Self-Service Pet Parenting

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Doggy Sun Protection - It's A Lovely Day

Ahh…puppy love. I am back from a snuggling session just now from Sophia’s chambers…i.e. my armchair, and let me tell you that I, for the record, having had a rough day, feel better after several arm nudges [you know the one where the dog gets your attention and then MAKES you raise your arm for easier access to your lap? That one.] lap curls, hot breaths, and finally Doga…well…I feel good.

I couldn’t help but notice the run in my legging after Doga. [How did that get there?] Since my leggings are dark, the run isn’t that noticeable. I set out for the evening walk before Dusk. Nothing out of the ordinary. In fact, the golf course is quiet tonight. I look over my shoulder to locate the source of the ‘clicking’ sound nearby. Nothing. And then I realize…it is coming from my sweet, perfectly groomed pet pal. She is clicking her nails on the walkway like a strumpet in high heels! Lol!

Oh well, she’s had a growth spurt overnight, and her grooming appointment is 3 weeks away. Everyone’s booked around town, and frankly, I do not trust any and everyone with a Pet Grooming Marquis to hook up my dog. Nope. It’s on me to help her avoid discomfort between now and then. I’ll have to get into Self-Service Pet Parenting mode. Since we are in love and everything like that there, she should let me clip her nails…right? Let’s find out.

Excuse Me

Where do I begin? I am a complete novice. For the record, I do as little DIY work on Sophia as possible. I am one of those pet parents who readily pay industry professionals to handle the rough stuff. I mean, I gotta keep the peace in the house! I never want her to glance my way, thinking that I hurt her in some way. That’s another story.

What not to do

  • do nothing
  • hold on to the dog too tightly
  • draw blood while clipping nails
  • perform this task in dim light

Now that that’s settled, what method should I use? There are two methods that pet parents use to care for their dog’s toenails. They are:

    • Cutting
    • Filing

dog owners uncomfortable with clipping their pet’s nails will use a file tool
instead of a clipper. Personally, I am considering clipping my dogs’ nails and then filing down the sharp edges using either a nail file or a dog nail grinder like Dremel. … In fact, I could buy this file now and use it for every dog I’ll ever have. I did my research and went for a cheap but effective tool that would not drive a wedge between us. I selected …a grinder.

Cutting into Sophia’s Quick could be dangerous. Even with a light I could miss it and cause a problem.

 If I cut into the quick, the claw will bleed and Sophia will experience pain.


 If it is serious, a bleeding or broken toenail may result in blood loss, pain or infection. It is rarely a life-threatening condition.

Her claws are light in color. I wouldn’t say translucent is her color, but they are light enough that I can see the outline of the quick. Even still, I do know my girl. She is a cuddler. She is a runner. She is a squirmer. She does this thing where she enjoys the closeness for several moments, and then, the necessity to dash off occurs. Are you able to imagine? Holding her steady for the clippers and BINGO! A flinch strong enough to cause disaster! I could not stand myself. Well, there is no harm done in chickening out later. So…I will proceed with caution. Light-colored claws are easier to chop than dark claws as the blood vessels and nerves that supply the claw, called the quick, are easier to see. Chop the claw to within approximately 2 millimeters of the quick.

I’m scared. I’m scared because…
You Can Still Hit the Quick.

Even with grinders, owners may accidentally hit their dog’s nail quick. It’s easier to avoid with grinders since you’ll be able to keep an eye fixed on the nail as you grind and set yourself up for the appearance of the small dot that signals you are nearing the quick and should stop.


Alrighty…here we go. I will pick her up and position myself to begin.
Not too bad. Not bad at all…it’s going well [I am sweating bullets, and worried actually]…got my T-shirt on and large glasses for protective eyewear. While I love her dearly, I am cautious of hurting myself during this process. Who needs or wants to put their own eye out due to flying dog nail clippings and dust? Place your protective eyewear during this process please, pet parents.

Exhibit A :

Protecting eyes from debris


Ohhh my gosh, guys. We are done. I will say that in the future, I prefer never to sacrifice my peace of mind over her safety and over her services. It’s just that there will be times during your journey as a pet parent that

A. Financial Constraints

B.  Appointment Availability

C. Pet Discomfort Due To Sudden Nail Growth

will occur. Becoming a Self-Serve Pet Parent will be a necessity for sure. Be prepared to assist your pet in the event that any one of or any combination of these situations arises.

PS. Pet Insurance and Pet Plan companies are super helpful with ‘how to’ instructions regarding completing this task yourselves.

    All Done

    What a good girl! Sophia behaved fabulously during her mini grooming DIY session with me and she absolutely deserves a treat. I do not always reward her good behavior with food. Doing so puts her at risk of weight gain. For rewards, there are a few other tricks that I’ve learned along the way which affirm that she’s the bomb! That way, she does not learn to manipulate me into giving her snacks, and I do not falsely condition myself to just love to see her eating. Who’s ready for a snack? Let’s go over to the table…….

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    1. I totally agree with you, I am super scared when it comes to clipping my sweet little guy’s nails. Once I actually got the quick and I don’t think he ever forgot and there was blood everywhere. So I don’t do them myself now even if it’s a problem, I ring around until I find a groomer. You are so brave and Sophie is a trooper. Well done. I think a treat is in order and another cuddle. She is so cute and I love the photo.

      • Thanks for the compliment, Lily. In the event that I did hit the quick, I had Kwik Stop Styptic Powder on stand-by. I am sure your fur baby remembers as much as you do, the moment the Ouchy occurred. No worries, I understand your reason for fervent dialing around to get him the trimming he deserves. I too can be found dialing with much determination so that Sophia is handled skillfully. 

        Thanks for your comment. Please come back to contribute again!🐾🥰


    2. Hi there,

      Thank you for this useful article. Thank God I’ve read it!

      I wanted to cut my dog’s nails, and I thought I could use a simple nail-cut accessory to do so.

      I also didn’t know that dogs have quicks. I am sure that I will never try to cut my dog’s nails without the help of a professional groomer. Although I don’t think I will ever try this, will you do a tutorial in the future? It might help me get out of my comfort zone:)

      Thank you very much, and I am looking forward to reading more of your posts!

      • Hello, Daniella. Welcome to thedoggyperspective.com. I do know what you mean regarding the first time trimming your dog’s nails. The fear of hurting the dog is much greater than the need to correct the issue of the overgrown nail. It’s good to know that you’ve found the article useful and yes, I will record a tutorial and post it to my YouTube channel soon. Thanks for inspiring me to record the tutorial. 

        Cuddles and wags,


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