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Snook

Using Sanding Blocks on Dog's Nails?

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Snook   

Justice normally has his nails done by his groomer every two weeks (they grow quickly, especially since he's usually walked on soft surfaces) using a Dremel. He doesn't like it but tolerates it for an infinite amount of treats. As part of the social distancing that's recommended at the moment, I've cancelled his grooming appointments because of the risk of him carrying the coronavirus home on his coat, after being handled for a prolonged period by someone who has a lot of contact with people as part of their job. 

 

So, that means I have to find a way to do his nails myself and he hates them being cut so much that he has to be sedated for it (which makes him vomit and he still fights the cutting while sedated, so not putting him through that even once, let alone regularly.) I was thinking that I could use a sanding block from Bunnings to keep them short if I do a little bit each day (and give him peanut butter to lick while I do it lol) but I have no idea what an appropriate grit would be for this. Is anyone able to help? I'm also open to other ideas for his nails. 

 

This is a link to what they have available at Bunnings.. 

https://www.bunnings.com.au/search/products?page=1&q=Sanding block&sort=BoostOrder&pageSize=18

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I preferred the 80 grit on my dogs when they were self-filing with a nail board.

 

I sometimes use roughly 100 grit with a human industrial nail file (good for smoothing edges).

I got sick of buying sandpaper so now I've got a DiggerDog. Same concept, longerlasting. As in, I've had mine about 6 months or so now and it's still going strong. When it wears down I can just purchase a new sheet for it

 

https://www.facebook.com/diggerdognailfile/

 

 

 

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Snook   
12 hours ago, Two Best Dogs! said:

I preferred the 80 grit on my dogs when they were self-filing with a nail board.

 

I sometimes use roughly 100 grit with a human industrial nail file (good for smoothing edges).

I got sick of buying sandpaper so now I've got a DiggerDog. Same concept, longerlasting. As in, I've had mine about 6 months or so now and it's still going strong. When it wears down I can just purchase a new sheet for it

 

https://www.facebook.com/diggerdognailfile/

 

 

 

Thanks so much for the grit info. 

 

The Digger Dog looks great! Justice is definitely food motivated so could be suited to getting it to work and I love that it would be fun for him instead of stressful. It might have to wait a few weeks or so but I've bookmarked their website and started following their FB so I don't forget about. :)

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Dogsfevr   

Go to the groomer as a groomer myself we have very little contact with people infact one industry where people time is very quick & easy to social distance


 

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Snook   
1 hour ago, Dogsfevr said:

Go to the groomer as a groomer myself we have very little contact with people infact one industry where people time is very quick & easy to social distance


 

Thank you for the advice but I've decided not to. 

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Snook   

I've been using the 80 grit sanding block on Justice's nails and he's been really tolerant, in exchange for regular licks of a spoon full of peanut butter. It's taking forever and even though I've done it several times, I don't feel like it's making the difference he needs with how thick and fast his nails grow. I was going to get the Digger Dog that Two Best Dogs recommended but I'll still need to file his back nails, so I think I've decided to just get a dremel and be done with it. I tried a pet dremel on him years ago before he'd had it done by a groomer and he hated it but I since learned that they're actually pretty rubbish and we're much better off using a really good quality one and that dogs tolerate them better. Since he has already been conditioned to a dremel by @Scratch and his subsequent groomer, I think I can get him to let me do it (paid in peanut butter of course :laugh:.) It will be so much faster than the sanding blocks and could be done weekly instead of daily. A friend added me to a dog nail maintenance group on FB ages ago so I've done some searching in there today and will get these tools from Bunnings. It's more than I want to spend but it should be far easier on both of us. 

 

https://www.bunnings.com.au/dremel-8220-1-28-10-8v-lithium-ion-cordless-rotary-tool_p6280071

 

https://www.bunnings.com.au/dremel-225-flex-shaft-direct-drive-attachment_p6325587

 

The second one is because the dremel itself can apparently be a bit bulky and the attachment makes it much easier to manoeuvre around the nails. 

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Scratch   

Something like this one will do the job but doesn’t have the right attachment. 

https://www.supercheapauto.com.au/p/toolpro-toolpro-rotary-tool-kit---12v/573293.html

 

This is the attachment I prefer. You can use the outer surface  and it also has a concave end that you can poke the nail into

https://www.bunnings.com.au/dremel-932-aluminium-oxide-grinding-stone_p6282218

 

this is the dremel that most groomers use and it has sand paper or stone attachments in the box 

https://www.bunnings.com.au/dremel-7750-4-8v-cordless-rotary-tool-with-10-piece-accessory-set_p0078021

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Snook   
47 minutes ago, Scratch said:

Something like this one will do the job but doesn’t have the right attachment. 

https://www.supercheapauto.com.au/p/toolpro-toolpro-rotary-tool-kit---12v/573293.html

 

This is the attachment I prefer. You can use the outer surface  and it also has a concave end that you can poke the nail into

https://www.bunnings.com.au/dremel-932-aluminium-oxide-grinding-stone_p6282218

 

this is the dremel that most groomers use and it has sand paper or stone attachments in the box 

https://www.bunnings.com.au/dremel-7750-4-8v-cordless-rotary-tool-with-10-piece-accessory-set_p0078021

Oh, that's really interesting that most groomers use the 7750. In the nail maintenance group they're pretty adamant that it's not powerful enough and is too loud and unstable, but clearly that can't be the case if it's the one mostly used by people who groom dogs for a living. I wonder if they just insist on a top of the range one because they're a bit obsessive about the subject? 

