Question about using a DREMEL to trim puppy's nails

mikka_northOctober 28, 2009

Hello again everyone,

We went out and bought a dremel last week and have introduced it to Lucy, off and then on running on low. Like the vacuum, hair dryer and a few other appliances she took a minute to get accustomed to the sound and is relaxed EXCEPT if I hold her paw and bring it close?

Now since day one Lucy has had NO ISSUES with us touching, squeezing her paws, and nails. I did pull out an emery board to see how she would be before the dremel suggestion was brought up and though she was fine with me filing lightly she wants to CHEW the emery board.... of course cause she wants to chew just about anything and EVERYTHING!

Any advice is appreciated.

thank you


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Touching and squeezing her paws can be much different than holding them for an extended time. I would first work on getting her used to having her nails filed making sure you aren't squeezing the paws too tightly. You can pick up a metal nail file made for dogs at a pet store.
A firm 'no' should take care of the chewing.

Once she's used to that you can try the dremel, but do be very careful in how you use the dremel. It doesn't take much to overheat the nail and it can be a very painful experience.
I know this because I used to have acrylic nails and one too many times the gal overused the dremel!

I use a dremel on my dog but I make sure I do light, short strokes with it and move from nail to nail. I don't spend a long time on one nail.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2009 at 1:46PM
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The noise coupled with the vibration can be the problem.

When i trimmed puppies, I spent a lot of time running the clippers without actually doing anything, gettint the puppy used to the noise. Then I would turn on the clippers and let the puppy smell them---might need to be done multiple times. Then just get the clippers close, without the cutting blades actually touching the dog---just the clipper body---to get the dog used to the vibration.

I found there were dogs that took a couple of days---at three to four times a day---to get used to the noise/vibration.

It is far better to spend whatever time is necessary in the beginning to aclimate the dog than for the dog to be scared and fight.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2009 at 7:03PM
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2. Tie up your hair
3. Next touch your pups paws and nails when not wanting to trim them. Do this often
4. Turn the Dremel on near your dog. Not right next to them.
5. Do the above things often, ***except tie up your hair.
6. ALWAYS end on a positive note.
Do one toe. going slow, using a barrel sander give your pup treats and lots of praises.
Good luck

    Bookmark   October 28, 2009 at 10:01PM
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I started using a Dremel about 1990 on my large dogs. I introduced it carefully to them, just as anything else. It is so easy to do the nails this way. Just be careful to have a VERY light 'touch', as it takes the nail off very quickly. Don't put ANY pressure with it- it is enough to just have the Dremel touching. It is easy to have rounded edges and you can see when you need to stop.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2009 at 11:42PM
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Thank you....
Starting over with a puppy and all the wonderful suggestions that I had been given before makes me want to do things "smarter" this time around.

Annz ~ we will look for a metal file to work with her to lead up to the dremel!

Our 10 year old LAB hates her paws touched, let alone her nails trimmed and we really want to have Lucy comfortable with all parts of grooming. I just thought I was missing something cause she will sit on my lap, I can look her over and there is NO friction. She is just calm calm calm. Start the dremel and at first she was curious, but then she was laid back, until I held a paw and brought the tool closer. Not going to happen yet

I did run it on low, and even touching my skin, by my own nails, I knew I would have to be careful with her paws, and pads. Well slow and steady seems the course, and I know in a few weeks or a month, I may be using it on her nails!

Mazer... I gotta ask.... TIE UP MY HAIR, what happened to your hair if I may ask?? hahaha

thanks again everyone!

    Bookmark   October 29, 2009 at 12:01AM
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hMikka - sounds like you are doing a great job - a metal file wont give you the same FEEL as a Dremel which vibrates alot. It is important you always end on a positive note. Reward your dog for being curious about the tool when it is off. ALSO the more you just touch your dogs paws with and without the tool the better. Dogs front paws to them are like our privates are to us. No dog likes to have its paws (front especially) and from the minute you get a new pup the more you are hands on the better, front paws, sticking your finger down in their ears - not far, lifting their lips, lifting their tails (I scratch my dog around his "pants" making certain I get to touch the area close to his anal area - when he was younger I had to manually release his anal glands, and had to get quite personal. Because I had a more hands on protocol, my dog did not care one iota.
As far as tying up your hair. It almost got me!!! I grow my hair out every year to donate to LOCKS OF LOVE and last summer I got the Dremel out and went to make certain it was on and working properly before introducing my dog to it (we have been doing this 12 years now and I still make certain his stress level stays low) and the darn thing tried to grab my hair!! But it gets so long that the window grabs it, the seatbealt retractor grabs it, it tries to grab my food....I get so sick of it being pulled and grabbed at that I am happy to have it chopped off.
Good luck with your pup, and remember touch touch touch touch touch, communicate, praise and treat and go slow....

    Bookmark   October 29, 2009 at 9:10PM
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Mazer (and others), tying your hair back is also a good idea if you groom your dog yourself. I just bought new clippers, and love them (so much faster than scissoring a whole dog) but yesterday I leaned over to work on Savannah's belly and clipped off a chunk of my hair. Oops!

    Bookmark   November 2, 2009 at 8:44AM
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I trim my neighbors dogs nails for her with a dremel but she sits in a high stool and holds her dog while I do the trimming. But you all know this can be skipped if you would walk your dogs.My last 2 Chows I have never had to do their nails because they all get walked. Besides it keeps me in shape too.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2009 at 12:49PM
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