Nail Care for your Dog

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Happy Valentine’s Day! And in honor of your pets, we just wanted to discuss a little bit about nail care for your pet. The very thought of trimming your pet’s nails can put some anxiety into the owner, but something important to remember is that Fido responds to you. Therefore, if you’re anxious, he is likely to be anxious, too.

If he is not used to getting his nails trimmed, just be patient. Choose a time when he is already relaxed, and never rush the process. A popular way to get his attention to turn more positive is to follow up the cutting of his nails with a treat. After some repetition (cut a nail here, feed a treat there), he might even come to find nail trimming to be an enjoyable experience.

It can be a little bit of a science to know where to cut. If he has clear nails, you can see the quick (which is pink). If he has darker nails, you can either use a flashlight to see where the pink is or cut very small pieces at a time until you start to see a gray or pink oval. That is a good place to stop. If you do happen to cut too far, make sure you have styptic powder or cornstarch available to stop the bleeding. Also, make sure you use dog clippers. Human clippers are not made for this purpose and can cause harm to your beloved pet.

Just like training your pet to do tricks, this process can take some time. Make sure you do not yell or physically harm your pet as this negative reinforcement will only worsen the experience. Also, sometimes they just need a little time. If it’s a little too much the first time, let him take a break. Little by little, he’ll start feeling better about it and it’ll be a great experience for you both.