 

The first one looks okay too and I'm happy to buy the attachment you linked to. Would the 12V one from supercheap auto be better than the dremel 7750?

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Scratch   

I’d probably go with the dremel I linked to. I had one and it’s absolutely fine for even commercial pet grooming. I also have the older ‘stylus’ one which is essentially the same tool but with a trigger shaped handle that I find much easier to hold and steer. Unfortunately they’re not available in the trigger shape any more. I only gave the Dremel  I linked to  above, to someone else, because I preferred my older one for the shape. They both have the same power. The bonus with the dremel in the link is that it comes with sandpaper drums and the stone tool, so just the one purchase. If at any stage down the track you didn’t like it, J doesn’t like it or you no longer need it, a groomer will buy it secondhand in 10 seconds. 
 

the 12v one would likely be absolutely fine but I don’t have personal experience with it. 
 

If you can go into Bunnings and look at them, I reckon you’ll see that the one you posted is quite big and heavy like buying an excavator when you only need a bobcat 

ETA if you look at the pictures in the links, compare how the smaller one I posted fits in one hand and the one you linked needs 2 big man hands! I really don’t think you need the bigger one. For power or handleability 

Edited by Scratch
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Snook   

Oh geez, I hadn't noticed the size difference before. Yeah, the one I linked is enormous! I'm guessing that's why they recommend the flexible attachment piece to go with it. I completely trust you when it comes to this subject and if you say the 7750 is perfectly fine for commercial use, I can't see why I would need a jumbo one just for Justice. So you prefer the stone attachments for nails, rather than the sandpaper drums? Thanks so much for your input @Scratch. I really appreciate your help, especially since I'm completely clueless with this. :)

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Practice with the dremmel on some wood first, to get used to the movement. when i used it for dogs, i used the attachment scratch linked and it works really well.

You can muffle the sound somewhat by wrapping it in a tea towel. I didn't find either dogs bothered by the sound of it beyond the initial suspiciousness.

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Scratch   

My personal preference is the stone. Many many groomers use the sand paper drum. The Dremel I linked has both, so you can experiment a bit for yourself. I find that the paper drums catch and bump a bit more but they probably are a tiny bit faster at the job. Whatever one you use, just make make sure you don’t just hold it on one spot for more than a few seconds at a time. Move it around with a firm pressure as if you’re polishing a surface. Start on the front point and move it around the front, top, bottom, and sides of the bit of the nail you’re hoping to grind down. Make sure you don’t have any loose clothing on and watch you don’t stick your head right in there and catch your hair in it! It will self brake in a second if something gets caught in it but not before you lose a hunk of hair or rip your clothes. 
if you grind your finger by accident it will sting but it won’t kill ya. 

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Snook   
17 minutes ago, Two Best Dogs! said:

Practice with the dremmel on some wood first, to get used to the movement. when i used it for dogs, i used the attachment scratch linked and it works really well.

You can muffle the sound somewhat by wrapping it in a tea towel. I didn't find either dogs bothered by the sound of it beyond the initial suspiciousness.

Thanks so much for the tips about practising on wood and muffling the noise with a tea towel. It's good to know you prefer the stone too. :) 

 

14 minutes ago, Scratch said:

My personal preference is the stone. Many many groomers use the sand paper drum. The Dremel I linked has both, so you can experiment a bit for yourself. I find that the paper drums catch and bump a bit more but they probably are a tiny bit faster at the job. Whatever one you use, just make make sure you don’t just hold it on one spot for more than a few seconds at a time. Move it around with a firm pressure as if you’re polishing a surface. Start on the front point and move it around the front, top, bottom, and sides of the bit of the nail you’re hoping to grind down. Make sure you don’t have any loose clothing on and watch you don’t stick your head right in there and catch your hair in it! It will self brake in a second if something gets caught in it but not before you lose a hunk of hair or rip your clothes. 
if you grind your finger by accident it will sting but it won’t kill ya. 

They make the nails hot pretty quickly don't they? I'm assuming that's the reason for not keeping it in one spot for long? Thanks so much for the tips on how to do it and yep, will definitely make sure I have my hair tied back and no loose clothing on. Thank you! 

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Scratch   
50 minutes ago, Snook said:

Thanks so much for the tips about practising on wood and muffling the noise with a tea towel. It's good to know you prefer the stone too. :) 

 

They make the nails hot pretty quickly don't they? I'm assuming that's the reason for not keeping it in one spot for long? Thanks so much for the tips on how to do it and yep, will definitely make sure I have my hair tied back and no loose clothing on. Thank you! 

