How Do You Cut an Uncooperative Dog’s Nails?

How do you cut an uncooperative dogs nails min

Most dogs and cats need nail trims periodically. Untrimmed nails are more likely to get injured and cause injury. Severely overgrown nails may get snagged and damaged during play. Very long nails can grow into the pads on the feet, causing infection and pain.

Some important things to check before cutting a dog’s nails

The most important advice goes to people with puppies and kittens. It is recommended that you spend time playing with your pet’s feet each day. Start trimming the nails at an early age. Young animals every pliable, and pet that grows up accustomed to nail trims usually don’t resent them as adults. For mature pets, several tactics can be employed to facilitate nail trimming. At least two people should be present for nail trims. One person holds the pet while the other trims. There are some processes to do this nail cutting. If you go overboard, you could hurt your dog, causing it to associate the experience with pain. So the next time you try to do it, you’ll be met by a very uncooperative, fearful dog. It’s your job to turn routine nail trims into a positive experience. You’re supposed to do this through patience, care, and reward. With repetition, your dog will go from being uncooperative to perfectly obliging.

cutting dogs nails
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Step One

Prepare Your Dog.

Before taking the plunge and trimming right away, you must physically familiarize your dog with the whole process.

Begin by holding and lifting your dog’s paws

Start with short periods, like 5 or 20 seconds, and then work your way up to 15, 30 seconds.

dog nail
Image Source: Cesar’s Way

Repetition is important 

If the dog is calm while holding his toes, shower him with praise and reward. Make sure you do this daily, as repetition will only get him accustomed.

If your dog grows aggressive when holding his toes, take a firm stance. Gently restrain the dog by placing your arms around his neck. Then, using a steady, authoritative tone, say: “No.”

Depending on your dog, it can take anything from a few days to weeks to tolerate paw handling. The important thing is to persist.

dog nail 1
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Step Two

Go for Swimming Breaks. Physically wise, swimming is rewarding for your dog. It’s also beneficial for their mental health: it’s an A-plus stress-reliever. If your dog is small enough for it, you could use the tub or the sink as a mini-pool. Hold your dog confidently and let it paddle. If it appears anxious or scared, hold it at an incline, leaving only half of its bottom in the water.

You are taking first, gently your dogs’ swimming before nail trims will relax them and drain their energy. Then, the effect will become apparent: less panic, less fidgeting, and more compliance.

Step Three

Soften Your Dog’s Nails. After getting your dog out of the tub, get your nail clippers. Open and close them so that your dog’s ears grow accustomed to the sound. While doing this, make sure to present your dog with treats.

dog nail 2
Image Source: Blue Sky Veterinary Clinic

Step Four

You are trimming Dogs Nails. After your dog grows compliant and tolerant, you should begin cutting its nails. However, it’s important to remember that you shouldn’t dive in all the way just yet. Begin by carefully cutting only one toenail. Then, study your dog’s reaction: are they calm or uncomfortable? If they become agitated, don’t hesitate to call it a day and leave the rest of the nails for tomorrow.

Image Source: FirstCry Parenting

Some extra-careful points 

When cutting, don’t go beyond the tip. Instead, trim straight across and stay away from the curve of the nail. If your dog starts bleeding, apply styptic powder right away. If you cut beyond the curve of the nail, you risk hitting something called the quick. It’s the core of the nail bed, and if you cut it, you could cause pain for your dog.

The Right Dog Nail Clippers

There are nail clippers available in the market specifically made for trimming dog nails. They come in different types, such as Dremel tools, scissors, and guillotine. Use the right nail clippers depending on your dog’s paw size. In addition, there are some nail clippers with a built-in safety guard, and it is better if you use them.

Use only good-quality nail clippers and buy them from a trusted source.

nail clippers
Image Source: The New York Times

The Right Time to Cut

Stand in front of your pet and check if its nails are touching the ground. If they are, it’s time for a nail trimming session. In an ideal situation, there should be a space of a thin sheet of paper between the ground and your dog’s nails.

Another way to know it is time to cut your dog’s nails when you can hear them clicking on the ground while they walk. Your dog may even accidentally scratch you while playing around if it has long nails. You have to know how to trim overgrown dog nails. Otherwise, you may end up getting scratches on your body.

How Often Should You Cut

How often you should trim your dog’s nails will depend on your dog. There are many factors involved that determine your dog’s nail growth. These include genetic factors, the breed of your dog, and how active your dog is. Ideally, you should be trimming your dog’s nails at least once in two weeks. However, you may need to do it more often if your dog’s nails grow back fast.

Dogs nails
Image Source: Fairview Animal Hospital

Assess the Reaction

Don’t be in a rush when you are cutting your dog’s nails. Cut one nail and assess the reaction. If your dog seems unaffected, continue cutting its nails. If your dog is getting aggressive or anxious, wait for a while. Put the nail clippers away and gently hold your dog’s paw until it gets calm. If your dog is too agitated, call it a day. You can try cutting its nails on some other day with more preparation.

Dogs nails 1
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While cutting your dog’s nails, find other ways to distract it. You can ask your other family members to talk and play with your dog while its nails are cut. Remember not to agitate it too much while doing this though

Dogs nails 2
Image Source: The Labrador Site


Once the entire process is done, reward your dog. Give it a few belly rubs and feed it some tasty treats to show it has done a good job by being brave. This will teach your dog to associate nail trimming as a positive experience, and it will cooperate the next time. And you will use to cut dog’s nails as time passes.

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