Can I Give My Dog Imodium for Diarrhea?

Can I give my dog Imodium for diarrhea? Imodium is a synthetic opioid designed to promote constipation.  This particular drug (also known as loperamide) is safe to use in SOME dogs, but not all.

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Herding breeds like Australian shepherds, Shetland sheepdogs, Border Collies, German Shepherds, Corgis, and all others that fit within this breed cannot tolerate Imodium.

The problem is the MDR1 gene, a mutant gene that seriously limits this breed’s ability to breakdown the drug. When a dog ingests anything it is unable to metabolize through the kidneys or liver, the substance becomes toxic to the dog.  

By the end of this post, you’ll have a better understanding of whether you should give your dog Imodium or not. You’ll have a deeper understanding of underlying conditions that could be affecting your dog and when it’s time to simply get your dog to the vet.

What Side-Effects Can Occur if I Give my Dog Imodium for Diarrhea?

Any drug has side-effects, and for the most part they are mild. Some will even go away during treatment. If you are administering Imodium to your dog (please make sure your dog does not carry the MDR1 gene!  See above.

Side-Effects Might Include:

  • Vomiting.
  • Soft Stools.
  • Bloating.
  • Flatulence.
  • Weight Loss.
  • Bloody Diarrhea.
  • Constipation.
  • Sedation.

Do You Know What’s Causing Diarrhea in Your Dog?

There are several things that could be going on in a dog with persistent diarrhea.  The best-case scenario is that it’s just a passing thing that will clear up on its own.  The question, “Can I give my dog Imodium for diarrhea”, should be well thought out and addressed by a veterinarian if possible. 

This YouTube video is really useful to learn more about diarrhea in dogs!  It’s worth taking a few minutes to watch.

Dogs are known to gobble up things they aren’t supposed to.  However, there could be any number of underlying conditions causing the problem. 

In the cases noted below, treating your dog for diarrhea might stabilize the immediate problem, but does nothing to address the real problem. This is why it’s highly recommended that you seek veterinary input if your dog’s diarrhea lasts longer than 24 hours.

Common Causes of Diarrhea in Dogs


The first thing the veterinarian will want to check for are parasites. Internal parasites like giardiasis (intestinal infection), tapeworms, whipworm, roundworm, and hookworms are all considerations. 

Luckily, worms in dogs are easily treated with regular topical solutions. The trick is to keep the treatments going all year long to prevent a recurrence.

Read this review on The Prevalence of Giardiasis in Dogs


Other causes of diarrhea in dogs might include a sudden dietary change (has he been in the neighbor’s garbage lately?)

ANTIBIOTICS – Can I Give my Dog Imodium for Diarrhea?

Has your dog recently been prescribed an antibiotic? Antibiotics are notorious for not only destroying the bad bacteria, but taking the “good” bacteria along with it. 

The natural gut enzymes become vulnerable and breakdown. This breakdown can cause abdominal pain along with constipation or diarrhea.

PANCREATITIS – Can I Give my Dog Imodium for Diarrhea?

Pancreatitis is a condition that affects middle-aged and senior dogs.  It’s also common in overweight dogs and tends to befall females more than males.

Acute pancreatitis symptoms include loss of appetite, vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea.

You might be interested in reading Best Probiotics for Dogs with Diarrhea published on hubpages.com.


Not to get too personal, but I’ve experienced pretty stressful events that have left my gastrointestinal functioning a little “active”. 

Dogs love routine and any sudden shift in that can cause bowel problems.  Some specific things that could cause stress in your dog include a sudden move, introducing a new pet into the home, changing your dog’s diet too quickly, boarding at a kennel, or being placed in new situations.

CANCER – Can I Give My Dog Imodium for Diarrhea?

My blog is not about being an alarmist, which is why I hesitated to add this category.  The reality is, if your dog is otherwise healthy and still behaving the way he/she normally does, it’s probably not cancer.

Cancer is one of those things that usually presents itself in different ways, long before serious bouts of diarrhea occur. In fact, diarrhea in dogs with cancer is more likely a side-effect of the chemotherapy more than the cancer itself.

