If you’ve made the decision to trim your dog’s nails at home but you’re a little nervous to do it for the first time, don’t worry, we’ve got some simple tips that can make trimming your dog’s nail from home easier on the both of you.
A good rule of thumb for knowing when a dog needs its nails trimmed is when you hear them hitting the floor.
Long nails can do more harm than good like getting snagged on the carpet, collecting snow and debris and it can even affect the joints in your dog’s paws and legs because it alters the way that they walk.
Long nails can also cause a dog to slip on floors and ice because they can’t get the traction that they need.
You can do this!
Make Nail Trimming a Positive Experience For Your Dog
First, we want to make sure that trimming your dog’s nails at home is a positive experience for them.
This is a step that is often overlooked by many people but it’s one of the most important parts of trimming dog nails.
Let’s keep in mind that if you normally take your dog to a groomer to have their nails trimmed or if the vet does it, this is a totally different experience for your dog.
They are in an unfamiliar setting so their reaction will be different than if they’re having their nails trimmed at home.
We want your dog to be used to having their paws touched in their own home so start playing or touching their paws as soon as you can and reward them each time that they let you do it.
Next, you’ll introduce the nail clippers to your dog.
You’re not going to actually trim the nails but just show your dog the trimmers and reward.
Next, you’ll touch the nail clippers to their paws and reward them.
Lastly, you’ll want to make sure that the environment is something that your dog is comfortable with but not too comfortable with.
For instance, you don’t want to invade their nap time by trimming their nails in their dog bed.
You’ll also want to make sure that the flooring isn’t slippery.
These steps should be done over several days or weeks, not on the same day you plan to trim your dog’s nails.
When you start trimming his nails for the first time, do it slowly.
Trim just one nail a day, barely cutting off the end.
Your goal is to get all nails even with the corresponding paw pad and then keep them that way with regular trims.
Trim every two weeks to maintain the optimal nail length.
The more you trim overgrown nails, the more the blood vessels will retreat back into the claw.
Prepare The Paws
A step that’s often overlooked when trimming dog nails is to actually take some time to prepare your dog’s paws.
If you have a dog that has long hair, you’ll want to make sure that the hair on the paws is neatly trimmed so that you can see their nails better.
If you’re trimming your dog’s nails after a bath, do it while their paws are wet.
Wet nails are softer and easier to trim than dry nails and if you didn’t trim your dog’s hair, you can easily move it.
Also, make sure to check for any cracked nails before you start trimming.