How do you make nail trimming a pleasant – not combative – experience for your dog?

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Many dog owners cringe at the thought of trimming their dog’s nails because most dogs don’t like having their nails touched or clipped. However, trimming a dog’s nails regularly is important for a dog’s comfort and overall health. Nails left untrimmed can break easily, cause pain when walking, and contribute to arthritis. When trimming a dog’s nails, you should try to make the experience pleasant and not combative or scary.

Some dog owners will take their dog to the groomer or their veterinarian in order to have the nails trimmed. This can be traumatizing for a dog if the groomer is rough, or if your dog hates the vet. Most dog owners will find that trimming the nails at home can be a pleasant experience if done properly. First, choose a nail clipper or a rotary grinding tool to trim your dog’s nails. Next, calmly and slowly lead your dog to the area where you will be trimming the nails.

It make take a few session for your dog to warm up to the idea of nail trimming, but as long as you stay patient, give plenty of praise, and go slowly with gaining your dog’s trust when handling his paws, the experience should be overall positive and pleasant.

Have someone help you brace your dog and gently hold the paw, make a quick snip or grind the nail down close to the quick, being careful not to actually cut the quick because that will cause pain and bleeding. Give your dog plenty of treats and praise after the trimming is done.

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