I’m not qualified to speak with authority on the topic of cancer in dogs, but I also don’t want you to worry needlessly. Your best bet is to always check with a licensed veterinarian.  A quick phone call might be all you need to get some perspective.

You might be interested in reading more about dog drug toxicity at Pet University.  

Imodium Dosage for Dogs – Yes, You CAN Give Your Dog Imodium for Diarrhea

If you feel confident now in answering your question, “Can I give my dog Imodium for diarrhea?”, then you should know the appropriate dosage for dogs.

Generally speaking (and assuming you are absolutely certain your dog does not have the MDR1 gene mutation), dogs would take 0.1 mg/kg.  Your veterinarian might suggest offering the drug twice a day at that strength. So, for example, a 10 pound dog would get a dose of 0.4 mg of Imodium and a 50 pound dog would get 2 mg.

Why Mixed Breeds Should be Tested for the MDR1 Gene Mutation

The reason for testing mixed breeds is because you might not be sure that there isn’t some herding DNA in your dog’s ancestry.  

The first thing to do is talk to your veterinarian about having the procedure done. DNA testing typically involves either a cheek swab or a blood sample.

Most veterinarian clinics do not perform the test themselves, but they might perform the swab and send it to a lab for a fee. The veterinarian’s fee does not include the cost of the test itself. 

You can also go straight to the source.  There are several brands of genetic tests available for dogs, although the science may not be as precise as that of a university laboratory, for example.   

Genetic testing for the sake of curiosity is fine and it’s okay to use a store-purchased testing kit.

However, if you really want to be sure of your dog’s potential risks, visit a site like Washington State University where they offer testing services.

Other Over-the-Counter Drugs that are Toxic for Dogs Include:

Tylenol – which is acetaminophen

Advil/Motrin – Ibuprofen

Aleve – naproxen

Sleeping pills designed for human use

Certain antidepressants 

This is just a partial list of drugs known to be toxic to animals.  Always check with a licensed veterinarian when in doubt!

How to Treat Diarrhea in Dogs at Home

Here are a few easy things to try at home to see if it helps ease your dog’s diarrhea.

Bland Diet

Bland diets generally consist of foods like white rice and soft dog food combined together.  Boiled chicken or turkey mixed with white rice is a good choice. The low-fat to high-protein ratio is a good choice for dogs with diarrhea.

Dogs have a sensitive digestive tract that can only handle so much. When in doubt, talk to the veterinarian.  Clinics or quality pet stores usually sell food made specifically for your breed of dog, or for specific, temporary ailments like cases of diarrhea. 

Some people also try baby food, specifically meat and rice products, with their dog.  The trick is to not add additional fat, sugar, and fiber into the diet until the diarrhea passes.

Pepto Bismol for Dogs with Diarrhea

Pepto bismol is safe to give to dogs, provided it’s the kind that only contains bismuth subsalicylate.   Bismuth subsalicylate is an antacid and antidiarrheal. The compound acts as a binding agent within the gut and is also thought to slow down motility in the gut.  Serious side-effects in dogs is rare. The biggest concern with bismuth subsalicylate is that it coats the bowels and turns them black. When that happens, it’s hard to determine if there is blood in the stool.

When It’s Time to See a Licensed Veterinarian

Never let diarrhea in dogs go for longer than a couple of days and make sure your dog is drinking enough fluid. It might seem as if the fluid is going in one end and literally coming out the other, but it’s important to keep your dog as hydrated as possible.  Now might be a good time to taper from the usual play or exercise routine as well.  

It’s not unusual for dogs to have short-term bouts of diarrhea. The danger is when it continues over a series of days. Dehydration is a serious condition that needs to be treated properly.

You might be interested in reading about Pedialyte for dogs. 

Can I Give My Dog Imodium for diarrhea
Is it safe to give Imodium to your dog?

I want to thank you for taking the time to read this post.  I hope you were able to find useful information and I hope your dog will soon be on the mend! Please feel free to contact me directly with your comments or questions. I can be reached at latheriault@hugspetproducts.com or you can complete the form below.  I always personally answer my comments.

Now, if you could take a second to POST, TWEET, OR PIN, I would be grateful.  Again, thanks so much and I hope to see you again.

