Friday, December 14, 2012

Train your dog to love nail trims

Unlike many of my girlfriends, most  dogs don't think  manicures and pedicures are any fun at all. They don't get excited about new  dazzling sparkly nail polish colors, foot baths and massages.  I think it might have something to do with  a bad experience they've had,  where the nail is trimmed past the "quick" causing pain and bleeding,  lack of socialization as puppies and fun.

 Hoping this post can change that.

It is a good idea to socialize puppies to have all parts of their body handled-- feet, ears, and  gums for routine dental cleanings.  When a puppy grows up having experienced the human touch in a stress-free, pain-free  fashion they grow up unafraid of manicures, pedicures, ear and teeth  cleaning, so long as socialization starts early and repeated frequently.

If like so many pet parents, you are having a difficult time teaching your dog to accept nail trims, Dr. Sophia Yin has great  tips on desensitization and counter-conditioning to teach your dog to love them. The trick is to pair the event with something positive.  Generous food treats and patience are essential ingredients for success.

Please click on the link to  read the entire article and view the videos to learn how to enjoy giving a manicure to Fido.

Note the pink triangle in which the nerve and the artery reside and learn to trim below it at a 45 degree angle. 
Consider using a Dremel tool  to grind down the nails instead of cutting them, if  the nail trimmers scare you or your dog.  Some dogs accept  the nail grinding better than trimming, but the method of teaching the dog is the same: use food treats, introduce the dog to the tool, its noise and vibrations a little bit at a time...go slow.   
Stop if Fido shows signs of fear or anxiety, give him a break and start over later.

A concise demonstration of a nail trim  by Dr. Sara Liddell & Fritz:

 Dazzling nail polish is optional
but with so many fabulous nail polish colors....
and even  horses enjoying manicures ...why not?



  1. wow, the nails of the cat are so nice! If i had a cat i would take care of it like a woman.
    Veterinarian philadelphia

  2. Thanks for your comment maayan danino. LOL.
    Assuming you are good to women in your life, I can't wait to see the pictures of that lucky pussy cat.