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How to trim a nervous dogs nails

Posted by: Tim Berrisford  Date: 02/07/2014   Category: Expert Advice

On a weekly basis we have customers contacting us about cutting their dog’s nails and the struggle they have with it. Some dog owners find their dogs hard to control, some are nervous themselves about doing it wrong and hurting their dog and some dogs run off at the sight of nail trimmers.

Our suggestion for dog owners would be to try water therapy. Swimming will help this situation as it will tire your dog out, soften their nails and relax them. If you have a small dog then you could also use your bath to do this exercise in. Let your dog have a play in the water for a while before you begin and remember to stay calm and relaxed at all times as this type of energy can be picked up on by your dog.

Once you notice your dog being more relaxed in the water and it has been enough time for them to be slightly tired hold one of their paws and show them the nail clipper then immediately remove the nail clipper and allow the dog to go back to their swimming. After a little swim, again hold your dogs paw however this time trim a little of one of their nails, it doesn’t need to be a lot, just enough for them to know what it’s like, the noise it makes and that it doesn’t hurt. If your dog seems fine with it then continue with their other nails however if they panic return them to the water for a while immediately. This will move their focus from the nail trimming to the water so they will start to associate to two together and the calming effect the water has.

For this to be successful keep at it, as long as you stay calm you can continue to do this until your dog is too tired. Do not feel sorry for your dog as they are having a great time swimming and we all know nail trimming doesn’t hurt so you need to get your dog over the thought that it might do or it is scary and move them past this so they enjoy it and also bond with you through this process.

If you don’t feel confident or comfortable using nail clippers, you could try nail grinders. These work by filing away your dog’s nails rather than clipping them so you can do this at your own pace without worrying about cutting your dogs quick.

If you need any help or guidance on how to choose the right product for you and your dog, please do not hesitate to contact our team.