Trifexis for Dogs – New 2019 Guide

Unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation about the use of prescription medications like Trifexis for dogs. The internet is ripe with anecdotal stories of dogs who’ve had serious reactions to drugs like Trifexis but the reality is, if your dog is being treated and monitored by a licensed veterinarian, the medication is much safer than the parasites themselves.

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Trifexis is safe to use in dogs 8 weeks or older, and 5 pounds or heavier. Trifexis for dogs provides a triple punch against parasites including fleas, heartworm, and worms like whipworm and roundworm.

Trifexis is considered a broad-spectrum, safe medication.  You should keep in mind that dogs younger than 14 weeks of age tend to vomit after the first dosage.  If that happens within the first hour of administration, you will need to redose your dog.

I have no affiliation with the makers of Trifexis, but I do believe in the advancement of science and the trials that go into making drugs like Trifexis for dogs safe. 

Don’t Bother with Homeopathic Medicine for Heartworm 

I realize this is a highly controversial subject, but as a regular dog owner like yourself, I really feel that prescription drugs are a sure-thing when it comes to potentially fatal conditions like heartworm.

Alternative or homeopathic dog medicine certainly has its place in dog care, but I believe the most effective way to actually protect your dog from parasites is through prescription, FDA approved medication.  Trifexis for dogs is one of those medications. 

It’s important to always weight the risks and the benefits of any drug you give to your dog. A licensed veterinarian can answer your questions.

Side-Effects of Trifexis for Dogs.

The side effects of Trifexis for dogs include lethargy, mild depression, lack of appetite, and possibly vomiting.   Some dogs will become itchy or develop mild diarrhea.  Trembling and incoordination are also possible (but rarer) side-effects.  The majority of dogs will have very mild side-effects, if any.  Younger dogs tend to vomit.

There’s a reason that many drugs require a prescription and it’s not because your veterinarian earns a kickback from the company. 

Requiring a prescription means that you have to bring your dog to a veterinarian before you can administer the drug. In doing this, you give your dog the best chance with the least amount of side effects. 

Get the facts on trifexis for dogs.

Before starting Trifexis for dogs, the veterinarian will want to test for any current heartworm infection. In addition, the veterinarian (if your dog has been to this doctor before) will know your dog’s medical history and will be able to make an appropriate decision on parasite control. 

Seizures have been noted in dogs taking Trifexis (although rare), which is why the veterinarian may suggest another drug if your dog has pre existing epilepsy. 

Important Notes You Need to Know about Trifexis for Dogs

Vomiting is not uncommon when dogs take Trifexis for the first time.  Occasional vomiting is not a serious condition. The most important thing to be aware of is whether your dog vomits within an hour of administration.  If that happens, you will need to redose your dog in order to get complete heartworm protection.

Some dogs taking Trifexis will develop diarrhea. Keep your dog well-hydrated and report back to the veterinarian if the diarrhea gets worse or lasts more than 24 hours.

Precautions in Trifexis for Dogs 

The active ingredients in Trifexis include Spinosad (effectively kills fleas and stops the cycle) and Milbemycin oxime (treats heartworm, adult hookworm, roundworm, and whipworm).

Never give your dog more than the recommended dosage. Trifexis for dogs is considered safe at appropriate dosages.  More of the drug doesn’t work any faster or better. 

Breeding females should not be administered Trifexis. There isn’t much information out there regarding breeding males, so it’s probably best to avoid Trifexis for them as well. 

Trifexis Horror Stories 

The last few years has shown an increase in paranoia and fear over certain prescription drugs. Trifexis for dogs is taking a hit from the public over safety concerns.  The fact that dogs have died while taking Trifexis doesn’t mean it was the Trifexis that caused the death.  

That’s not to say Trifexis is safe for every dog; however, the history of its use points to safe outcomes time and time again. Parasitic infections like heartworm, however, are always fatal if left untreated. 

Take a few minutes to watch this video about heartworms and their treatments.

Dog owners should be concerned about what they’re giving their dogs, but it’s important to find research that is objective.  Trifexis for dogs will only be prescribed after an assessment by a licensed veterinarian to make sure the dog isn’t suffering from other chronic illnesses. 

