Many people avoid trimming their dog’s nails because they know what a hassle it can be, and they may even fear that they will hurt them. However, it is actually much more painful for your dog to be walking around with long toenails. When a dog’s nails get too long and start touching the floors when they walk, the hard surface will push the nail back into the nailbed. This can cause your dog to walk differently to compensate for the pain, which will have further consequences to their health. Therefore, it is essential to trim your dog’s nails on a regular basis. To make the process go smoothly, try out some of our tips and tricks to make it less painful for you, and your dog.
Use a quality tool
While this may seem obvious, choosing a pair of clippers that is compatible with your dog’s nails is one of the most important factors to a successful nail trim. Choose a durable tool that is easy for you to use, and ensures the safety of your dog’s nails. If your dog has large, thick nails you may opt for a large plier-style clipper. If you have a smaller dog, guillotine and scissor style clippers may work just as well. Some owners and animal professionals even prefer to use a Dremel tool to grind the nails down instead. Your dog might favor this too, as it won’t squeeze the nail. However, some may be frightened by the noise and strange sensation, so be sure to start slowly with this method.
Trimming the nails after a bath is the best time, as the toenails will be softened. This makes for an easier clipping and they will be less likely to splinter or crack. Giving your dog a bath first can also help to relax him so he is less likely to fuss while getting his nails trimmed.
Some dogs are uncomfortable having certain parts of their bodies handled, particularly the ears, mouth, tail, and paws. Try to gently acclimate them to these sensations prior to nail trimming. If you hold your dog’s paws on occasions other than during nail trimming, your dog may become more comfortable having his paws handled.
If you have a food-motivated dog, the use of bribery by treats is beneficial to make nail trimmings successful. Have a friend or family member distract the dog by diverting his attention to the treat.
Use your cell phone flashlight
Cell-phones are perfect to add some additional light, and can also be placed under your be laid on the floor to illuminate your dog’s paws. Using the flashlight, examine the underside of your dog’s nail. This is especially useful if your dog has black nails. By examining the underside of the nail, you can safely avoid cutting “the quick” and hurting your dog.
Trim nails out of their sight
Typically when cutting a dog’s nails, the owner will lift the paw and extend the limb out in front of it where the dog has plain sight of what is going on. If you do it while your dog is standing and bend the paw back at the “wrist,” he will not see what is about to happen. This relieves any stressful anticipation your dog may build up by seeing the sharp tools in your hand and fearing that it may hurt.