January 24, 2023 TVAH

Nail Trimming for Your Dog Without the “Tears”

Your dog might not exactly cry when you trim his nails, but you might! Either he’s too wiggly and uncooperative, or you accidentally hit the vein and he squeals. Nail trimming can induce a bit of anxiety in both of you, but it’s a chore that definitely needs to be done. These tips can help.

Pick the right time. Don’t try trimming your dog’s nails just before mealtime, or he’ll probably feel impatient. After a bath, he’ll probably be too wound up with excitement to hold still. Wait until after a walk or playtime, so that he’s a bit tired and more likely to relax.

Choose a calm environment. Loud noises or lots of activity in the room will just excite your dog, and he will be less likely to sit still. Too much stimulus can also be frightening.

Make it a positive experience. If it gets too difficult, stop and try again later. If you feel stressed or get angry, your dog will associate your emotions with the nail trimming process. That will only make him fear and resist it even more the next time.

Try a few different types of nail trimmers. Some will just feel more comfortable and natural in your hand. And if you feel comfortable, so will Doggo.

Watch for the “quick”. This is the small vein running down the middle of the nail. Accidentally cutting the nail too far will hit the quick, cause pain, and make it bleed.

Make sure your dog is sitting still. If he’s too wiggly, you risk cutting into the quick or even a paw pad.

Ask a partner to help. Your dog might respond well to a distraction, such as someone petting and cuddling them, so that you can get ahold of their feet and quickly trim the nails.

Reward your dog. Give him a treat so that he associates nail trimming time with something desirable.

Ask for help. If your dog is extra resistant to nail trimming, consult with a dog groomer. A professional can help your dog learn to feel more comfortable with nail trimming, and just a few sessions can teach him that grooming is a positive event.


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