Protecting Your Dog from Parasites 

Trifexis for dogs is used to stop and kill the life cycle of fleas and various worms including heartworm.  It’s more dangerous to start and stop dosages  based on fears than it is to offer continuous, year-round treatment. Why? Because infestations can’t be cured overnight. In order for drugs like Trifexis to work properly, it takes many months to effectively halt the life cycle of heartworms.

Read all about the Insane Heartworm Life Cycle in Dogs!

Heartworm may not present any symptoms at all until your dog has been infected for 6 months.  At that stage, your dog might show symptoms of coughing and the inability to tolerate exercise. This is because heartworms (as the name implies) affect the heart and the heart valves. As the worms grow and multiply, they will eventually destroy the heart completely. 

How Much and How Often

Unlike natural or alternative treatments, there is no guessing game associated with Trifexis for dogs. The manufacturers of the drug have conducted studies that point to the safest, most effective dosing requirements. 

Dogs 5 pounds and over can take this drug safely.  Since a prescription is required, you will be in a position to ask many questions about the drug. You’ll also be given an appropriate dosage based on your dog’s unique needs.

Trifexis for dogs is given as an oral tablet once per month. Your veterinarian will prescribe the dosage appropriate for your dog’s weight. Do not discontinue use as you will only put your dog at further risk.  Heartworm can recur if the dog is exposed to mosquitoes. The only way to avoid mosquitoes entirely is to keep your dog under lock and key. And nobody is going to do that. 

Other Medications Might Not Work

The truth is, parasites (like bacterial infections) build an immunity to certain drugs. Drugs of the past may not work as effectively or require increased dosages. Giving too much of a drug is detrimental. Not giving enough won’t provide adequate protection against parasites. 

If you live in an area where there are mosquitoes and fleas, you have to worry about parasitic infestations. Fleas and worms (notably heartworms) can have long-term effects on your dog’s health.  Untreated heartworm is actually fatal. 

The beauty of Trifexis for dogs is its three-in-one protection. It’s easy to administer (one tabet monthly) and can save your dog from many secondary infections caused by parasites like fleas. 

Flea Allergies

Some dogs are actually very allergic to fleas. One bite can cause a dog’s entire body to itch uncontrollably.  Constant itching and scratching can cause the skin to develop sores and ulcerate. When this happens, bacteria easily penetrates to the bloodstream. 

 Read about the different types of dermatitis in dogs.

Don’t Think Your Area has Heartworms?  Think Again!

Heartworms thrive in humid climates, especially in areas subjected to mosquitoes. If you’ve ever been camping, enjoy walks or hikes in the outdoors, or live in one of these areas, you know what it’s like to experience that high-pitched whine of a mosquito. He’s nearby but you can’t find him until it’s too late.  You might suffer an annoying itch. Your dog, however, could be on his way to a heartworm infestation. 

Mosquitoes carry the heartworm larva which is transmitted to dogs when they bite. The parasite burrows through the bloodstream and settles in the heart chambers and arteries. 

Trifexis for dogs is the best way to halt heartworm infestation.

The Dire Consequence of Fleas in Dogs

Fleas are another pest that you don’t want your dog to carry. They take weeks to kill off (because of the three-week life cycle) and are easily transmitted from pet to pet. The eggs are shed in the dog’s bedding, carpeting, and furniture. Flea infestations are no fun. Worse, they can cause serious trauma to your dog’s skin. 


Trifexis for dogs is a safe medication designed to protect your beloved dog. The best way to prevent heartworm, flea, or roundworm infestations is through FDA approved meds.  In addition, the best way to make sure Trifexis for dogs is as safe as possible is to maintain regular checkups with the veterinarian. 

Having a healthy, active dog requires a little bit of care and prevention.  Trifexis for dogs should never be given to a dog without seeing a veterinarian first. The reasons, as noted above, are so the doctor can make sure the drug is appropriate and can monitor for side effects before they become serious.

I want to thank you for reading this post and I hope you were able to find useful information. Remember, I’m not a veterinarian and I welcome any comments and corrections! Please feel free to email me at latheriault@hugspetproducts.com or complete the form below this post. 

trifexis for dogs

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Can Dogs Eat Nectarines?

