Desensitizing Your Dog to Nail Trims

Desensitizing your dog to nail trims takes patience and consistency

Has your dog ever had a nail or two trimmed too short? If he hasn’t, he’s a lucky dog because quicking a dog (or cutting a nail too short), is common. Often it’s done when the dog pulls away just at the wrong time; other times unskilled individuals don’t pay attention to the anatomy of the dog’s foot and nail bed or they try to manhandle the dog. If you remain calm and be firm but patient, your dog will be more calm.

TIPS To Help Get Your Dog Used To His Feet Being Touched

To help desensitize your dog to nail trims, make time each day to gently touch his paws. A good time to do this is when you’re sitting on the couch. Just gently touch one paw at a time, paying particular attention to the nail area. Maybe reward your dog with a yummy treat if he lets you touch his paws without wincing. NEVER force your dog to lay still and never grab and hold his leg or paw forcefully.

If your dog is scared of this now, start desensitizing him with these steps:

1. Get a really special treat that your dog loves, but doesn’t get much of;
2. Hold a small treat in your hand and touch the top of his leg softly. If he doesn’t pull away, give him a treat. If he’s so scared that you can’t even attempt to go near his leg or foot, touch his neck and give a treat;
3. After repeating this a few times with positive reaction, move closer to his foot;
4. Once you’re able to touch his foot, use a different pair of nail trimmers and just touch his foot with them, don’t cut yet;
5. Finally, trim one nail, and give a ‘jackpot’ treat (a handful of the special delicacies).

Gradually your dog will like the treats and will sit for nail trims. If you’re hesitant to trim Fido’s nails, give us a call, we can help. You can bring your dog to Muncie Rural King or Muncie Tractor Supply when we do our Nail Trim Events. We also make house calls! Send a message if you’d like to set up an in-home nail trim.

One thing to remember, keep it positive. If you use too much force or anger when you’re dealing with your dog, he’ll pick up on those feelings and will react negatively.  Stay calm, patient and assertive.

Have a good day,

Kelley Stewart, CEO|Pet Sitter
sit-stay-play In-home pet sitting & more.LLC

P.s. We’ve met hundreds of dogs at our monthly nail trim events and have an awesome track record at handling dogs who haven’t had pleasant nail trim experiences in the past. Visit us at our next nail trim event!