then trim to about 2cm tapering in to the heel of the foot.
Depending on how much walking is performed on hard surfaces, the claws may need clipping or filing so that they are level with the pads. NOTE: Cutting through the ‘quick’ can be very painful for the dog and can bleed quite a lot.
Many pet stores sell a ‘styptic’ pen or powder that can be used if you do cut into the quick of a claw. So, always have some ‘blood-stop’ powder and cotton wool handy – just in case. Don’t forget to trim the dew claws too!