Are you looking to expand the variety of fruits and vegetables you offer your dog? Then you picked the right post to read. The answer to the question “Can dogs eat nectarines” is a resounding yes!

In fact, nectarines are a healthy source of vitamins and minerals when fed in moderation. Most dogs love the juicy, sweet flesh, and nectarines make an excellent purée or dried fruit treat for your dog.

With a little preparation, dogs can safely eat many fruits and vegetables, including nectarines and peaches! In this post we will cover a bit of info about nectarines and peaches, and how you can safely incorporate these fruits into your dog’s diet!

Can Dogs Eat Nectarines?

Yes, you can offer your dog small portions of nectarines and peaches. There are still possible dangers to eating these fruits, however, so read on and don’t just toss a whole nectarine to your dog and walk away.

The following video is all about dogs eating fresh fruit and vegetables (once you get past the 3 second ad)

Nectarine Facts

Nectarines are a common summer fruit, and we think of them as a smooth-skinned version of their cousins, peaches. In fact, peaches and nectarines are considered the same species even though they are classified agriculturally as different fruits.

Peaches and nectarines are members of the rose family, and are related to other well known fruits like cherries, apricots and plums. The fruits in this family commonly have a hard, inedible pit in the center that has to be removed before giving it to your dog (read more below on the dangers of pits).

Nectarines and peaches are both delicious and nutritious fruits that are high in fiber. They are also a good source of vitamins and minerals. They contain about 63 calories per serving, and so fit into a healthy diet for most dogs.

You might want to read:  Phenobarbital Side Effects in Dogs!

Here are some of the vitamins and minerals you can expect to find in a serving of nectarines/peaches (as % of daily recommended value):

  • 12% Vitamin C– Good for respiratory problems and to maintain healthy bowels.
  • 9% Vitamin A– Supports liver, lung and kidney health.
  • 8% Niacin- Crucial for overall health and supports gastrointestinal health.
  • 8% Potassium- Required for the functioning of nerves, muscles and enzymes.
  • 10% Dietary Fiber- Assists with digestive health and helps prevent constipation.

Possible Dangers from Eating Nectarines

While it is safe to offer your dog a few slices of nectarines or peaches, you should be cautious about letting your dog play with a whole piece of fruit. While the flesh of the fruit is safe for your dog to eat, there can be side effects, and the pits hold several dangers for dogs.

Stomach Upset

While most dogs can eat a small amount of fruit with no side effects, you want to start with small portions, and gradually build up to larger ones.

Some dogs may be more sensitive to eating a new fruit, and giving too big a portion of nectarines or peaches could lead to an upset stomach or diarrhea. If their digestive system isn’t use to eating fruit it could throw things off. Also, in some dogs the fruit can ferment in their digestive tract, leading to gas and flatulence.

So start with small portions, and then increase the amount they eat gradually! Use fruit as a treat and make it a regular part of their normal diet to avoid side effects.

Avoid the Pits

Never give your dog a whole piece of the fruit, or allow them to chew on the pit at the center of nectarines or peaches (or any stone fruit, really). These pits present a real danger to dogs.

Chewing on the pits could break their teeth, leading to higher dental bills and even the loss of teeth.

Also, dogs can easily swallow the pits. These pits are the perfect size to get stuck in the digestive tract. If that happens, your dog will need surgery to remove it.

There is another danger to these pits, however. Inside the pit is a little kernel that contains a chemical compound called amygdalin. When ingested, this compound turns to hydrogen cyanide in the stomach. This might not be enough to kill a large dog, but could still be dangerous and lead to toxicity. In small dogs, a single pit could contain enough amygdalin to cause a serious reaction, even leading to death.

You might be interested in 11 Side Effects of the Rabies Vaccine in Dogs

So make sure you remove the pit before you allow your dog to eat a peach or nectarine, and be careful that you dispose of the pits where your dog can’t get to them. Also, if you have a tree in your yard, be sure your dog isn’t sampling the fallen fruit when you are not watching.

Save your money and avoid the pitfalls of stone fruits!

Ways to Incorporate Fruit into Your Dog’s Diet

With the pits safely removed, you are free to treat your dog with nectarines and peaches!

