All dogs require proper nail care. Paws, like our feet, withstand a plethora of surfaces and conditions to keep them moving by your side. But dogs don’t have protective footwear like we do so keeping their nails in tip-top shape is essential. A bad nail can make a difference in how a dog walks, which could lead to issues that impact mobility. Common issues with unkept nails can include:
- Nails that are too long
- Jagged nails from excessive licking of the paws or biting the nails
- Broken nails
- Ingrown nails
- Swelling or infection of the nail bed
Regular attention to the paws and nails should include nail trimming or filing. But not all dogs enjoy an at-home pedicure. Here are three tips for giving your pet a stress-free nail care experience.
Filing is more comfortable than clipping
Clipping the nails, especially the thicker, stronger nails of a larger breed, can result in a feeling of pressure when the clippers squeeze the nail. While the clipping is not painful, it’s understandable that the feeling of pressure can make some dogs uncomfortable. And if the clippers are dull, it can take more effort to cut through the nail.
Filing, which is equivalent to an electronic emery board, is more comfortable than clipping, and results in shorter nails. Filing also reduces the chances of clipping the nail quick, a blood vessel that includes nerve endings. For dogs with darker nails, the quick can be more difficult to see. Clipping the quick causes bleeding and pain.
Filing results in smoother, rounder nails. Clipping the nails can leave the ends blunt and sometimes jagged. Scratching with a jagged nail can cut exposed skin in the ear or the sensitive areas around the nose and eyes—or on your bare legs and arms! Minor scratches that lead to infection are not exactly a stress-free experience.
Train your puppy or dog to be comfortable
Desensitizing the paws to touch is one way to help your dog relax during a pedicure and avoid an extreme reaction. The best time to start this process is during the puppy stage, but it can be accomplished with an adult dog. The effort takes consistency, praise, and treats!
Your veterinarian or local groomer can help you with how to desensitize your puppy or dog to touch for stress-free nail care. It can be a slow, stepped approach to gently touching the leg, the paw, and the nails of your puppy or dog while giving praise and treats to gain trust and comfort.
Better yet, introducing your puppy to professional grooming allows the groomer to slowly introduce the experience of bathing, brushing, and nail care which can lead to stress-free grooming and pedicures for the life of your dog.
Let the professionals work their magic
If the mere thought of clipping your dog’s nails stresses you out and makes the dog run for the hills, then you should know there is a better way! The grooming team with Holiday House Pet Resort and The Spa on State is trained to work with all breeds, sizes, personalities, and ages. We understand that nail care troubles are real. Leaving nail care to the professionals with the right tools and techniques can transform the struggle into a positive experience for the dog (and you).
Call 215-345-6960 to schedule a grooming or bathing appointment with a nail filing service. Holiday House Pet Resort and The Spa on State also offer Good Start Grooming for Puppies for a gentle introduction to grooming and nail care.