1. Learn how to properly clip nails.
It’s important to learn how to properly trim your dog’s nails before diving in. If you clip too short, they will bleed. Which brings me to my second tip:
And make sure you have good clippers! Crappy clippers can mean un-clean cuts and pain for your dog. We use the Miller’s Forge brand and they have been awesome (and I think we only paid about $10 for them)
2. Always keep Kwik Stop nearby.
This is where Murphy’s Law comes into play – if you don’t have it next to you when trimming your dog’s nails, you’ll accidently cut too short.
3. Trim often.
This should be a weekly routine. The more often you clip, the faster the quick will pull back.
4. Trim near a light or in daylight.
5. Bend their front paw back.
6. Bring on the treats!
Treats are essential. One nail = one treat. A tiny treat, but a treat nonetheless.
I started small, by desensitizing her to the nail clippers. I would touch her feet with the nail clippers and in return she would get a treat. I did this for several days. In between I would also get her used to me touching her paws, something she isn’t particularly fond of either.
Next I would do a few nails at a time and be done for the evening. You can work up to this as well. Start small, if you are making great progress, don’t push it. Oh yeah, did I mention it’s 10 times easier to do this when they are absolutely pooped out!
I started asking her for a sit, giving her a treat and then grabbing her front paw, folding it under so that her paw was facing the ceiling and then I clip one front nail at a time. Treats are given in between. Here’s a visual below: