Nail Trim Blog 2


Nail clipping is one of those tasks that some pets don’t cope with too well.  However checking the nails regularly is important.  A nail that grows too long can cause your pet discomfort and is more likely to be snagged on things and broken.  It can also curl and become ingrown, leading to painful swelling and infection of the paw.



So what is the best way to get a puppy used having their nails trimmed?                                     

  • Frequent handling of your puppy’s paws – the more time you spend with your puppy touching his paws and in between the toes, the more likely it is he/she will cope with having the nails trimmed.
  • Give him treats and praise whilst doing this – it will create positive reinforcement around being touched around their paws.
  • Begin introducing very gentle trimming or filing of the nails, followed by more treats and praise.
  • Clip only a few nails at a time and reward them for good behaviour.
  • Try to get your pet used to having their nails cut when they are young

What about adult dogs that are already fearful?

If your dog is already fearful of nail trims, positive reinforcement is still worth trying. Here are some tips you can try:

  • having someone distract the dog with a toy or food while another gently trims the nails
  • patience – this is not a problem that can be fixed in just a few sittings and it can take months to years to overcome
  • take your dog to a vet or groomer to have the nails trimmed – sometimes a nice, calm, easy-going environment is all a nervous dog needs to turn their fear around

Why are nail trims so important anyway?

Nail trims are very important, especially for dogs that don’t naturally wear their nails down.  If the nails grow too long, they can curl back and grow into the paw pads, potentially leading to pain and infection.

How often should nails be trimmed?

Every dog is different, but as a general rule, nails should be flat on (or just above) the ground.  Generally once every six to eights weeks is ideal. If the nails are too long, the toes will bend and this can be uncomfortable, even painful.

What if despite all of your best efforts, it is still too difficult/stressful to trim your dog’s nails?

We are always here to help – Please call us anytime to make an appointment for your dog’s nails to be trimmed – if your dog is still too stressed for our vet to do this, the kindest option can be to sedate your dog so that the nails can be trimmed without causing them any more fear and anxiety.