Do you dread clipping your dog’s nails? Don’t worry you are not alone. Even though it’s not much fun most dog owners will have to make nail clipping part of their regular grooming.
To clip your dog’s nails you will need some basic equipment that you can pick up at any good pet supply store. Don’t try to make do with human clippers. Special dog nail clippers have a different shape and are specially designed to make the clipping as fast and painless as possible. There are other items you can buy to make it easier to trim your dog’s nails too – various products that encourage the blood clotting process are very useful in case of messy clipping accidents.
There are many variations on the best way to clip your dog’s nails. In general, you will want to start with prolonged desensitization of your dog’s feet. This will allow your dog to get used to having his paws handled regularly and will make it easier to have a calm clipping session.
When clipping your dog’s nails for the first time it’s important to ask someone who knows how to do it to show you. You can get many instructions and even some excellent illustrated instructions on how to clip your dog’s nails but watching someone else clip your dog’s nails will give you a chance to ask any questions you might have. If your dog has dark nails (as many do) you will want to watch to get an idea of where your dog “quick” is located. Most veterinarians will clip your dog’s nails for you and this is obviously the best way to learn.
Starting young increases the chances of having a dog who doesn’t mind having his nails trimmed. Puppies generally won’t need to have their nails clipped but even if you only bring the clippers up to his paws and “play clip then” he will learn that it’s just a normal part of life.
Don’t clip your dog’s nails until you are completely sure what you are doing. Not only will your dog pick up on your anxiousness, but he will most probably make things difficult for you.
Many people find that one of the best ways to ensure a calm and easy nail clipping session is by walking the dog before you start with the clipping. Tire your dog out well, and he might not be able to make as much of a fuss as he’d like.
Some people resort to using tranquilizers to make nail clipping easier for their dogs and them. This really shouldn’t be necessary with some foresight. Even the simple act of massaging your dog’s paws for a few minutes every day to desensitize your dog to being touched there.
Of course, the most important thing you can do to make nail clipping easier is to use treats liberally.