Yeah heat. You don’t want to cauterise him. Another tip is a fair bit of nail dust drifts off, so either blow gently to make it go away from you, keep your face well out of it, or wear a mask if you have one. It’s not the stuff you want up your nose or in your lungs

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Snook   
32 minutes ago, Scratch said:

Yeah heat. You don’t want to cauterise him. Another tip is a fair bit of nail dust drifts off, so either blow gently to make it go away from you, keep your face well out of it, or wear a mask if you have one. It’s not the stuff you want up your nose or in your lungs

I wouldn't have thought about that. Thanks for letting me know. I've got a couple of masks I bought for spray painting that should do the trick. How do I stop Justice from breathing it in? Or is he less likely to because my head will be between his and his paw? 

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Snook   

I bought the Dremel 7750 last week and spent about an hour this afternoon looking at tutorials from the mail maintenance group to try and get a bit more confidence about what I'm doing. I took Justice to the park for a run first so he'd hopefully be a bit more relaxed. I followed Emily Larlham's technique of having your dog lie upside down between your legs with their head away from you, so you can see the underside of the nails, and traded a bit of nail grinding for a lick of peanut butter a few times per nail. He was relaxed and happy to let me do all of the nails on his back paws but had had enough by the time I got to the front paws and was starting to pull his paw away. I decided to pack it in before he got upset and gave him the almost empty peanut butter jar to go to town on (it was almost empty before we started.. I'd just used some from a fresh jar of peanut butter to smear a bit around the inside for him to lick during the session.)

 

His nails are pretty long so it's taking a little while to get them down and I'm being careful to only do a tiny bit with each touch so that I don't go too far, so I think getting through both back paws in a relaxed state was pretty good for a dog who isn't a fan of having his nails done. I'll do the front paws tomorrow and then hopefully it will get faster and faster each time, as there's less to do and I get better at it, so I'll be able to do all four paws before he's over it. I decided to use the 60 grit sandpaper drum to start with and get the excess off faster and then once we're down to just doing maintenance sessions, I'll try the stone drum. 

 

Thanks so much for both of your advice with the Dremel. :)

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Scratch   

Just about all dogs are less willing with front nails. 
 

it’s pretty hard to go ‘too far’ with the dremel and a drop of common sense. 
You’ll be fine. 

 

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Snook   
31 minutes ago, Scratch said:

Just about all dogs are less willing with front nails. 
 

it’s pretty hard to go ‘too far’ with the dremel and a drop of common sense. 
You’ll be fine. 

 

I'm just stressed that he'll regress badly with his willingness to let me do them if I bugger it up somehow. I don't know if you remember but the first time you had a go at his nails up at Mannum, he'd been getting sedated to have his nails cut and was still fighting it and vomiting to top things off. I'd decided to stop getting him sedated because it made him sick and terrified of the vet and had managed to pin him down long enough to get a few nails clipped, but he was incredibly distressed and did everything short of biting me to get away. I don't want to accidentally undo his ability to tolerate having them dremeled because aside from how upset he'd be, I'd then be completely screwed as far as managing his nails while the pandemic is happening. I think I did okay with the back paws though, even if they're dodgy by most groomers standards.. lol.. Fingers (and paws) crossed he's more willing with his front paws tomorrow. 

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Snook   

Yay! Front paws done! He was so good with them this morning and was happy to relax upside down in between peanut butter offerings. I did accidentally nick the quicks ever so slightly on his two thickest, longest nails on the outside of both paws and caused a tiny pinprick of blood but he didn't notice and the blood dried up within about 20 to 30 seconds. He was getting a bit antsy by the time I got to the last main nail so I gave him the peanut butter jar so that he could lick at the dregs non stop, while I did that last nail and his dew claws. Justice was pretty happy with that arrangement and hopefully next time around, I'll be done before he's getting sick of it.

 

I had to take a fair bit off of each nail but from now on it will just be trying to get them a bit shorter each time and push the quicks back. They're as short now as they were when he was going to the groomer but they still click on the hard floors when he walks, so I'd like to try and gradually get them to a point where they don't make contact with the ground if I can. I'm feeling a lot better about it all after today's round and knowing he'll let me do them. It also helps seeing that if I do go slightly too far, he's not going to get upset and start refusing to let me near his nails, the way he would if I cut the quick with clippers (although obviously I'm aiming to not get the quicks at all.) 

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Scratch   
On 20/04/2020 at 5:13 PM, Snook said:

I'm just stressed that he'll regress badly with his willingness to let me do them if I bugger it up somehow. I don't know if you remember but the first time you had a go at his nails up at Mannum, he'd been getting sedated to have his nails cut and was still fighting it and vomiting to top things off. I'd decided to stop getting him sedated because it made him sick and terrified of the vet and had managed to pin him down long enough to get a few nails clipped, but he was incredibly distressed and did everything short of biting me to get away. I don't want to accidentally undo his ability to tolerate having them dremeled because aside from how upset he'd be, I'd then be completely screwed as far as managing his nails while the pandemic is happening. I think I did okay with the back paws though, even if they're dodgy by most groomers standards.. lol.. Fingers (and paws) crossed he's more willing with his front paws tomorrow. 

Yes I remember that day up at home! 

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