What are some aggressive dog nail trimming tips?
Original Question: My fur baby is so kind but he bites when you try to cut his nails. He bites the groomers and bit the vet. Is there anything I can give him? - Debbie
Thanks for your question.
This is a very common problem. I often wonder why not all dogs get aggressive when we trim nails. It is uncomfortable and scary for them.
Here are some aggressive dog nail trimming tips…
- Visit multiple veterinarians and see who is able to perform this without getting bitten. I’ve done nail trims on many owners dogs who had tried more than a dozen vets and groomers who all ‘couldn’t do it’. Some veterinarians, registered veterinary technicians and staff are simply better than others. Call around and inquire.
- Speak to your veterinarian about sedatives. Sedating a dog for nail cutting may seem cruel but in fact, if a dog undergoes that much stress, it is a greater concern than giving a sedative. I have heard of many cases where a dog died of extreme stress or heart attack during a struggle at the veterinary office during a procedure when they were away and anxious.
- Consider applying a muzzle to your dog before you go to the vet or groomer. I think this is just responsible. As good as veterinary staff can be, I don’t blame them for declining to trim nails of a dog that could severely harm them during the process. This is a workplace safety hazard. If you apply a good muzzle, I don’t see how any groomer or veterinarian couldn’t have success with a nail trim.
- Work with a behaviourist. This will be expensive and time-consuming and could fail in the end, but at least it’s all-natural.
- Try using a nail file at home and doing a little every day. If you feed your dog treats, give them lots of love and attention and then slowly build up to touching their nail with your own disposable nail file or emery board, eventually you could file them down in a gentle and very slow way. I’ve known many pet owners who do this.
Hopefully these tips help. Good luck.
Dr. Clayton Greenway
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