Puppies can be challenging to groom due to their extreme sensitivity. They may wriggle, whine and even cry during nail clipping sessions.
For optimal results, get your puppy used to having his or her paws handled frequently by touching them frequently, then gradually introduce nail clippers or grinders while showing each tool and rewarding him with food rewards.
Trimming your puppy’s nails can be difficult – particularly if he or she is uneasy or restless during nail clipping. If they wriggle too much during clipping, their nail’s quick can become cut and start bleeding – this is particularly common among darker-toned nails where the quick is often hard to see.
To avoid this situation, it is wise to gradually introduce your puppy to having his or her paws touched and held. This can be accomplished by touching paw pads or nails lightly while reinforcing positive behavior with verbal praise or physical affection for two weeks prior to actually cutting their nails.
Try rolling the pup onto his back and massaging his paw pads gently for several seconds at a time, rewarding with a treat each time, until he remains calm with this form of touch. Some puppies will even allow this gentle massage while sleeping if caught at just the right moment!
Next, introduce your pup to the clippers or grinder by allowing him to sniff it and offering him treats as rewards. After several days have passed, gradually introduce trimming just one nail at a time until gradually increasing to two or three at once. If your dog still is too nervous or anxious for this process, filing may prove more effective as an alternative solution than clipping.
Be sure to have clotting powder, such as styptic powder, on hand in case an accident does cause excessive bleeding. This product can easily be purchased in pet stores and online at reasonable costs.
As long as a dog receives proper training and patience, most can learn to accept having his nails trimmed without fear or anxiety – however if these signs become evident (trembling, drooling, excessive panting, growling etc) then seeking professional advice or consulting a vet or groomer might be beneficial – in such instances medication for anxiety may even be recommended or mild sedation may be required for optimal results.
Take It Slow
Take things slowly when handling puppies. Puppies can be unpredictable and easily terrified, so it is wise to ease into the process of trimming their nails by holding the nail trimmer in your hand, letting your puppy sniff at it, then rewarding him or her for remaining calm with treats. Gradually add massage while holding onto the clipper as this will help your puppy become comfortable with having you have them close by, making the task much simpler for both of you.
Once your puppy has adjusted to having his/her paws handled, you can begin using nail clippers on one nail at a time. Gently trim their tip using only minimal pressure – any bleeding should be expected but should quickly stop afterward – giving lots of praise and treats afterwards will show them that having their nails trimmed needn’t be something to fear and can even be enjoyable experience!
Care should be taken when cutting into the quick. This pink area inside each nail contains blood vessels that may cause pain to your puppy if cut, so be mindful not to cut too close to it when clipping nails. Look out for quicks in each nail and avoid clipping near them; sometimes hidden by their color, so a light may help you pinpoint where they are.
To prevent your pup from bleeding, it is recommended that only the outer edge of each nail be trimmed for safety purposes. Cutting too close can cause bleeding. While you could use clotting powder to stop the bleeding temporarily, having some styptic powder handy can help you avoid this situation in future – better that you accidentally nick a quick once or twice than do so frequently by accident!
Don’t Be Afraid
Puppies often struggle with trusting humans, and nail clipping can be seen as a negative interaction with an owner. Many owners will resort to bribery, distractions and other means in an effort to make the experience less stressful – this shouldn’t necessarily be seen as negative; just remember that any reward offered during nail trimming will likely be perceived as reinforcement of unwanted behavior; for instance, if your pup squirms, bites or attempts to escape during its nail trim session it’s important not to reward this behavior but only give praise when behaving appropriately – don’t reinforce unwanted behaviors with praise if your pup behaves like you want it or ignore any rewards given during its nail trim session!
As soon as your puppy becomes familiar with the clippers, introduce them by touching and sniffing. Repeat this several times before beginning to clip their nails. By building trust between yourself and your puppy through exposure to this process, they may come to accept that nail clipping doesn’t have to be so difficult after all!
As soon as it comes time to clipping, make sure you use high quality dog nail clippers. These will allow for greater precision while protecting you from accidentally cutting into the quick (the pink part that supplies blood to each nail). Start off small before working your way towards larger paws until every fingernail has been addressed.
Ask a trusted friend or family member for help at first, as having additional hands available will allow you to keep the puppy calm while handling its paws.
As soon as you’ve started trimming your puppy’s nails, it is vitally important that this be a routine part of their care routine. Doing this regularly will help them become more familiar with the process and lessen any anxiety about having their paws touched by humans.
If your puppy still fears having their nails cut or exhibits severe anxiety during the process (trembling, excessive drooling, growling or snapping at you), professional assistance from a veterinarian or groomer may be required for an enjoyable nail trimming experience. In certain instances, medications like sedatives may even be administered in order to help your puppy relax during this important step in its development.
Careless nail trimming could result in accidental cuts into the quick, a pink area inside each nail that contains blood and nerves, which is filled with pain-producing nerve endings and can take hours for bleeding to stop. Styptic powder is the best way to stop bleeding in this situation.
Before beginning to trim your puppy’s nails, make sure you have a high quality pair of dog nail clippers and file. Nails should be clean and dry prior to clipping as being too long can snag on carpet or grass and cause physical harm as well as tear the nail bed and expose lots of blood. Also important is having the appropriate size clippers – too long nails could even tear the nail bed and expose blood.
Your puppy may be afraid of nail clippers because they look frightening and make noise, so to ease his fears and familiarise himself with them, hold the tool in your hand while letting him sniff and explore it at his leisure. Reward any signs of interest with treats; do this four to five times before actually using nail clippers to trim his nails.
Once your puppy has become used to nail clippers, try trimming one paw. If he tolerates it well, gradually increase it up to two and three paws before moving forward with trimming all three at the same time. Be patient and don’t attempt to force his cooperation by correcting him if protests arise.
If your puppy is nervous about having his nails trimmed, consider asking a trusted family member or friend to do it instead of taking him directly. Otherwise, seeking professional assistance will provide both parties with greater peace of mind while making sure that no quick is cut during this painful procedure.