How to Prepare Your Puppy for Nail Trims

January 14, 2021 5:05 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

It’s quite common for dog owners to dread having to trim their pup’s nails. Many dogs hate the experience and will put up quite the fight. However, there are some ways you can train your dog to enjoy the experience, or at least relax while you or your groomer goes to work on the trim.

Here are a few tips to help you calm your dog, as well as some other nail trimming tips in Henderson, NV.

Start when they’re young

As with most dog training tasks, it’s best to get them used to nail trims while they’re still young. Puppies are eager to learn, and familiarizing them with nail trims and getting them comfortable with everything from the equipment to the feeling of you messing with their feet will help them understand the experience is nothing to fear.

You’re also probably engaged in other training activities already, so you can make liberal use of your training treats (in a smart way, of course) to keep your dog focused and to reward good behavior.

Pay attention to cues

Pay careful attention to cues and communication from your dog during the process. Watch the dog’s body language and its responses to what you’re doing. Sometimes the dog’s discomfort will be obvious, such as quickly moving their paws away or making noises. However, there are also some more subtle signs of stress, such as frequent yawning.

If the dog appears to be stressed or anxious, you don’t need to keep plowing through the trim. Put the clippers away and call it a day, and pick it up with the next nail another time. If you keep trying to push through, it could make the dog hate the experience even more.

It’s important to remember that a stressed dog is not a dog that’s purposefully trying to be defiant—they are experiencing very real anxiety. They’re not trying to make matters hard for you—this is legitimate fright. Be empathetic and patient and don’t feel like you need to rush the process.

Be careful

If you’re doing the nail trimming yourself, it’s important to be careful and to make sure you know exactly what you’re doing. People in Henderson, NV who are new to cutting dog nails tend to fear cutting the quick, which can be very painful for the dog and also cause a lot of bleeding. Make sure you have a plan to quickly bring the bleeding to a stop if an accident does occur. The best thing you can do is go slow and be careful. Don’t feel like you have to cut off a lot at once.

Use the right tools

Make sure you have the proper tools for the job, and that you avoid using any tools with which the dog might have a negative association from a bad experience. It’s easier to build a new positive experience than it is to break an existing negative association.

For more help with nail trimming in Henderson, NV, we encourage you to contact our groomers at The Soggy Dog. We look forward to answering your questions!

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