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Adventures in Nail Trimming

Welcome to a fun day of nail trimming!!

As we all know nail trimming for puppies should begin once the nails are making that ‘Clicking” noise on the floor. To keep this from being a scary experience the clippers should be introduced to puppy with yummy treats and lots of praise. By carefully clipping one or two nails at a time with reward and praise then letting the paw go, the puppy is less likely to become anxious. This will help speed up this process as they grow and will help with any groomers they encounter.

So what about dogs who have issues with nail trimming?

Having three rescues of my own has made nail trimming an interesting adventure in our house. We also value our fingers and don't feel like getting bit. There has to be an easier way!! I’m here to tell you there is.

Having the proper tools makes a world of difference for my dogs and for me.

There are two styles of nail trimmers for dogs. The guillotine style, which typically has a U shape you place your dog's nail into, then a blade which squeezes and causes pressure on the nail until it cuts. The second style is the pliers style, which has two sharpened edges that cut the nail on either side. A version of the pliers style for smaller breed dogs looks like scissors.

Life is easier when the trimmers themselves are professional grade. I only use what my veterinarian uses after years of good money wasted on bad products that hurt my dogs. Millers Forge Nail Clippers have a rest on the back the keeps the nail from going too far which has kept us from accidently cutting the quick (or Kwik). They have maintained sharpness so the cut is swift and clean every time. Grinding your dog's nails is also highly recommended as it is done to prevent snags by rounding off any rough edges.

For us, the real game changer has been the nail trimming harness!

I admit that I was skeptical at first but ready to try anything that made my life easier. I didn’t want to take my dogs to the vet every time they needed a nail trim because my dachshund has to have a muzzle. This harness really did make the difference.

So imagine this...

Everyone has already had their baths and now its nail trimming time. A Kong waiting for each of our dogs in the freezer and the new harness set up outside.

First to be brave was Simon with a Kong to distract him. The first nail got trimmed and he didn’t even move!! I couldn’t believe my eyes!! Another one… another one…. Simon didn’t make a noise or move. This is not normal at all. Most days Simon would be trying to get his paw back or getting out of the situation. Within a few moments all of his nails are trimmed with no mess and Simon can finish his Kong as a reward in the house.

Mable was next and only showed stress with a paw that had been medically treated. Another success with nearly all nails trimmed in almost no time.

Now, for the real test. I was in stunned disbelief as Squeeker swayed in midair with no muzzle on and got all of her nails trimmed. Happy as sunshine and asking “Where is my treat??”

Lesson truly learned. I will never be without these tools again!! Had I known how easy life can be with them my dogs would have had them much sooner and nail trimming would have been a much calmer experience for all involved!!

Nail trimming is extremely important for the health of our dogs to ensure they are walking properly and growing naturally. Whether it is at the vet, the local salon or with home options, it is up to responsible owners to create a positive experience around consistent grooming habits. Dogs of all breeds and sizes give happy tails of thanks!!

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