Depending on the flooring in your home, the clackety-clack of your dog’s nails on the floor may be one reason to give his nails a trim periodically. Just for the sake of your nerves, grooming your fur baby this way may be as important to you as your own grooming. If you’re going to do it yourself you’ll want the best dog nail clippers available. There are other reasons for trimming the nails on your doggie’s digits. A dog can tear long nails painfully when he’s playing outside. If his nails are too long, he may actually have trouble standing and find it awkward to walk. And there are the obvious problems of ripped upholstery and scratched floors.
If you’re going to clip the nails yourself, you’ll want to keep some things in mind.
First, you want to get your dog accustomed to having his paws handled. This should begin when he’s a puppy so that he thinks of someone holding his ankles and touching his toes as normal. Also, have a little playtime with him first. A dog who needs a time-out is likely to be more receptive to the trimming process than one who’s all wound up. The best place to do it is on the floor, sitting alongside him; he’ll find the whole thing more reassuring that way.
Again, you want the best dog nail clippers you can find-and you want to make sure they’re sharp. Learn how to keep them sharp. Failing that, replace them every so often.
As with everything else in training your pup, a treat afterwards makes him feel rewarded and reinforces positive behavior. You can slip him a goodie after each paw is done or wait until all four are finished and reward him for the lot of them. He’ll get through the process better if it ends in something good. Also, if after a couple of paws the pooch is just too anxious and frustrated to go on, try to do just two paws, then slip him the reward and save the other two for later. It will be better for his nerves and yours.
Bottom line: a well-groomed, healthy dog is a happy dog, and happy dogs make happy humans.