While we love our pups and they love us, we probably could both go without the pesky task of nail trimming. Unfortunately, it's necessary to keep your pup's nails and paws healthy, which means that we all have to get used to it. If you've had trouble with nail trims in the past, here are some easy tips to help you out!
Hold Them In Your Lap
Laying your pup down and holding them in your lap will help them feel comfortable and secure. It also makes it easier for you to get a good hold on them to get to the angle you'll need for giving them a proper nail trim.
Start When They're Puppies
If you've just adopted a younger dog and are wondering how to help them get comfortable with nail trims, some of the work is already done for you - their age. Starting nail trims at a young age, and when you first bring a pup home, is an important step in making your dog more comfortable with them in the long run. Even if your puppy's nails aren't very long, just get them used to the feeling by regularly trimming them just a bit. This will help prep them for future nail trims when they're a puppy and when they're an adult.
Rewarding your dog is a very important step in helping them not dread nail trims. Using your voice to encourage and sooth your pup is always a good idea, as well as (of course), food. For every nail trim you do, give them a small snack, like the training treats that you might use for other skills that you teach your dog. Rewarding them will help them think of nail trimming as positive experience, not a negative one.
Get Proper Tools
Getting proper tools will help perfect your pup's nails during a trim, therefore allowing more time in between trims. You can get a nail kit that comes with clippers as well as a grinder that gently rounds out your dog's nails so that they aren't jagged. Properly trimmed and rounded-out nails will hold a nice shape and grow more consistently than nails trimmed with a cheaper option.
Locate the Quick
One of the most important things to do when nail trimming is to locate your dog's quick, which is the blood vessel inside the nail. It is extremely important to know where the quick is and to avoid cutting it, because accidentally snipping it can be very painful for your dog and can cause bleeding. It's very easy to see in dogs with white nails, since these nails are typically translucent. However, if your dog has dark or black nails, you will have to shine a light on them in order to locate the the quick. Once you know where the quick is, take your time in making sure that you don't cut too close to it.
Take Your Time
If your dog dreads a nail trim, make it easier on them by taking your time. Instead of rushing through (which might seem like the right thing to do), slow down in cutting each nail so that they begin to relax. Even if they hate it, it will be easier for them to adapt if they have more time to adjust to the feeling. Pet them in between trimming each nail to help soothe them.
It can be difficult to trim a dog's nails (especially if they're bigger) all by yourself. Don't be afraid to ask for help from friends, children, a spouse, or anyone who is willing to help! With someone else petting your dog and holding them, it's easier to get your job done and it's easier for your pup to get comfortable.
Hopefully these tips will help you and your pup have a pawsitively painless nail trim.