Stop The Trauma When Cutting Your Dogs Nails

For a lot of dog owners, cutting your dog’s nails can be a stressful time for both you and your dog. If only we could talk to our furry friends and let them know that everything will be alright! There are different ways to getting your dog’s nails cut. Either getting a pair of clippers for use at home or taking your dog to the vet/groom room to get it done. People have different experiences with each and prefer either one. We’ve done both, so will share our experiences with you!

 Jacob and Bruno have two different tolerances to getting their nails clipped. Jacob, is a lot more relaxed about a lot of things and doesn’t get worked up as easily. Bruno, on the other hand, absolutely despises it! He works himself up so much and wriggles and squirms to try and get out of getting his nails cut. This in turn has really seen Jacob start to get a little more anxious when the nail clippers are taken out of the box. The boys have never really had too many bad experiences with the clippers to make them worried about them. There have been a few occasions where either ourselves, or the vet has cut the nail too short and made them bleed a little. This is the thing we worry about the most, but once you know what you’re looking for, you become a lot more confident.

We’re going to share some of our hints and tips with you which have made all of our experiences a lot easier. Firstly, we would always recommend starting to get your dog used to having their nails cut when they are young. It’s the same for most things, if you start with them young, they grow a tolerance to most things and make your life a lot easier when they grow up. It doesn’t have to be cutting their nails from the outset (as they can be very fragile when they are a puppy) but you can try getting your dog used to you handling their paws and in between their nails. We guess it’s also a good way to teach them paw (shake)! We do regret not doing this with the boys, as we are certain Bruno would be a lot more relaxed about getting his nails clipped if we had. Most other things we started from a young age and they’re as good as gold with.

If you’re like us and your dog really doesn’t like getting their nails clipped, we have tried a few things with Bruno especially, which have started to work. Every so often, in the evenings, when we are settling down for the night and the boys are starting to get comfy on our laps and fall asleep, we will get the clippers out and gently tap them, rub them and stroke them on their paws. We do this whilst holding their paws as well. We do it calmly so that they do not get worked up. This helps build their trust with the clippers and has proven with us to start to work with Bruno’s anxiety when it comes to nail clipping. If you’re cutting the nails at home you should read up on how much nail you should be cutting. Clipping too much off, can hurt your pup and make the nail bleed. As long as you know what to look for, you shouldn’t worry too much as worrying will only get your dog worked up. When it actually comes to crunch time, we find it easier with two people. One person is armed with treats and will hold one of them firmly but not too tight so they don’t feel trapped. We find it easier if the person who is holding the dog, hugs them in a way and turns their head away from the clippers. Calmly and gently we will start to clip the nails and after each one is done, we will instantly praise and give them a treat. This method is really helping with Bruno, he wouldn’t let us near his paws not so long ago, but now we are making progress! 

Others like to take their dogs to the vet/groom room to get their nails cut. Some people find it easier and a lot less stressful if they let a professional do it. As mentioned above, we have also done this. It does cost (around £15 for each dog) which can be quite expensive if doing it every month. Some dogs will be fine being taken to the vet and others it can really stress them out more. Some vets will do it there and then in the room, others prefer to take the dog away from you as apparently, the dog being with its owner in a stressful time can actually make things worse! Although the cost to get them cut at a vet isn’t extortionate, you could probably buy a pair of clippers for the same price as one visit? It’s like most things though, you’re paying for convenience and sometimes, less stress!

Each dog is always different and different methods will work for other dogs. We have found that these methods have really worked for our boys and perseverance is the key! Keep trying and building your dog’s confidence really helps.

We hope you have found this useful and we’d love to hear any of your thoughts/tips in the comments below.

Thanks for reading

Oli & Jay

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