Part of caring for your dog properly is trimming their nails. Everyone knows that some dogs really don’t like this process, and you might have a lot of trouble with getting your dog to let you take care of this important task. Some people have to take their dogs to the vet to have their nails trimmed, but there are some ways to teach your dog to be comfortable with this process at home.
Nail trimming often upsets dogs because they feel like they can’t get their feet out of your hands. They might be more worried about the fact that you are grabbing their feet than anything to do with having their nails trimmed. Thankfully, there are some really good ways that you can trim your dog’s nails safely at home without having to struggle with them as you take care of this process.
1. Make Your Dog Feel Safe
One of the biggest hindrances to the nail-trimming process is that many dogs feel worried about having their feet handled, and they get scared when you don’t let their feet go. You will need to take your time teaching your dog to feel safe about having their nails trimmed. If they don’t get panicky, they won’t have a bad association with the process.
Always use a patient and gentle tone, and let your dog take their feet out of your hands if they are struggling. The calmer and more collected you are while you trim your dog’s nails, the more likely you will be to get the job done with ease. Making your dog feel safe is key when you are doing a nail trim at home. This is one of the advantages of trimming your dog’s nails at home since they will feel much safer at home than they may at the vet.
2. Consider Using a Grinder
Some dogs really don’t like the sound of the clippers snapping closed, and others find the pressure from the clippers uncomfortable. You will be able to get around both worries by using a grinder instead of a set of clippers. These are a bit more expensive, but they are really easy to use. Do make sure that you start out removing a very small amount of nail each time you do a trim since the grinder can get down to the quick of the nail very fast in some cases.
Grinders might not work for every dog, but for some pets, it is the perfect solution. You can save a lot of angst and stress for both you and your dog just by having the right tools on hand to take care of this essential grooming process.
3. Reward With Treats
Dogs love positive reinforcement, and it’s even more exciting for them to enjoy positive reinforcement along with food. In the beginning, just trim one of your dog’s nails and make a fuss over them and give them a treat. They will learn to look forward to the food and the praise and think less and less about having their nails trimmed.
You will also be much less likely to come up against our dog’s worries about having their feet held onto if you are only trying to trim one nail at a time. This is a great way to actually teach your dog to look forward to nail-trimming days, and you will be surprised at just how effective treats and praise can be.
4. Use a Distraction
If your dog is too scared for you to even be able to get started trimming their nails, you can set up a distraction to help keep them busy while you are working. You can put peanut butter on a surface and let them lick it, or you can give them a toy with treats in it to play with as you trim.
There is no wrong way to offer up a distraction. Every dog is different and likes different kinds of food and treats, and toys. Figuring out what works to distract your dog might take a little bit of patience, but once you know what your dog is distracted by, you can use this tool to help get a lot of different care processes done.
5. Get Some Help
Sometimes having another person helping you out can make a big difference in your dog’s comfort with the nail trim experience. The other person should never restrain your dog and stop them from moving around or prevent them from leaving your space if they get scared. They should instead praise and pet and keep your dog feeling safe and secure.
Holding onto the collar and not letting your dog escape can lead to very defensive behavior. You should also be careful about both of your holding onto your dog’s feet as you trim. These kinds of restraints can make any dog fearful, and you will be doing more harm than good by having help in this case.
Getting Your Dog’s Nails Trimmed at Home Can be Easy
Trimming your dog’s nails at home can be a snap if you are properly prepared and patient. You must always be calm and controlled, and kind to your dog as you teach them about having their nails trimmed. This will help them to get more and more comfortable with the process and more acceptant of this task. Being able to just trim your dog’s nails at home can save you time and money, and it can also become a bonding process between you and your pet.
Nail trimming needs to be done regularly to keep your pet’s feet healthy, and you can make a big impact on your dog’s comfort if you are able to take care of this as needed at home. Use these tips to teach your dog to allow their nails to be trimmed, and you should have no trouble at all taking care of this job in your own home.
If you have questions about your dog’s wellness and care give your Birch Lake Animal Hospital vet a call at (651) 426-2246. You can also book an appointment online for your pet.
About Birch Lake Animal Hospital
The staff at Birch Lake Animal Hospital seeks to provide the best possible medical care for our highly-valued patients and clients.