Nails are a source of great frustration to many pet owners.
They take patience and practice to do efficiently without cutting the quick and hurting your pet. Many pets object to having their nails messed with, likely because they have had their quicks trimmed on accident.
Less is Always More!
Take only a little bit at time and if you need to go back for more that’s OK.
Some dogs also have a very strong reflex to pull their paw away when it is held. They can’t help it. This is frequently a two-person job. One person to help hold the pet still and encourage them and give them treats, while the other person does the trimming carefully. Ask your vet tech, vet or groomer to show you tricks if possible.
There are many styles of nail trimmers and there are also Dremel type machines that file them gradually. You may have to experiment to find the right one for you. Everyone has a preference.
The most important thing is that the clippers are relatively sharp or the rotary is fully charged. Think about using an old nail trimmer on your nails, it just doesn’t go as well.
Training your pet to tolerate this usually goes better than jumping in to clipping every nail as low as it will go. Try doing one nail a day with a treat for a while and see if they become more compliant. Do it right before mealtime, if possible so they start to associate nail trims with something positive.
You can always pay someone else to do it, but many people find it more convenient to do this on their own schedule. How often should you do it?
Everyone is different and it depends on the length of your dog’s quicks, how fast their nails grow, and how conservative you are when you trim. Some dogs are prone to longer quicks than others or to getting nails that grow into their paw pads.
The longer your dog’s quicks are the less you will be able to take off each time and the less often you trim your dog’s nails, the longer the quicks seem to grow.
I feel that it is ideal to do a little trim once a week and take less, but you will have to find your own schedule.