A lot of people think clipping their dogs’ nails is scary or difficult, but if you have a cooperative dog it is simple and quick to do yourself! You can use clippers to shorten the nails to the dog’s quick, or a dremmel tool to grind the nails down gradually if your dog has very long quick as it is important not to damage their quick, it is very painful! Here’s a quick guide on how to trim your dog’s nails.

1. Set up a nail station on a non-slip mat with a few different kinds of treats and toys that they love, and ensure you have the nail tool on hand.

2. It’s always a good idea to have a second person available to feed treats, or offer a food puzzle to your dog.

3. Start slow. Gauge your dog’s willingness by doing one nail at a time, and offering a treat after each nail. Give them the chance to move away if they so feel, this tells you that they are not feeling safe and comfortable, you may need to do a few sessions to complete all paws until your dog feels more comfortable.

4. Line the clipper handles along with the pad of your dog’s paw, with the scissor part. Then clip around the nail. It is important to cut this way as using the clippers at another angle can cause discomfort.

Generally speaking, the quick will end around where the paw pads are, however. If your dog’s nails are white you will be able to see where the quick ends. Ensure not to snip it! It will hurt and it will bleed a lot, which will result in your dog developing an aversion to having their nails trimmed. If your dog has dark nails and you cannot see the quick, start by taking off 1mm at a time.

It is important to note your dog’s behaviour. If they are not receptive to nail trims, please contact us to arrange a nail clip consult so we can address and try to counter condition the anxiety surrounding it. If you push your dog when they are nervous, you are more likely to reinforce that nail trims = scary! If you do not feel confident in trimming your dog’s nails, come and have a chat with one of the friendly Vetwest Vet nurses who will be happy to do it for you or guide you on how to do it.

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