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Sam Dobson Writes: Surviving The Dreaded Nail Trim

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Surviving The Dreaded Nail Trim

I know first hand how stubborn a dog can be for dreaded nail trims. My boxer, Hades, wins the "Worst Behaved During Nail Trim" prize. When I bust out the clippers, all hell breaks loose. It takes two to three people to hold her down while she flails around like a fish out of water while wailing as if we were trying to kill her. Frequently, we have to give up after just one nail for fear of Hades hurting herself during her hissy fit. I can take any object and simply place it near her nails and she instantly gets nervous and strategically curls her paws underneath her body. It's a nightmare, to say the least. 

While we relish in the relaxation of getting our nails done, our dogs just don't feel the same way when it comes to "pet-icures". While getting your dog's nails done can be a nuisance to both you and your dog, it is an important piece of pup maintenance that you shouldn't put off.

The Importance Of Doggy Nail Maintenance


Even if it seems easier to ignore the scary length of your dog's nails, I don't recommend it. Leaving your dog's nails untrimmed can cause pain and discomfort, especially when walking. Nails that grow too long can start to curve and end up growing into the pads of the paws. This is painful and can lead to nasty infections. Long nails are also more vulnerable to getting caught on materials such as fabrics in which the end result can 
be a broken nail, or worse, an injured toe.

Pet-icure Tips


The best way to ensure your pup behaves for his routine nail trim is to start early. If you have a puppy, begin trimming their nails now. Get them used to this practice the better your chances will be of not having to battle them during nail trims in the future. (Fair warning: I started trimming Hades's nails at just two months old, but she still grew an extreme anxiety about it. Start early anyways.)

If you didn't start young or if your adult dog doesn't handle nail trims well despite your best efforts, it might be best to consult with a groomer or your vet. If you feel uncomfortable with trimming on your own (maybe your dog's nails are black or you are just afraid of hurting them), consult with a groomer or your vet.

When trimming your dogs nails, use nail clippers. Grinders can seem less scary, but clippers are a better tool to ensure quicker results. If your dog's nails are white or clear and pink in appearance, you will want to cut on the white surface. The pink part of your dog's nail is the quick. Cutting the quick will be painful,cause the nail to bleed, and may make for difficult behavior for the next trim.



If you want to diminish the need for nail trims, take your dog for frequent walks. Dogs who go for daily walks tend to need nail trims less often than those who don't. This is due to the asphalt or other rough surfaces that naturally file down nails over time.

The most important thing is to never let your dog's nails grow too long. Remember that overgrown nails can cause your beloved pup pain. Adding a nail trim to your dog's maintenance regimen will help ensure that your dog is healthy and happy.

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