8 Tips For Clipping Your Dog’s Nails

Trimming your dog’s nails can be a harrowing experience for both you and your pooch!

Many dog owners are afraid they are going to do something wrong and hurt their dog while attempting this necessary grooming procedure. Dogs are commonly afraid of any behaviors that are out of the ordinary from their usual routines. These helpful hints can make the experience of nail trims better for both of you!

1. Get Your Dog Accustom To The Nail Clippers As Soon As You Can!
This means forming an association between the clippers and good things. Show your dog the clippers and give him a treat. Put the clippers near his paws and give him a treat. Do not clip the nails while you are trying to form this association!

2. Touch Your Dogs Paws!
The more your dog is used to you handling his paws, the more comfortable he will be with nail trims. When he is relaxed, touch his paws gently. Rub them in ways your dog enjoys. This step is especially important in puppies, as they will form lifetime associations with being handled in this way.

3. Pick The Right Equipment!
Scissor style clippers or nail grinders are the best choices when clipping your dog’s nails. Guillotine-style clippers can crush the nail if they aren’t sharp enough. If you choose to use a grinder, make sure to read the directions carefully.

4. Enlist The Help Of A Friend.
If you know that clipping your dog’s nails is going to be a challenge, enlist the help of a friend to be the treat-giver! Set them up with enough goodies to keep your dog occupied while you work.

5. Less Restraint Is Often More!
Some people make the mistake of trying to restrain their dogs firmly while clipping their nails. In many cases this only exacerbates the situation and makes your dog more uncomfortable with the grooming. Dogs don’t like to be held down and will generally struggle less if they are not. Obvious exceptions are dogs that have aggressive tendencies.

6. Know What Your Doing!
If you are using clippers: When clipping trim off only the tip of the nail, avoiding the “quick” (the center of the nail. In dogs with light colored nails, you can actually see the quick).

If you are using a grinder: Gently separate your dog’s toes without squeezing them. On the low setting, move the head of the grinder around the end of the nail. Grind it to a smooth surface while being aware of the “quick”. Make sure you don’t catch any fur in the process

7. If An Accident Does Happen And You Hit The Quick.
Remain calm - this is not a serious injury, though the nail may bleed quite a bit. Have a styptic pen ready, just in case. If you do not have a styptic pen, plain flour can work as a less effective replacement.

8. Clip Regularly!
While some dogs naturally wear down their nails when they walk, others grow quickly. Check your dog’s paws weekly, as most canines will need a pedicure once every 3-4 weeks. If you get into this routine, it is likely your pooch will begin to cooperate more for nail trims!

Also check out:
Safety tips for cutting your dog's nails

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