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How to Cut Your Dog's Nails

Most pet parents who are hands-on with their fur-baby have one fear in common: how to cut your dog’s nails. Guess what – your fur-baby probably fears this, too! It can range from a tempered dislike to a complete terror. Cutting a dog’s nails can be frustrating and tough work. But why do most dogs fear their nails being cut and what can you do about it? Read on to learn more!

how to cut dog's nails

" Long overgrown nails may seem just fine but these can predispose your pup to joint problems, mobility issues, and spayed & deformed feet. "

Why your dog’s nails need to be cut?

The frustration of cutting your dog’s long nails can lead you to just let them remain long. But did you know that this choice can eventually lead to health drawbacks for your pup? Long overgrown nails may seem just fine but these can predispose your pup to joint problems, mobility issues, and spayed & deformed feet. 

According to One Fur All Pets, nails that are too long are at risk of being torn off, such as if your dog’s nail gets caught on something, like a furniture, or some lose thread. This can be the cause of an injury that might require immediate veterinary care if it becomes serious and is at risk for infection. Longer dog nails also make it harder for dogs to walk around comfortably. These nails make it difficult for your pup to walk around and move freely as they are so quickly prone to breaking and can be very painful. 

Your pup’s long nails can also easily scratch or destroy your furniture & other objects at home and may hurt you when your pup decides to jump on you to play or ask for cuddles. 

Reducing your dog’s anxiety when cutting nails

If your fur-baby is having anxieties every time you try to cut their nails, here are some ways to reduce their stress and help calm them down: 

Have your dog get used to seeing nail clippers. As stated by the VCA Animal Hospitals, nail clipper may be new to your fur-baby or may be associated with past trauma. Either way, your dog has to resolve their fear of the clippers if you want to trim their nails successfully (and peacefully!)Call your dog and pick up the clippers in their presence. Act happy when you grab the clippers and give your dog a treat or their favorite chew. 

Make sure you are giving them the highest possible quality and safest chew there is, like Gnawtlers®. Gnawtlers® are premium antler chews that you can give your fur-baby for them to be able to associate nail clippers as a positive experience (as they get to gnaw on their favorite chew).  

These antler chews, too, are packed with calcium, phosphorus, manganese & zinc. Your fur-baby will not only enjoy their chewing experience but will also gain added nutrients.  

Make nail trimming sessions happy. When nail cutting sessions are forced, this will bring about negative effects on your fur-baby. Forced nail cutting may include restraining your dog so they can’t move, hitting your dog for them to stop moving, and a lot more! These will only lead your dog to become more scared and stressed out than they already are. 

Exercise your pup daily. Exercise your pup every day, even by just taking brief walks or a quick playtime (especially on rougher surfaces like concrete pavements). This will help keep their nails at a healthy length and keep them relaxed for when you want to cut their nails. 

Avoid punishments. When your dog refuses to hand you their feet or hide their paws away from you, do not shout at them or punish them. Instead, praise your pup and encourage them by giving praise and rewards so that they’ll find the courage to be okay about it the next time you try. 

Provide calming supplements. Providing your pup with calming supplements can help them stay calm and reduce their stress when you cut their nails. Calming supplements, especially the ones from Pet Parents®, will provide your fur-baby with powerful ingredients that help act as a calming aid. 

For stressful situations that may cause anxiousness, like nail trimming, Pet Parents® Dog Calming Supplement can help keep your fur-baby calm & relaxed. It contains Suntheanine®, a pure form of L-Theanine that promotes relaxation without drowsiness & soothes brain waves before adrenaline kicks in. It also has Organic Passion Flower that helps regulate mood and manage stress, anxiety, and some forms of pain and promotes calmness to anxious behavior without resulting in sleepiness. 

How to cut your dog’s nails

Here are helpful tips and steps on cutting your dog’s nails:

  • Hold your dog’s feet firmly but lightly. See to it that the way you’re holding your fur-baby’s feet doesn’t cause your fur-baby to panic.
  • Use a sharp nail clipper. Using dull ones will only make the cutting more difficult and can even hurt your dog.
  • To begin, trim a small part of every toenail. Try to feel the area before you snip it away. If the area you’re trying to cut already feels spongy, that is already the quick and it’s better you stay away from it! The quick is the soft part of the toe underneath the nail.
  • If you accidentally cut any of your dog’s quicks, stop the bleeding as soon as possible by placing over a clean cloth or bandage over the wound. It can become a bloody mess, it can hurt a lot, and your fur-baby will remember this experience, so be sure to work quickly and distract them.
  • If you feel like cutting your dog’s nails is too much of a struggle and you don’t want to risk hurting your dog, you can always ask professionals for help. You can visit your local pet groomer or your veterinary clinic to do the nail cutting for you.

Cutting your dog’s nails is more than just grooming your dog. It is more of keeping your pup healthy to keep him away from problems caused by neglected long and overgrown nails. Calming them and helping him relax is the first step for a happier and healthier life (and nails!) ahead.

how to cut dog's nails

" For stressful situations that may cause anxiousness, Pet Parents® Dog Calming Supplement can help keep your fur-baby calm & relaxed. It contains Suntheanine®, a pure form of L-Theanine that promotes relaxation. "

The Author:

Micka V.

Micka Virtudazo is a full-time content creator at Pet Parents who lives with thirteen adorable American Bullies and a Shih Tzu-Maltese mix named Gretel. She especially enjoys writing how-to articles as she feels through this she can connect to other pet parents on a more personal level.

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