The Dreaded Nail Trim

Time for my Pawdicure

There – I said it.  Nail trims can be very challenging, even for the professionals!  Pet owners hate doing it because they are afraid to make their pet bleed.  Groomers don’t like doing it because 95% of the dogs hate it.  How can that be?  Why do dogs hate their nails being cut?  I asked my pooches but they’re not talking.  It think it is some sort of secret among our canine counterparts.

I have a few thoughts on it and I would like to share them with you:

1) A dog has strong, muscular legs and when someone is holding a paw, they can actually fight back with some pull…..literally!  They don’t have to sit back and let you do it.

2) The noise of the nail clippers can be loud and scare a few pups.

3) The bending of the nails as the sharp edge is cutting through it might feel weird (that’s why we use dremels!)

4) They had a bad experience OR their master had a bad experience doing them thus, transmitting their fear and anxiety on their companion.

All is not lost though and there are some things you can do at home to help desensitize Rover’s manicure madness.  Play with your dogs feet, toes and nails while you are relaxing on the couch together.  If your puppy pulls her feet, try to distract her with with petting and/or treats.  Try not to let go and reward her when she gives in and lets you touch them.  You may have to do this in stages and for short amounts of time initially.  Work your way up to being able to play with her feet while she enjoys the foot massage!

It is also important to take care of her nails regularly.  Six weeks is a good amount of time to schedule your appointment at the grooming spa.  If your pup does not play on hard surfaces and her nails grow extra long, you may need to get them trimmed every 4 weeks instead.  Don’t wait until you hear the clicking sounds on your hardwoods!

Some dogs will always hate it but will begin to tolerate it when they are paired with a very patient pet care professional.  Others will be reformed as they build trust in their human “pawdicure” experts and eventually hand their foot over.  Either way, nail trims are a necessity that must be done for the well-being of your pet.  Ask your vet or groomer on other helpful tips to help make the process less scary for all parties!