Start with a couple of fresh slices as a treat, and then branch out as your dog becomes accustomed to eating this tasty fruit. Dogs often enjoy sweets, and fruit is a great way to satisfy their sweet tooth in a healthy fashion.

You can even give your dog frozen slices as a summer treat. There are many different ways to incorporate fruit and vegetables into their diets, so have some fun making special fruit treats for your dog!

Frozen Treats

You can take puréed nectarines and freeze them into ice cube trays to make a quick and easy summer frozen treat for your dog!

If you want to get fancier (maybe for a puppy party?), mix the purée with some plain yogurt and add in pieces of other vegetables or fruits like carrots and blueberries. You can freeze this mix in ice cube trays or even little cups, and you will have your own homemade “pupscicles!”

Dried Treats

Dried fruit, in moderation, can be a tasty and healthy chew treat for dog too!

If you have a dehydrator you can make them yourself to avoid the extra sugar and preservatives often found in commercial fruit mixes. If you don’t have a dehydrator, you can put the fruit on cookie sheets and dry them in your oven on the lowest setting. It might take 12 hours or longer, but your dog will thank you. Sweet potatoes are a great option for a homemade dried chew too!

Enjoying the Fruits of Success

Once your dog has become accustomed to eating nectarines and peaches, you will start to look forward to the Dog Days of Summer and the bounty of the fruit harvest. These fruits are a healthy addition to your dog’s diet, and contain many vitamins and minerals that your dog will benefit from. Just be careful about those pits, and you will have a fruit eating pup for years to come!

Thank you for taking the time to read this post!  Please remember to PIN, Tweet, or Post! 

can dogs eat nectarines?

Author Biography

Jen Clifford has a B.A. in Biology from Reed College. She was a field biologist for several years, and then spent 10 years working in veterinary medicine as a receptionist and technician.  Jen is currently a freelance writer living in the Pacific Northwest with her tribe of pets. She is a passionate animal lover who is dedicated to helping people find solutions to their pet-related challenges.

To read more of Jen’s work, check out her website:  mywickedtribe.com

How to Trim Your Dog’s Nails

Nail trims. Words that strike fear into many owners (and dogs)! Why does it have to be so hard? It doesn’t.  In this article, we will go over how to trim your dog’s nails, and some other helpful hints for getting this chore taken care of.

Nail trims may not be fun, but they don’t have to be hard. With the right preparation and some training, most dogs can have their nails trimmed at home!

Quick Lesson in Nail Anatomy

Your dog’s nails may be clear, white, black or a combination of colors. If your dog’s nails are clear or white, you should be able to see a pinkish core that goes partway down the nail towards the tip. This is the “quick,” the living part of the nail that can be accidentally cut when doing nail trims.

The quick is a blood vessel. If you hit the quick, your dog may get upset (it hurts a bit) and may start to bleed. This is probably one of the primary reasons why people pay groomers and vets to do nail trims!

If your dog has black nails, avoiding the quick is harder, but not impossible. You just want to cut less at a time and go slower.

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For all nails, if you look at the nail as you cut it, you should see a circle impression in the tip of the nail as you get closer to the quick. Stop when you see it!

What Equipment is Needed to Trim Dog Nails

You don’t need a lot of fancy gear to do a nail trim. Find a pair of nail clippers that fit comfortably in your hands. There are many different kinds, like guillotine style and scissor types. I find that it is easiest to use smaller standard clippers, since I have small hands, but just pick a pair that you like.

Make sure you have some styptic powder handy, like QuikStop. Just in case you trim too closely to the quick, you can use this powder to stop the bleeding quickly. You can also use cornstarch, if you don’t have any styptic powder handy, but it can take a lot of it to stop bleeding.

You will also need some treats to give your dog while you are doing the trim! You can even spread peanut butter on a toy to distract then while you trim!

In summary, you will need:

  • Pair of comfortable dog nail clippers
  • Styptic powder
  • Treat or other distraction/reward for your dog

Nail Trim Basics

The easiest way to learn how to do a nail trim is to have your groomer or vet do a demonstration. A groomer or vet can point out any special challenges your dog’s nails may present.

Puppy Nail Trims

It is much easier to start teaching your dog when they are a puppy that nail trims are no big deal.

