Tips for trimming your pet’s nails
by Ontario SPCA and Humane Society | Interesting | October 25, 2022
Nail trimming can be seen as a source of stress for our animals and even for us as pet parents. It’s time to take the fear out of this routine grooming practice. You’ll be clipping claws and pampering your pet’s paws in no time with tips from Fear Free ® Happy Homes.
Ready your environment
Set the scene to be calm and inviting for your furry friend before you begin. Fear Free® recommends eliminating slippery surfaces by laying down a rug or towel. To appeal to your animal’s other senses, playing some calm music and having soothing scents is also advised.
Of course, you’ll want to make sure your furry friend’s favourite treats are within reach, too!
Ready your furry friend
Fear Free® stresses the fact that nail trimming is a process – especially during your animal’s first time! By letting your companion animal get comfortable with the room and the sight, sound and feeling of the tool, you will make them more at ease.
Fear Free® recommends introducing your animal to the process in steps:
- Accustom your friend to the environment
- Introduce the sight of the trimming tool
- Imitate the nail trimmer sound near your furry friend
- Touch their nails repeatedly without the trimming tool
- Squeeze their paw gently, repeatedly
- Touch the trimmer to your animal’s nail repeatedly
- Slowly and carefully trim one nail at a time
Ready your equipment
Nail trimming can be done with either nail clippers or nail grinders. If your furry friend has never had their nails trimmed, start with the tool you’re most comfortable using and assess their reaction. If your animal has previously been stressed by the use of one tool, try another type until they are calmer.
Whichever tool you choose to use, Fear Free® has tips for both.
Fear Free® Clipper Tips:
- Use sharp clippers and replace regularly.
- Trim small pieces more often, rather than large pieces less often.
- Make sure to locate the nail’s blood supply (quick) to avoid trimming the nail too close.
Fear Free® Grinder Tips:
- Ensure you have a firm and comfortable hold on the device.
- Consider using a quieter tool with adjustable speeds.
- Grind for small periods at a time to avoid the tool causing your animal discomfort.
- Gently hold back paw fur from the nail.
For cat claw clipping, watch our resource: How to trim cat’s nails: Step by step guide.
For pup paw pampering, watch our resource: How to trim your pet’s nails.
For dark nail tips, watch our resource: How to trim your dog’s dark nails.
If you still find yourself or your companion animal experiencing stress with nail trimming, contact your animal’s veterinarian for advice and support.
Dogs only ask for your love and attention
Dogs only ask for your love and attention, nothing else. Thank you for everything you do!