Techniques for Trimming Dog Toenails
It is important that trimming your dog’s toenails become part of a regular grooming routine. When the nails become too long they can break, which is painful to the animal. It can cause infections as well as a gait that is irregular. Consistent awkward gaits can cause a permanent damage to the dog’s skeleton. Trimming the nails is something that is not enjoyable for owners or the dogs.
In my book, “Raising the Perfect Dog,” I discuss how as puppies, you should start playing with your dog’s paws in order to get them used to you manipulating their paws/nails.
There is a danger of cutting the nails too short and getting into the quick. This is painful for the animal. The dog is also likely to pick up on the worried emotion of the owner. Since this is a task that should be done regularly, there are two ways to deal with the task. You can either hire someone to do the job, or you can learn to do it yourself.
Two principles apply to making nail trimming a pleasant task. Teach your pet that nail trimming is associated with something pleasant. Take the process slow and easy. These two elements will work on any dog, regardless of size, temperament or age.
Associating the trimming with positive rewards is the first principle. Most pets do not like having their feet handles. If there is discomfort, the negative association is stronger. If the animal fights or moves while the clipping is being done, it can hurt because the nail is twisted.
Slow and easy is the rule. Use the proper tools and introduce them to your pet gradually. Clip a nail and give her a treat. Clip another nail or two and provide another treat. The first time you attempt the grooming task you may only want to trim one or two nails. Once the job is completed, take him for a walk or some other activity that is especially enjoyable for the pet. He will gradually realize that trimming the nails carefully can be an enjoyable experience.
Trimming the nails is not a difficult process and should be approached with a calm and soothing attitude. If you want your canine companion to be relaxed, it’s important that you be relaxed as well.