The best way to start is to give your puppy a weekly nail trim. Make it fun! Give lots of treats, take a break after each paw, and make sure your puppy is having a good time. This positive experience will help you when they need proper nail trims as adults.

Puppy nails grow quickly, and have sharp little tips on them that can really hurt! All you have to do is lift the paw and carefully snip that sharp tip off. You are not actually trying to cut back the whole nail, just the tip.

Do this weekly, and your puppy will have a solid start in learning to accept nail trims!

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Adult Dog Nail Trims

You can position your dog in any way that they are comfortable and that gives you access to their nails. This is much easier if you can see the paw too! I like to trim my dog’s nails when they are sleepy.  If they are lying on their side, it is very easy to see the nails, but do whatever works for your dog.

Start by seeing if you can locate the quick. If you can see it, make a note in your mind so you don’t cut too closely.

Take the clippers and begin by taking a little off the end of the nail. You can do this at an angle, so the center of the nail is getting trimmed a bit less. This will look uneven, but on your next cut angle in from a different side. If you keep doing this all around the edges, taking a little more nail off each time, you will be left with a fairly rounded nail end.

How Far to Trim a Dog’s Nails

When you start to see a circle impression in the center of the cut nail, you are close to the quick. This is a good place to stop. It is always better to leave the nails a little longer than risk cutting the quick. That could scare your dog and make the next nail trim harder.

What if You Cut the Quick?

This happens to everyone at some point. Most of the time, you just nick the quick and you start to see some bleeding. Break out the styptic powder and the bleeding will be finished in no time!

I use a moist cotton tipped applicator to do this. Just dip it in the powder and apply the applicator to the bleeding bit of nail with some pressure. Hold it there for a minute, and be sure the powder gets packed into the bleeding area.

Let up the pressure and take a look. If it is still bleeding, apply some more powder and pressure. Do this until the bleeding has stopped. Leave the powder on the nail, and it shouldn’t start back up.

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How Often Should a Dog’s Nails Be Trimmed?

It depends. Dogs who are active or walk a lot on concrete may only need a few nail trims a year, while other dogs may need them every month. I would say every 3 to 6 weeks is average.

It is better to do frequent, easy nail trims. If you allow your dog’s nails to get really long, they could end up getting a nail caught on something and tear it off. Also, the quick can grow very long, making it hard to do nail trims.

I hope this article has explained the basics of doing a doggy nail trim for you! You can also use a dremel to file the nail down, or even just on the edges after a clipped nail trim. Just go slow, take a little off at a time, and stop before you hit the quick. It is that easy!

How to Trim Your Dog's Nails


Jen Clifford has a B.A. in Biology from Reed College. She was a field biologist for several years, and then spent 10 years working in veterinary medicine as a receptionist and technician.  Jen is currently a freelance writer living in the Pacific Northwest with her tribe of pets. She is a passionate animal lover who is dedicated to helping people find solutions to their pet-related challenges.

You can find more of her work at her website https://MyWickedTribe.com.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post!  I hope you were able to get some useful insight into how to trim your dog’s nails.  Make sure to come back when you need more dog health information.

Please take a second to Pin, Tweet, or Post! 

The Best Age to Neuter Your Dog

Ask anyone what the best age to neuter your dog is and you’ll discover just how controversial the topic can be.  Some people say before six months and some people say after six months of age. This post will help you decide the best age to neuter your dog based on facts.

Ultimately, you want a healthy dog who has a long, happy life. This information is general in scope; the decision on what age to spay or neuter your dog isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. That said, there is evidence to show that a dog who has reached sexual maturity before being spayed or neutered has an overall healthier outcome.

Is It Really THAT Important to Have My Dog Neutered?

 It’s important to have dogs spayed or neutered for a number of reasons. First, the overpopulation of pets in North America is putting dogs at risk of being euthanized. Shelters can only hold so many dogs and it’s not always that easy to find homes for them. 

Read more on how important it is to find the best age to neuter your dog!

Can I Still Have My 1 Year Old Dog Neutered?

Actually, you’re right on time!

Veterinarians suggest allowing a larger breed dog to fully mature before neutering. Males who are neutered too early experience a decline in testosterone. Lack of testosterone can lead to obesity.

