Nail trimming isn’t fun for anyone involved, but unfortunately, it’s a necessary part of life with a dog. Whether it’s your first time venturing into cutting your dog’s nails, or if you have a particularly nervous pup, you’ll want to provide the most positive experience possible so that this process doesn’t feel like a torture session. Here are a few tips to making dog nail trimming easier.
- Play with your dog’s feet: Regularly handle your pup’s paws and play with them. Touch, poke, and gently grab each nail, toe, and the whole paw. Practice this every so often to get your dog used to having his paws handled.
- Getting used to the sounds: A motorized dremel tool can be especially scary to a dog that hasn’t heard one before. Set your nail clipper or dremel tool (switched off) on the floor and let your dog approach and sniff it. Squeeze the nail clipper in the air so your dog can hear what it sounds like. Turn on the dremel tool for a few seconds for your dog to hear.
- Have a positive attitude: Dogs can pick up on our moods, so if you’re nervous, it’s likely they will be too. Talk to your dog in a positive, upbeat tone and remain calm and relaxed.
- Lots of treats: Keep tasty treats nearby and offer them after each clip. For extra shy dogs, offer treats just for letting you play with their toes.
- Take it slowly: Don’t push your dog too far out of his comfort zone. If he has a very low tolerance for nail trims, try cutting just one nail a day. Eventually you can work your way up to more nails per trimming session.
Nail trimming hacks
- Nails are softer after bathing or soaking in water, which can make them easier to cut. Plus, it will reduce the loud “click” noise that might scare your dog.
- Recruit a friend to hold a spoon of peanut butter for your dog to lick during nail trims. The benefits are twofold: it provides a distraction for your dog which helps you focus on the task at hand, and it helps create a positive nail trimming experience for your dog.
- In case of accidental bleeding, you can use a small dab of cornstarch on the end of the nail to stop the bleeding.