Cutting your dog’s nails definitely isn’t the most enjoyable experience in the world. However, it is something that has to be done. So if you want to save some bucks and feel trained enough to do it yourself, it’s okay. However, always make sure to properly learn how it needs to be done because you could seriously injure your dog. And even when you have the technique down, it can still be a bit tricky. Especially if your dog just can’t stand still. To learn how to cut an uncooperative dog’s nails, keep on reading.
How to cut an uncooperative dog’s nails
First of all, know that you are not alone. Many dog owners but also dog groomers struggle with dogs that just won’t stand still. Sometimes even the calmest dogs get triggered when someone tries to touch their paws or a even feet. Maybe they just see their feet as their personal space. But either way, they don’t want clippers anywhere near them.
As difficult as it may be, dogs need nail trims periodically. The longer the nails are, the more likely are they to injure themselves or others. Overgrown nails can get snagged or broken during playtime. If the nails are extremely long, they can even grow into the pads of your dog’s feet, causing infections and pain.
As difficult as it can be to teach your dog how to be patient while either you or the dog groomer cut their nails, it will be totally worth it. Sudden moves and shaky feet during a trim could lead to serious injuries that neither you, your dog groomer or your dog want.
Here are some tips on how to cut an uncooperative dog’s nails.
Start at their puppy phase
If your dog is still a puppy try to make him comfortable with you and others touching his feet. Spend time each day playing with your pup’s feet and start with the nail trimming at an early age. Young animals are pliable and your pup won’t be as resistant as he would be as an adult dog. Take things slow and make sure to follow the DOs and DON’Ts.
Get some help from other people
If you are dealing with an adult dog — make sure to not trim their nails all on your own. Get yourself some help and someone who will hold your dog while you do the trimming. The person who is holding your dog for you should be someone your dog feels comfortable with and someone he respects. Your dog will be less likely to struggle if he respects the person who is holding him. If your dog is of a larger dog breed, make sure the person is strong enough to hold him. However, never use heavy restraint. It causes stress for all involved, and it can cause injury to pets.
Distract your dog
If everything else fails, try distracting your dog while you do the trimming. The distractions can be food, toys or even gentle taps on the head. If you still have a hard time, know that you can also only trim just a few nails each day for several days.
Switch up the positions
Expriment with different positions during nail trims. Some animals respond best to lying on their side. Others do better if they are held in the air vertically with their feet facing the person with the nail trimmers. A small number will struggle less if they are standing on the ground.
It won’t work for every dog
Even if you try every single one of these tricks, on some dogs none of them will help. If everything else fails, go to your veterinarian for the nail trimming. In the most severe cases they can even anesthetize animals to cut their nails. However, these cases are very rare. Obviously, this is not Plan A, but sometimes there is bo other choice.