It can be a complicated subject, so make sure to talk to your trusted veterinarian for the best advice on the best age to neuter your dog.

Protect Your Dog While Fertile

Waiting a year to have your dog neutered means keeping him away from female dogs in heat.  His behaviour will change and it will be harder to keep him inside.

Females in heat will draw dogs from miles away. Male dogs can pick up the scent from as far as 3 miles away.  If the best age to neuter your dog is over six months of age, make sure to keep her safely indoors. When bringing your dog outside be sure to stay with her and keep her on a leash.

You might be interested in: Are Dog’s Mouths Cleaner than Humans?

What About Neutering Before Six Months of Age?

If you decide that the best age to neuter your dog is BEFORE six months of age, there are some things you should know. Early neutering is thought to interrupt thyroid hormone production. That results in hypothyroidism, a chronic condition that slows your dog’s system down. 

In addition, males who are neutered too early (as stated above) tend to lose testosterone. Low testosterone can affect the healthy growth of bone structure.  Abnormal growth can cause structural problems in the bones. These structural problems can leave your dog vulnerable to injuries like ACL tears.

Take a minute to check out this YouTube video on the best age to neuter your dog.  Trust me…it’s worth a watch!

What Are the Risks of Having my Dog Neutered?

Most veterinarians would say that the benefits of having your dog neutered far outweigh the risks.   Studies show that waiting until your male dog reaches full maturity is best for the dog; however, it puts increased responsibility on the owner.

Any type of surgery poses a risk because of the anesthetic. There is less risk in a young, healthy dog. The older a dog gets, the more of an issue it can become.  Veterinarians usually like to do some pre-surgery blood work just to make sure there are no underlying conditions that could complicate the surgery.

Can I Wait Until I Can Afford To Have my Dog Neutered?

Once you’ve decide on the best age to neuter your dog, it’s time to look at your bank account. Unlike things like tooth extractions which can cost hundreds to thousands of dollars, neutering is relatively inexpensive.  Expect to pay about $200 unless you have dog insurance.  If you cannot afford it, however, there are ways to get around the cost.

Humane societies and other non-profit organizations help low-income families cover the costs of spaying or neutering.  You can always ask the veterinarian if they offer CareCredit. 

CareCredit is, essentially, a credit card designed to help you when money is tight. They give you six months to pay it off in full before you begin to accrue high interest rates.  Most people love this option because it enables them to make monthly payments they can afford.  Also, most people are able to pay the balance off before the six month period is over.

If you live in Canada:

Contact the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies (CFHS). This organization represents humane societies across Canada.  

The Canadian Federation of Humane Societies provides a list of clinics/shelters across the country that provide assistance in the spaying and neutering of pets.  For a comprehensive report on strays who’ve been sheltered in Canada, you can also read their latest statistics.

If you live in the United States:

Contact the Humane Society of the United States. This organization works to protect animals nation-wide and operates through donations. They, too, can help you find low-cost clinics to spay or neuter your dog.

If you live in the United Kingdom:

Contact the Humane Society International organization. This non-profit organization will help you find affordable surgery.  Interested in statistics? Check out the website for tons of information.

Your veterinarian is the best source of information and he/she will be able to advise you most appropriately. You obviously care about your dog, otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this. Help the global effort to reduce the overpopulation of pets and make an appointment now to have your dog neutered.

Dog Neutering Recovery – Post Surgery

I’ve had both of my dogs neutered and they were able to walk out of the clinic just hours later.  Dogs are usually a little sleepy for a few hours after getting home. However, when they come around it’s important to keep them from chewing at their stitches. 

Medium sized or large dogs might let you get away with putting one of your t-shirts on them. The fabric keeps their mouths away from the stitches and they don’t have to endure an uncomfortable Elizabethan collar.

Your veterinarian might suggest a light diet for your dog for the first 24 hours after surgery.  In some cases, your dog might not be that hungry anyway. 

Your dog should be able to walk around comfortably soon after the surgery. However, avoid rough play and high exertion.  Ball chasing is not advised until the stitches come out.

Click here for the scoop on female spaying!

Thank you for taking the time to learn more about neutering your dog!  Why not take a second to share this with friends and family with pets of their own?

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