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Rated 5 Stars By Over 3,500 Pet Owners

5 Things to Know Before Trying to Clip Your Dog’s Nails

DOG OWNER HACKS

5 Things to Know Before Trying to Clip Your Dog’s Nails

February, 24 2022

Living with and loving a furry, four-legged friend is a privilege – and one of the most therapeutic things you can do for your emotional health. But can we be honest here? There are a few things about sharing your life with a dog that can be, well, unpleasant.


Picking up dog poop is not anybody’s idea of fun. Dental hygiene is important for canine health, but trying to brush a dog’s teeth can be a challenge. Clipping your dog’s nails? For many of us dog lovers, this can be a real test of your patience!


“Though it may not be fun or easy, keeping your dog’s nails at an appropriate length keeps your dog’s paws healthy and minimizes scratches on your floor,” according to the American Kennel Club. “Long nails will affect the shape and conformation of the toes and feet, which can in turn affect a dog’s legs and posture.”


No matter how much of a hassle this may be, clipping your dog’s nails is something that can’t be ignored. Here are some tips to make the experience easier for you and safe for your buddy.

Talk to your vet and/or a professional groomer



If your dog has visited a professional groomer in the past, have a conversation with the groomer to assess your dog’s level of comfort . . . or fear. If you do not have a relationship with a groomer, discuss the regimen with your vet. Ask them to show you the portion of the nail that needs to be trimmed. It’s not a complicated procedure, but it gets tricky if your dog is frightened. 

Make it a monthly routine



Many dogs do not like having their feet examined and fussed over. But if you spend a few moments every day during playtime picking up your dog’s paws and massaging his toes and pads, the anxiety and discomfort will eventually ease. Especially when they’re pups. The more you examine his or her feet – not doing anything other than touching – the more “normal” this exercise becomes. Slowly introduce the trimming tool to the “game” – without clipping. Just let your buddy feel and see the tool. Once your dog is accustomed to you examining paws on a regular basis, trim the nails about once or month or as needed. 

Have the correct equipment



There are three common styles of dog nail trimmers: guillotine, scissors and grinders. Guillotine style clippers have a hole in which the nail is placed. Once the nail is properly in place, you squeeze the handles and a blade rises up from the base to cut the nail. Scissors style nail clippers have two moving blades that come together when you squeeze the clipper handles together. Battery-operated grinders efficiently shorten the nails by grinding the nails down to the correct length. Once again, a vet or professional groomer may help you find the right tool for you and your dog.

Give your dog plenty of praise – and treats! 


Chances are that your dog is not going to love having his nails trimmed. But if you give him a lot of love and praise, the procedure won’t seem so bad. Talking softly and petting lovingly go a long way to help ease your dog’s anxiety. Another excellent way to provide calm is with Ready Pet Go! Calming Chews for Dogs. These bacon-and-cheese flavored soft chews are formulated to help keep your pup calm and make sure they are properly equipped to deal with stressful situations. 

Relax! Accidents happen



Don’t freak out if you make a mistake. Trimming a dog’s nail too short, causing a little bleeding, is common and you shouldn’t feel guilty nor should you panic. Most nail trimming accidents are minor and can be treated by wrapping the paw with a warm, damp cloth and applying pressure. Of course, we want to help you avoid that happening in the first place if we can. One rule of thumb to follow: If your dog has one or more nails that are black, and if the same nail on the opposite paw is white/clear, then go by the latter when you cut the black one.

The more you do it, the better and faster you will get. And the more relaxed your dog will become.



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