My Dog Will Not Let Me Cut His Nails (What To Do)

My Dog Will Not Let Me Cut His Nails? (Take These Steps)

A lot of people have dogs that won’t allow them to touch or trim their nails due to one reason or the other. Most dogs are scared of clipping because of previous painful experience, never been trimmed before, nail clippers may be scary and the process is not fun to them.

It is so difficult and annoying if you own a dog that wouldn't let you trim him.  We all know that Overgrown nails in the long-term will cause damage to the joints and lead to severe pain for your dog. When nails are overgrown, they lead to splitting resulting in injuries and even secondary infection if not taken care of.

Dogs won't let you touch a painful nail, let alone allow you to cut it. But don't freak out, this article will help you better understand how to Trim an uncooperative dog. You can easily overcome Canine nail trimming challenge in many ways and get your pet claws trimmed at home yourself, even though we know it is easier to have a trained professional do it.

My Dog Won't Let Me Trim Her Nails: Most dogs will display nervous attitudes for you to know or understand they don't want it. If you try to hold her paws, she would scream, cry, and nibble on the offending hand.

This clearly shows that your pup is not comfortable with what you want to do and it may take a long time to get your dog's compliance because of fear and if you can convince your pup that clipping his nails is fun by your approach then you have solved 80% of the difficulty involved in cutting dogs nails.

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Why Your Dog Won’t Let You Trim His Nails?

Before we proceed further, lets briefly discuss why dogs won't let you cut their nails. It is essential to know the reasons why your dog is afraid of any time you want to start nail cutting.

Because if you know the reasons, then you can easily deal with them and then trim smoothly.

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The following are the reasons why Your  Dogs Won't Let You Trim Their Nails.

1. First Experience: Your pet won't let you have your way because its the first time and he has never been trained to have their nails trimmed. Dogs don't know what you want to do to them when you hold a metal clipper and then grab their nails, this makes them struggle to run away from it.

2. Nail Cutting is completely weird and uncomfortable: Your pet would definitely freak out the moment you grab his nails or make moves to cut them (even a human won't be comfortable with this unless they get used to it). Your dog needs to be prepared mentally to be able to face nail cutting.

3. Abuse – your pup is scared of being touched, forcefully trapped or restrained.

4. Past experiences: If your previous trims have been very painful, then you don't expect your dog to allow you the next time. This is worse if he was injured previously during clipping, the future will be ruined because of anxiety.

5. Scared Of Nail Clippers: The tool used to trim their nails are scary. Your dogs don't know what a nail trimmer is. A clipper is a sharp metal and doesn't look like a bone or toy to your pet, so putting a nail clipper straight to his nails is a big threat to him and some times a dog could bite when you're cutting his nails.

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Ways To Make Your Dog Comply To Nail Trimming

There are various steps you can follow to make your nervous or stubborn dog comply to nail clipping.

Desensitize Your Dog

Desensitizing as regards canine nail clipping is of the best ways groomers use for changing the way a dog reacts and feels about nail cutting. It can be described as a process of gently petting your dog's nails, thereby making them get used to touching the claws and trims.

My dog Won't Let Me Trim His Nails
Desensitize Your dog If He Won't Let You Trim His Nails

The process takes time and a lot of patience if you have never desensitized your dog before, but it has proven to be one of the best solutions to make a terrified pup get used to touching his paws and also comply with clipping.

The process has to be gradual and gentle, do not attempt it if your dog shows extreme aggression or anxiety. Do well to seek advice from a professional before trying to desensitize your dog at home.

Start Gently And Slow

Before you jump to show your pup the nail trimmer, endure that your pet is sensitized and used to you holding and touching his paws. If your dog is not used to that, please refer to the above, you can't jump the steps.

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Your dog should be comfortable and relaxed and yummy treats available to relieve his fear. Slowly touch the shoulder, down to the legs and finally to the paws.

Distract your dog with treats and ensure his mood is relaxed, then try holding his paws in your hand and then familiarize it with him. As soon as your pup is used to holding the paws, then gently touch the nails.

You might need to lastly press the nails a little be to add pressure. You are doing that to mimic the pressure during the main trimming exercise and getting your dog used to the clipping pressure.

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Introduce The Nail Trimmer (Clipper) To Your Dog

Your pup is not human, he doesn't know what a clipper is yet, not until you introduce the trimmer to him.

It is very important to familiarise your dog with the nail clipper first before you start using it on him, this will make him cooperate with the process.

Dog Nail Clippers for small dogs
Familiarize Your Dog With The Nail Clipper

Start by presenting the clipper to him for the first few time, and spoil him yummy treats. By starting this way, you are creating a friendly association between your dog and the clipper. Keep doing this until you notice that your is fine even with the clipper seen around him.

Then try placing the clipper close to the paws, and gradually touching the nails. If your dog seems comfortable with the clipper getting close to the nails, you can then proceed to the next step.

Ways To Clip The Nails Of Fearful Dogs

  1. Start by making your dog comfortable with having his paws handled. When he is calm and relaxed, start gradual stroking of the paws, this is to enable your pup to get used to his paws being handled by you.
  2. If your dog is uncomfortable with having his paws touched, continue stroking them from time to time when he is relaxed several times a day, always giving it a treat at the same time.
  3. Once he is okay with stroking, take his paw in your hand and give him a treat. Do this frequently until it readily allows you to hold his paw for a few seconds at a time.
  4. Then move on to lightly squeezing the paw to push the nails out, again giving him a yummy treat every time.
  5. Begin by gently introducing your dog to the clipper. Give your pup a treat when you show him the clipper.
  6. Then touch the clipper to your dog’s paw and give him a treat. Do this several times, then gently tap your dog’s nail with the clipper and give him a treat

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Vets Approved Ways To Trim Dog’s Nails Properly

(A) Assemble Supplies: Assemble what you’ll need, high-quality pair of trimmers and some styptic powder such – as Kwikstop, Cutstop, styptic pads or other products to stop bleeding if you nick the quick.

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(B) Find A Good Dried Place: You may want to sit on the floor with your dog, holding him on your laps, or have someone hold your him on a table.

(C) Hold Your Dog’s paw firmly and push on his footpad to extend the nails. Locate where the quick ends.

With clear or light nails, it’s easy to see the pink color where the quick ends. This is why trimming black dog nails is complex. But finding the quick and gradually trim is key.

(D) Use a nail trimmer for dogs: Use a nail trimmer for dogs to cut the nail below the quick on a 45-degree angle, with the cutting end of the nail clipper towards the end of the nail.

(E) Use a nail file: In some cases, if the nails are brittle, the cut may tend to split the nail. In these cases, file the nail in a sweeping motion starting from the back of the nail and following the curve to the tip. Several strokes will remove any burs and leave the nails smooth.

Dog Nail File
Use Dog Nail File to smooth out rough edges after clipping with a trimmer

Have some rest and then resume with some yummy treats for your best friend.

(F) Quickly Attend To Bleeding With Styptic Powder: If the quick injured by an accidental cut, wipe off the blood and apply styptic powder to stop the bleeding.

Reasons Why Dog Nails Should Not Be Overgrown

1. Long nails can actually be painful when they strike the pavement or floor with each step.

2. Long nails can make it difficult for your dog to have a good grip as they walk along slick floors like hardwood, linoleum, and tile.

3. Long nails are more likely to get hung up on things and torn off.

4. Long nails can curl and grow into your dog’s skin or paw pads, resulting to infection and pain.

5. And then there is damage that long nails can do to your floors, furniture and your skin.


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