Do you want to know how to cut your dog’s nails? First, find out if you ought! Here are 20 specific signs to help you decide.
“How do I trim my own dog’s nails?” is the number one question heard at the groomer from the conscientious dog owner. The real question is SHOULD you trim your own dog’s nails? The average owner doesn’t realize that clipping their dog’s nails can trigger a huge fear reaction in their furry friend. The feelings he provokes in his dog are similar to what a human child would experience when receiving a needle vaccination. Children often have tantrums and it is impossible to comfort them if they know that they will receive a needle vaccination. Dogs are no different with nail clipping, except that their tantrums involve biting down and releasing their intestines. This fear-driven behavior is usually a complete shock to the average dog owner, and the trust lost between dog and owner is significant and costly. Most dog owners find that the emotional and physical toll of clipping their own dogs’ nails is simply too high.
Here are the factors to consider when deciding if you’re in the 20th percentile of dog owners who can clip their own dogs’ nails without causing emotional or physical pain to your dog (or yourself).
Do you consider yourself an anxious person?
.Do new experiences generally cause you more concern than curiosity?
.Are you afraid of giving or receiving a needle vaccine?
Are you scared to see your own blood?
Scared to see your own dog’s blood?
Does the sight of your own blood or your dog’s blood scare your dog?
Can you stand your dog jerking and pulling while you hold him?
Can you bear to hear your dog whine and/or yell even when there is no physical pain?
Can you handle your dog experiencing the sustained 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 you try new things, do you tend to move more slowly than fast?
Does your dog have black nails?
Does your dog handle changes with great anxiety?
Does your dog freak out when you hold or handle his feet?
.Does your dog have bad experiences with nail trimming by you or others?
.Has your dog ever been scared enough to bite you or someone else?
Do you need a muzzle for your dog to brush?
Has the fear of making your dog’s nails bleed prevented you in the past from trying to trim his nails?
.If your dog’s nails bleed on your floor, furniture or clothes, will that bother you?
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 a professional nail trim, but wouldn’t you rather he felt angry at the groomer than you, just as a parent would prefer his child to be angry at the nurse with the needle? instead of themselves? And both the nurse and groomer have been trained (and hopefully experienced) in the quickest and easiest methods of keeping their subjects calm. Experience goes a long way when it comes to fear triggers, and nail trimming is the number one fear trigger for dogs in the grooming room. The fee for the nail trim is not prohibitive in terms of time or cost, typically ranging from $5-$20.00 per visit, and many stores like Pooch Parlor accept walk-in nail trims and perform this task in less than 5 minutes. . The cost of losing your dog’s trust in you far exceeds the cost of regular nail trimming at the groomer.
For those brave humans who are confident that they and/or their dog can try trimming their nails at home, check out the step-by-step written and video tutorial at http://www.thepoochparlor.net. Happy trimming!
Copyright 2010 DuAnn Lustig Chambers
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