Trimming your dogs’ nails isn’t an activity you should do without planning. Unlike human beings, pets need to be psychologically prepared before they cut their nails. Chances are good that your pet will resist if you don’t do things right. You even run the risk your dog will bite to avoid having his nails trimmed. It might sound easy to do, but dogs get distracted easily, and they are reluctant to sit still when you pull out your nail clippers.
Instead, sedating your pup before you start the nail trimming process will calm down your dog and make trimming your dog’s nails more enjoyable for them and easier for you.
Over the counter sedatives
There are many over-the-counter drugs out there. You can get one for your dog to keep him calm and ready for nail clipping. Your pet doesn’t need to be scared anymore. They block the central nervous system, therefore, making the dog relaxed and comfortable.
Be sure to use the right dose for your dog’s size. For example, large dogs will need a bigger dose than a toy or small dog.
- Benadryl: This mild antihistamine sedative helps keep your pet calm when it is nervous about clipping its nails.
- Melatonin supplements: Help regulate body rhythm and help calm down your dog.
- Natural Sedation Methods: Herbs like California poppy, chamomile, rosemary, or valerian are natural relaxants.
- Calming bites
Or try these natural sedation methods that have a calming effect on a dog. They help calm dog nerves, and you don’t have to worry about it resenting to nail clippers when calm.
Prepare chamomile tea and give it to him. Alternatively, soak your dog’s favorite treats in the chamomile tea and let him eat it. For a more relaxing chamomile tea, mix it with a skullcap, catnip, and hot water. Pour a little honey and give it to the dog when it’s warm.
Dogs get so anxious, and you can use this herb to calm their nerves before trimming their nails.
Aromatherapy relaxes and helps your dog fall asleep. Use some lavender oil for massaging your dog to calm it down. Make sure to massage the back of its head using your hands. Don’t forget to massage down the base of the spine. This reduces the production of cortisol, reducing the stress on your dog. When your dog is calm enough, you can get your clippers or nail file, or nail grinder ready.
Use products containing this hormone to provide your dog with the motherly scent it needs to keep him calmer and reassured.
Use supplements like melatonin to keep your dog sedated before the nail clipping exercise.
Clipping the nails
Be extra careful not to hurt your pet accidentally when using nail trimmers or dog nail grinders. If you use clippers or scissors, with sharp, stainless steel blades.
Put your dog in a comfortable position. You can let him sit on your lap or hold him. Get help from someone if you are unable to cut his nails by yourself while holding him.
Identify the ideal cutting range for the nails. Use metal clippers and cut the nail bit by bit until you reach the safety stop point. The best way to help your dog enjoy the process is by rewarding him at every step. This way, the dog will stay calmer, waiting for you to finish each step.
When you reach the black place on the nail, it’s time to stop clipping. Avoid clipping till you reach the quick, innervated, and vascularized inner part of the nail, which is very soft. If you end up cutting the quick accidentally, you will hurt your dog and cause the dog’s foot to bleed. Remember, the next time your dog sees clippers, he likely won’t stay still.
Accidents are inevitable, and sometimes you might end up cutting the dog and cause some bleeding. If you realize the nail’s quick is bleeding, do not panic. Put some pressure on the tip of the nail. You can also dip the nail in Styptic powder.
Another alternative would be placing ice cubes on the wounded area.
When using over-the-counter drugs to sedate your dog, seek advice from a vet. Consult with your vet to determine the correct dosage.
When clipping the nails, have patience, and do it slowly so that you won’t hurt the pup. When you reach the middle of the nail when trimming, watch out for two dark dots. These two dots are where the quick starts.
Alternative nail clipping methods
- Get rough mats for your dog to scratch on. This way, its nails will get trimmed and filed without it realizing. Get mats designed to wear down long nails of pets.
- Get sandpaper and place it on the ground and let your dog scratch on it, be careful and supervise.
- Try clipping its nails during sleeping time. Be cautious while doing this, as dogs’ feet are sensitive even when sleeping. For a more effective way to cut your dog’s nails while sleeping, use a clipper that makes no sound.
- Replace nail clippers with Dremel tools to trim down the nail.
Reward your dog with a treat
Your dog managed to stay still and let you cut his nails. Show your appreciation by rewarding your pup a treat. This will make him happy and motivate him to cooperate the next time his nails need clipping again.
It’s easy to notice when your dog’s nails are long and need to be clipped. There is no need to spend a lot of money paying a groomer or your vet to clip your dog’s nails. Sedate your pup and use a good pair of nail clippers to do the job yourself.
If your dog is still stubborn, do not force the situation. Wait for another time or another day to try cutting his nails again. Train your dog to get comfortable around the nail clippers before trying to trim the nails.