Trimming dog nails is a gruesome task as dogs are never too keen on getting their nails clipped. This is the case with most dogs today due to various reasons ranging from improper training which may result in the creation of a bad feeling around this procedure.
When not done properly, trimming dog nails becomes an event surrounded by drama and angst. For dogs that are quite active and run around all day on various surfaces, trimming their nails may not be necessary. Due to the constant friction on their nails from high mileage on various surfaces, their nails are worn down naturally.
On the other hand for city dogs, this may not be the case as they are lucky to get in a mile or two walk a day which is not nearly enough to wear their nails out naturally. If their nails are left unchecked, they usually are excessively long.
Long Toenails – The Consequences
The primary reason to ensure that your dog does not have long toenails is because it may become painful when their toenails push up against hard surfaces like the sidewalk or your house floors. This will create immense pressure on the nail bed which may, in turn, swell up or push up against the toe joints forcing it to twist towards the side.
The other more serious consequence is that dogs have evolved to run long distances every day and due to this their nails are meant to wear down naturally. Only when they come across a steep climb, their nails come in contact with the ground to provide a little extra traction to get over it. Due to this, they inherently adopt the climbing posture when their nails touch the ground. So if the dog’s nail is not reduced naturally by running over long distances then their long nails will always keep touch the ground even when on flat surfaces making them adopt the climbing posture which is stressful on their joints as well as their muscles. This can have drastic effects in the long run.
Trimming the Nails
The first thing needed to trim dog nails is a good pair of clippers. We recommend you to use the scissor style clippers as they are generally much safer than any other kind of dog nail clippers like the guillotine style which can easily crush their toe. Get small clippers and clip off small chunks of the nail at a time to be precise with your clipping.
Another pro tip is to clip their nails after dog wash either at home or at a pet washing machine. These dog wash machines are the better option as they are convenient. This will ensure that their nails are softened for you to clip them easily. When dry, their nails are brittle and may be prone to other complications.
Now coming to the clipping part, there are a few things that you will need to do often to get them comfortable with this process of trimming their nails. You must handle their paws on a regular basis to get them comfortable with it. Gradually introduce the nail clipper without really clipping their nails for the first few times along with delicious treats and praise. This is just for them to get used to it and gain confidence that it is not something that can hurt them. Use pliers style of clippers with a guide that enables you to clip just the right amount of toenails.
Now you can hold the paw firmly but gently and start clipping their nails small chunks at a time until you see the white edges and a black center. Stop when you see this our you may injure them. To ensure that you don’t injure them use the right size of clippers and set the guide accordingly to ensure that you don’t injure them.
If you do it correctly they will not mind their nails being clipped but if you injure them in the process then they will be scared of this and will never let you or anyone else clip their nails ever again without putting up a big fight.