Do you want to know how to cut your dog’s nails? First, find out if should! Here are 20 specific signs to help you decide.

“How do I cut my dog’s nails?” is the number one question heard at a conscientious dog owner’s groomer. The real question is, SHOULD you trim your own dog’s nails? The average owner doesn’t realize that trimming their dog’s nails can trigger a huge fear reaction in their furry friend. The feelings it elicits in your dog are similar to what a human child would experience when receiving a needle vaccine. Children often have tantrums and it is impossible to comfort them if they know they will receive a needle vaccine. Dogs are no different with nail trimming, except that their tantrums involve biting and releasing their intestines. This fear-driven behavior is often a total shock to the average dog owner, and the trust that is lost between the dog and the owner is significant and expensive. Most dog owners find that the emotional and physical cost of trimming their dogs is simply too high.

Here are the factors to consider when deciding if you are in the 20th percentile of dog owners who can trim their own dogs’ nails without causing your dog (or yourself) emotional or physical pain.

Do you consider yourself an anxious person?

Do new experiences generally make you more worried than curious?

Are you afraid to get vaccinated with or receive a needle?

Does it scare you to see your own blood?

Are you scared to see the blood of your own dog?

Does the sight of your own blood or your dog’s scare your dog?

Can you bear your dog moving and pulling while you hold it?

Can you bear to hear your dog whine and / or scream even when there is no physical pain?

Can you stand your dog experiencing a constant fear that you are causing him?

Are you the first person to offer sympathy to a friend or child when they are worried or hurt?

Do people tell you that you wear ‘your heart on your sleeve’?

When trying new things, do you tend to move slower than fast?

Does your dog have black nails?

Does your dog handle changes with great anxiety?

Is your dog scary when you hold or manipulate his feet?

Does your dog have bad experiences with nail trimming because of you or other people?

Has your dog ever gotten scared enough to bite you or someone else?

Do you need a muzzle for your dog to brush?

Has fear of making your dog’s nails bleed keep you from trying to trim his nails in the past?

If your dog’s nails bleed on your floor, furniture, or clothing, will that bother him?

If you’ve answered yes to 5 or more of these questions, you may want to reconsider whether or not you really want to learn how to trim your own dog’s nails. Your dog may still feel anxious and worried during nail trimming for a professional, but wouldn’t you rather get mad at the groomer than you, just like a parent would rather have your child mad at the nurse with the needle? instead of themselves? And the nurse and groomer have been trained (and hopefully experienced) in the quickest and easiest methods to keep their subjects calm. Experience comes in handy when it comes to fear triggers, and nail clipping is the number one fear trigger for dogs in the grooming room. The fee for nail trimming is not prohibitive in terms of time or cost, typically ranging from $ 5 to $ 20 per visit, and many stores like Pooch Parlor accept walk-in nail trims and perform this task in less 5 minutes. The cost of losing your dog’s trust in you far outweighs the cost of regular nail trimming at the groomer.

For those brave humans who are confident that they and / or their dog can try nail trimming at home, check out the step-by-step video and written tutorial at http://www.thepoochparlor.net. Happy trimming!

Copyright 2010 DuAnn Lustig Chambers

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