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Dogs that Panic during nail trimming:
How to train your dog to accept nail trimming.

Many dogs hate having their toenails trimmed. If you hold your dog down to trim his nails, no one is having fun! Instead, try to get your dog's "buy in" to the procedure. Dogs that are afraid of nail trimming need to be desensitized to the procedure.
Start by getting a really yummy treat that you would normally not give your dog- like cheese, or hotdogs. Call your dog over, and feed them treats while touching their paws. If your dog tolerates this, then you can go to the next step, which is just bringing the toe nail trimmer out. Many dogs will run away at this point. Just set the trimmer a short distance from you and call him over and feed him treats. Do this every day until he is comfortable getting treats with the trimmer near you. The next step is to give treats while the trimmer is in your hand. Most dogs will exhibit anxiety each time you get a step closer to actually trimming a nail. It is important to not advance past a certain step until your dog is comfortable. Once your dog is comfortable with you holding the trimmer and giving treats then hold his paw and the trimmer and give treats. When the time comes that you can actually trim a nail, just do one nail and give lots of treats and praise. This is a huge success if you can trim one toenail without holding him down! Try doing one nail a day and by the end of the month, all 4 feet will be done!

new liverFeatured Product: Freeze Dried Liver
At Westgate Pet Clinic, this is our favorite treat to feed dogs to buy their affection! They can be broken into small pieces, have intense flavor, and can be easily chewed. Find them in our clinic at the retail counter.


Doctor Tip: 

Keep toenails short by trimming them frequently.  Long toenails can snag and tear.  If a dog tears a toenail, sometimes they need to be sedated to have the nail removed.  In addition, long toenails can alter a dog's gait.  Toenails that turn out to the side can make the toes turn as well.  This puts stress on the tendons and joints of the foot.  



Pet Memorials

In Memory of: Cookie Dog

Memorial: My husband and I got Cookie 2 years after we were married. I was still in college and we were living in married student housing and weren't allowed to have dogs. We had been wanting a dog for so long, and since we knew we would be moving into a house soon, we went ahead and got Cookie.

We found her at the St. Paul humane society. She was 4 months old and she had her head in a cone because she had just been spayed. She had huge ears that flopped sideways over her head. The cone made her ear situation worse and of course made her even more endearing. We snuck her in and out of our apartment for about a month before we moved into a house. I'm sure all of our neighbors knew what was going on because she hated the first couple of weeks in the kennel. She would howl and cookiescratch the kennel floor at night. Putting a blanket over the kennel and sleeping on the couch next to her finally made her settle down.

When we moved into our first house in rural Le Sueur, Cookie made friends with a neighbor horse. She used to escape our yard and run across the road to the horse's pasture. Cookie and the horse would run back and forth together across the pasture. What a neat experience to see 2 different animal species having fun together!

Cookie was present for all of our big mile stones; my first job, our 2 kids, our move back to the big city. She made friends with every human visitor that came to our house, and most dog visitors. There were certainly dogs she liked and didn't like though, and it was interesting to see the relationships she formed with the neighborhood canines. It is so fun when your dog makes friends with other dogs, and her friends in the neighborhood loved her. One of her friends, Millie a basset hound cross, would wander over regularly. I would sometimes look outside and see a play date in progress.

Cookie developed splenic hemangiosarcoma when she was 10 years old. This cancer of the spleen is very aggressive, and usually by the time it is diagnosed it has already spread through the body. She had her spleen removed to stop internal bleeding, but within 1 week of the surgery she threw a blood clot to a front leg which caused severe and crippling swelling. We elected to let her go. We knew she only had a short amount of time left anyway, and the pain from her leg prevented her from walking more than a couple of feet.

Cookie will be always be loved, and missed dearly. We were lucky to share our lives with her for the short amount of time she was with us. Goodbye Cookie and God Bless.

Puppy School


Traditional obedience classes for dogs start around 5-6 month of age. Our Puppy Preschool Program welcomes dogs from 8 weeks of age, up to 16 weeks of age.  During this time, we are taking advantage of what is called the "No-fear" or "prime socialization window".  We can expose puppies to so many different things during this developmental stage, with the end goal being that they accept all different situations, noises, objects, scenarios, etc, as just another day in the life of a dog! puppy2

Each class begins with puppy play time (one of the most important aspects of this class) because the puppies have a chance to learn from one another.  What is OK?  What is not OK?  "Is this an appropriate way to invite play?"  Or "You bit too hard!"  Puppies can teach other puppies things we as humans just simply cannot. 

Our program emphasizes encouraging positive behavior and will teach owners the proper way to reward, ignore or re-direct the behaviors. A training book by nationally known trainer Patricia B. McConnell, Ph.D. called The Puppy Primer, other reading material, homework assignments and graduation certificate are included.

Class size is limited to 8-10 puppies, this assures that everyone will receive the individual attention they and their pets deserve.   The class is held on five consecutive Wednesdays at the Westgate Pet Clinic, from 7 to 8 o'clock p.m. Children ages 4 and older are encouraged to attend.  Our clinic is excited to meet you and your new puppy, and be a part of the experience that is puppy-raising!

Our Mission:

We provide the quality care our clients expect and their pets deserve, by relying on the expertise and
compassion of each team member.


Contact Us

Westgate Pet Clinic
4345 France Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55410
Directions to Our Clinic
(612)925-6297 Fax
(612)568-1405 Pharmacy

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