While us humans clip our nails on a regular basis, did you know that our pets need the occasional trim, too? If dogs don’t get their nails trimmed on a regular basis, the nails can break and your dog can get an infection. Also, not having neatly trimmed nails can lead to your dog having an irregular gait. This isn’t comfortable for your pet and can lead to injuries, too.
There are lots of good reasons for doing regular trims, and the only real question is who is going to do the job. While some pet owners may simply want to go to a dog groomer to have their pet’s nails trimmed, others might want to save money by doing it themselves. Here are some tips on how to do it with minimal stress for both you and your dog.
Getting Your Dog Ready for a Clip
When training your dog to do anything, the best way to get him to change his behavior is with treats. Whether you’re trying to train him to do his business outside, to sit on command or to let you clip his nails without getting worried, you can ease the process along with dog treats that he enjoys. Some experts suggest giving your dog one treat after every nail clipped. Before you know it, he’ll be looking forward to each nail you work on.
After you make sure that you have some treats available, go online and look at some pictures of dog nails and where the “quick” is. You want to only trim the nail and none of the quick, as this is painful for your dog and could make him bleed. Take your time to make sure that you have no questions on this. If you’re still uncertain of where to cut after doing your research on the internet, you can talk to your veterinarian to get some pointers.
There are several different types of nail clippers available for trimming a dog’s nails. One type is similar to scissors, while another is called a “guillotine.” The dog’s nail is inserted into a hole in the cutting device, and a blade moves down and evenly makes the cut. Both types of clippers will get the job done, so choosing one is usually just a matter of preference.
While you’re at the pet store buying some clippers, you can also ask for styptic powder. This substance will help stop the bleeding if you do accidentally cut a bit of your dog’s quick and it starts bleeding.
When it’s Time to Clip
Before you start clipping, take time to help your dog get used to you holding his paws. After you clip each one, pet him and give him his treat and make sure he is happy and ready before you clip the next one. If you take your time, you can keep the process pleasant for everyone.
Another piece of good advice is to not do all the nails all in one session. Even with treats, that could be overwhelming for your pet. Instead, plan on only doing a few nails the first time you do a clipping session. You can space the rest of the nails out over a few days so that it’s not too much all at once.
If at any point your dog does get upset, just make sure to stop and pet him, play with him and generally help him relax. He might become afraid or worried at several points, but the clipping will be over quickly, and the benefits far outweigh the temporary discomfort!