How can I get my dog's nails trimmed when he is so scared?

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Took him to PetSmart, they couldn’t even get the muzzle on. He pooped, he was so scared! Vet will put him to sleep to do it, but I prefer not to. He is 9mos. old dalmation.
The vet wants to . because of his weight!

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    8 Responses to “How can I get my dog's nails trimmed when he is so scared?”

    1. talented mrs v says:

      Your first problem is the breed of the dog….while they may be great at home, dalmations are notorious for being evil for others. If your vet is recommending anesthesia either they don’t do them when the dog’s awake or your dog is really mean when there. You could try taking the dog to a groomer who deals with poorly behaved dogs, or you could see if your vet has a sedative they can prescibe and try that, or see if another vet is willing to do it without anesthesia. If your dog fights that hard against it, chances are you won’t be able to do it at home (most dogs are better for a pro than at home). If you do try it at home, be very careful not to hit the quick. If you are successful at home or with another groomer, you may be able to get him used to it. If you hit that, your dog probably won’t let you try it again. Even though you don’t want to pay $50-60, that may be your best option. Under anesthesia they can trim them really short and then you can try a nail file or walking the dog on concrete to keep them short. Do what you have to do to get them trimmed though…Nails grow really fast and can grow right into the paw or just plain cause discomfort if allowed to grow long. I would also suggest getting him to a trainer ASAP…almost every adult dalmation I’ve met has been nasty or snapped without warning….he’s young enough you may be able to prevent this. I’d hate to see you lose your dog or get sued because someone gets hurt. ** I just want to add that as nasty as dalmations tend to be…I still love them 🙂 **

    2. veitedl says:

      i used to grrom dogs, so i have dealt with a lot of dogs who had a fear of having their nails trimmed.
      first of all, you do not want to push the dogs limits. they can bite, they can get diarhea (as you know), and it can cause lots of negative stress. if you, or the person clipping the nails notices the dog is not comfortable, stop and give it time to calm down. do not rush things. the dogs will never get over it if someone tries to make it happen. theres a few things you can try:

      if you are taking the dog to a groomer, or the like, you can purchase a sedative such as ace to give to the dog. you should give it the recommended dosage for its size, about 1-2 hours prior to the appointment. this will not knock the dog out. it will keep it calm. it is likely to still struggle, even with the sedative. the best thing yuo can do, is when its time to have the nails done, hold your dog. you want to hold it with your arm under/ around its neck and onto its back, and the other arm vise versa. this allows you to keep the dog still, while you can also talk to it and scratch it to keep it calm.
      let the dog see the clippers. you dont want to frighten it by letting it be a surprise. allow the dog to examine them (look at sniff, etc..). you want to make sure you’re dog is aware of whats going on, or otherwise you inhibit the likelieness of it ever getting over the fear. if the dog has a had a bad experience, make sure you do everything you can to keep it from feeling the same will happen again. if these tips work, you may have to continue to do so each time its nails are clipped, or like a lot of dogs, in time it will grow used to the process and will not even need the sedative anymore. dogs gradually get used to things, just like humans do.

      hope this helps!

    3. K G says:

      Some dogs that have had a bad experience with a nail clipper (such as the nail being quicked – the quick of the nail cut) will hold still for a dremel. It is a rotary grinder. You buy it at Walmart for $20. It looks like a battery screw driver and you buy it in the tool section. That is what I use with my dogs.
      Sit down with it and let your dog smell of it and check it out without it on. Give a treat. Have your dog lay down next to you with the dremel in your lap. Treat. Pick up the paws, one at a time and massage. Treat. Turn the dremel on but do not touch the dog. Treat. Have the dremel on while you massage the feet. Treat. Bring the dremel to the nail but not touch. Treat. Dremel the nails. Treat.
      It may take several days to go through all the steps or maybe one afternoon. Go only as fast as your dog feels comfortable. You are deprogramming the bad experience and replacing it with a good one.
      Good luck

    4. artflex007 says:

      my dog was scared to, he used to wine and so the vet put this thing over his mouth….now i just cut his nails at home. ur dog just needs to get used to it, my dog needed time to.

    5. C K says:

      I clip my dogs nails myself. It’s not that hard. If you take your dog for long walks on the sidewalk the sidewalk will wear the nail down so you don’t have to cut the nails at all.

    6. roni says:

      Have you tried doing it yourself? Your puppy is probably just scared because of all the strange people and surroundings, but might let you do it. There are clippers out there that are proof against cutting their nails too short, which is the main concern when doing it yourself. If that doesn’t work, then you may just have to muzzel him yourself before you take him to Petsmart to solve that problem.

    7. lola says:

      Try giving him a sedative before you take him in the next time. They can be purchased for that reason . Then you won’t have to worry about having to do it again. Good luck next time.

    8. J Somethingorother says:

      Begin immediately playing with his feet for 5 minutes every 2 hours or so. Do this for several days until he is used to it and doesn’t even pay attention to what you are doing.

      Next, put clippers on your lap but do not touch them. Continue to play with his feet. Allow him to sniff the clippers if he wants to.

      When he is comfy, handle the clippers while playing with his feet but no cutting. Let him see you handle them and make a game with him of them.

      When he is comfy, stroke his feet with the clippers…still no cutting. When he’s comfy….then you proceed to try one nail…cutting very little so he sees it doesn’t hurt and isn’t shocked by it.

      In very short order, he will not mind at all and you can do it at home.

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