Trimming your dog’s nails is an important part of being a pet owner. Any part of grooming a dog is important, but leaving those nails long can ultimately cause health issues and can be just plain uncomfortable.
In just a moment I will share some of my own personal tips I find helpful to trim your dog’s nails. And hey, if it helps my huskies nails get done, hopefully it will help you too!
How could long nails possibly cause health issues to my dog?
- Long toenails can easily get split and infected
- A dog’s nail can literally grow so long it will wrap around and begin to grow into the pad of their paw.
- A dog who walks on long nails for a prolonged period of time can have issues with bone structure in their senior days.
How do I know if my dog’s nails are too long?
- Does his/her nails click on the floor as they walk? If so, they could be too long.
- Hold your dog’s paw, press on his toe making his nail fully extend. If the nail curves down longer than his paw pad. Its time for a trim.
Some of you might be thinking… wolves or animals in the wild don’t get their nails trimmed for them. While that is quite obviously true, a wild animal is on their paws outdoors, day and night. Constantly wearing down the nails naturally. That’s the difference. However, it is definitely possible if you take your dog for loads of walks on the pavement, or if they spend a lot of time outdoors, that their nails can wear down enough that you don’t need to trim too often. This is not the case for all dogs.
Now that we have covered the importance of trimming your dog’s nails, lets get to the down and dirty. To be perfectly honest, some dogs absolutely hate their nails being trimmed – which I am sure some of you know – and that is where these tips can help you.
Helpful Tips to Trim Your Dog’s Nails:
- The key to our nail trimming woes is as follows… paw handling. It is super important that your dog is comfortable letting you handle any part of him. From head to tail. Paws are especially important for this. If your dog isn’t a fan of having his paws touched, that is most likely the reason you could be having a hard time trimming those nails. Start slow. If you rush your dog into being comfortable with you touching his paws, it will only backfire and make things worse. While your dog is cozy, curled up having a good ol’ chillax, take advantage. Sit down on the floor or couch with him, and begin to pet him. While your petting his head with one hand, move your other hand to his leg with a pet here and there. Work your way down to his paw. Do this with each leg, and caress his paw until he moves it away. You might have to do this every day for a week or two before he gets used to the idea.
- Introduce treats. If the above method isn’t working, time to bring in the big guns! Yummy, high value treats. Follow the steps I mentioned above, but add the fact of having his favorite treats. Once you get to his paw and you know he’s about to get uncomfortable, hand him a treat. Use this time to begin touching his paws. Let him chew his treat while you are caressing his paws. Again, do this for about a week or two.
- Once you’re sure that your pooch is comfortable having his paws touched by you. Introduce the nail trimmers. Again, wait till he is in a chillaxed state, go sit by him, bring yummy treats and the clippers. Before you touch his paws, let him sniff the clippers while you are petting him. Give him a small treat or two while he is investigating the clippers. Now try a trim! Do one nail, then give him a treat right away. If he gets too freaked out, it is best to stop completely. Try again the next day. And continue to touch his paws on a daily basis.
These tips can take some time to achieve, but trust me, once you get the hang of it – nail trims don’t seem so bad anymore. To you, or your dog! Do you have any tips to add? Feel free to share them with us in the comments!
Jenna Drady is the author and creator of ownedbyahusky.ca. She is a mother of two beautiful daughters and 3 Siberian Huskies. Being a husky mom for a long duration of her life, Jenna was inspired to begin writing about them. In doing so, she began doing massive research on dog behavior, and all things dog in general. Jenna is inspired everyday by her family, and loves to bring her readers valuable information as well as a little humor too! Jenna has created her own business partnered with her lovely mother while blogging called Pawz N Clawz Jewelry N Things. They currently sell handmade jewelry with added pet charms, as well as a few dog toys too! As an animal rights activist, and huge believer in helping pets who have been stuck in shelters, they donate a portion of their sales to local shelters throughout Canada.