Most dogs don’t like to have their nails clipped for a variety of reasons. Some don’t want to sit still while others don’t like the sound of the clipping.
Your dog might not like you touching their paws at all. However, clipping your dog’s nails is absolutely necessary when it comes to grooming and care.
Pet parents often feel nervous to cut their dog’s nails because they are afraid of their pet’s reactions. Nobody likes being scratched or snapped at while clipping nails. The problem is, if you don’t cut their nails regularly they will grow too long and there’s no going back.
If you have ever cut your dog’s nails you are most likely familiar with the quick. If you hit the quick it bleeds and causes pain for your dog.
Did you know the quick grows along with the nail and if left unattended, cutting their nails will become a difficult task that might need professional assistance?
So, how do you restrain a large dog for nail clipping sessions? Continue reading to find out!
How to Restrain a Large Dog for Nail Clipping
Create a Soothing Environment
Choose a section of your home or an outdoor patio area to cut your dog’s nails.
Put some classical music on to soothe your dog’s emotions and speak in soft tones as you explain what you are going to do.
You can also place some toys and soft blankets down to help make your dog comfortable and feel safe.
Help Your Dog Lay on Their Side
Calmly help your dog lay down on the floor with their back facing you and their legs sticking outward.
Apply Gentle Pressure
Gently place your arm on your dog’s neck to pin it down. The goal is to use your arm as a barrier that doesn’t apply too much pressure to your dog’s neck.
Avoid putting pressure on their neck because it could lead to damage and even death. If your dog is choking, struggling to breathe, or making noises release them immediately because you are applying too much pressure.
Control the Legs
Use your other arm to pin down your dog’s back legs. The best position is to place your arm next to the pelvis without using too much pressure.
Choose a Paw
Select the paw you want to trim first and start clipping. Always use pet-friendly dog nail clippers to trim the nails. Most nail clippers have a safety feature that protects the quick from becoming damaged. This type of clipper is recommended for beginners and experienced pet parents too.
Ask for Help
If you can’t manage to do this nail cutting technique by yourself, ask someone to help you. Preferably someone your dog knows and trusts.
Place a Leash on Your Dog
For this method, your dog will be in a standing position and leashed. Place a standard leash on your dog. Do not use retractable leashes during this process.
Cut the Rear Paw Nails
Carefully wrap your arms around the hips with your armpit resting on the top of your dog’s body. You need to face the rear. You might need to apply a little bit of pressure to prevent your dog from walking or escaping your hold.
Trim the Nails
Once you have your dog in the position you are ready to trim their nails. Gently grab one of the rear legs and carefully fold it back so that your dog’s paw pad is facing you, then start clipping.
Cut the Front Paws
The hold for cutting the nails on the front paws involves wrapping your arms near your dog’s neck and applying gentle pressure to hold them in place. Then reach out and grab a leg and gently bend it back so the paw pad faces you, then make the clip.
Tips for Cutting a Large Dogs Nails
- Create a soothing environment
- Choose the method that works best for your dog
- Avoid applying too much pressure to the neck, paw, or body
- Use pet-friendly and safe nail clippers
- Practice holding your dog in nail clipping positions so they get used to the feeling
- Ask for help if needed
- Avoid shouting at your dog
- Avoid twisting your dog’s leg
- Stop if your dog seems like they are in pain
- Take a break if your dog is nervous and try to calm them down
- Offer treats and rewards for good behavior only
- Avoid cutting the quick
- Use calming techniques such as taking a walk before cutting the nails
- Start cutting your dog’s nails at home from an early age if possible so they get used to the procedure.
How do you cut uncooperative dogs’ nails?
Chances are you just followed the steps for both methods mentioned above but your dog is still being uncooperative.
While the nail cutting techniques work on most dogs some that are highly nervous might be more complicated to deal with as you attempt to cut their nails.
Before you give up completely, try to understand your dog better.
Are they afraid of many things? Do they hate bath time? Do they prefer you don’t touch their paws?
If yes was the answer to these questions, you have a sensitive pup that probably feels nervous and afraid while being groomed.
Helping your dog become more comfortable with the process is recommended. You can help your dog by relaxing side by side on the sofa and petting them softly.
Gently glide your hand down their leg and pet their paws including their paw pads.
At first, your dog might pull away but the more often you continue practicing the more familiar and comfortable your dog will be allowing you to touch their paws.
Some dogs may never become comfortable with the nail trimming process. In this case, you need to consult with a professional.
The first person you need to turn to is a veterinarian.
It’s important to rule out any conditions that your dog might be experiencing with their paws or nails.
Dogs that pull away or snap at you when their paw is touched could be experiencing pain. It’s important to have your dog’s paws checked out.
Once the veterinarian confirms your dog has healthy paws, it’s time to speak to a professional groomer for further assistance.
Most professional dog groomers have unique techniques for dealing with difficult pets when it comes to grooming.
Seek a groomer’s advice and allow them to cut your dog’s nails. Sometimes veterinarians will go the extra mile and have their staff gently hold your dog and do the nail clipping successfully.
The sooner you get your dog’s nails trimmed the better. Nails that are left to grow long can interfere with the way your dog places their paw on the ground when they walk.
Extremely long nails can twist to the side with every step which causes discomfort and can lead to permanent damage.
You know your dog the best and it’s important that you find the right nail cutting method that suits their needs.
If your dog wiggles around or tries to escape when they get their nails cut, try method number one. However, if your dog is mostly calm, method two is recommended. Visit petstruggles.com for more expert information & advice.