Last night at obedience class I watched as two dogs got their nails clipped; both dogs required two people to perform this task. We are lucky that neither dog fights us during the nail clipping process. When we first got Sampson we took him to puppy socialization class and one of the first things we learned was to touch his feet and get him use to us doing so, this would turn out to be a blessing in the long run. With Delilah we just got lucky.
Sampson is a bit harder to clip; even those his nails are lighter colored and you should be able to see the quick (a little vein in their nail that is very sensitive and can bleed if clipped too closely.) The sensitivity of the quick is probably the biggest reason some dogs don’t like their nails clipped. Sampson’s quick is very close to the end of his nails especially in his back feet, so when I clip him I only do his front paws. Delilah’s nails are black like a beetles but for some reason, she clips much easier than Sampson does.
When it is time to do nails, I gather my supplies; a nail clipper, a Q-tip, some Kwik stop styptic powder and a handful of treats! These are the clippers I use (sort of small for my big dogs but they work) notice how the clippers have a guard in the center of the scissors, it is important to use the guard because this will help insure you don’t clip too close.
I start with Delilah for two reasons 1) she knows I have treats and if I don’t start with her she will jump all over the place acting like a lunatic until she gets the treat and 2) Sampson hates it so bad that he likes to go and hide. I start with one foot at a time and clip just the curve of the nail off. Once the foot is finished, I reward the dog with a treat. I repeat this with each foot.
Once the princess is done, I move on to the big boy, I try to be especially gentle with him because he is very easily bled. If the quick bleeds too much it can become a serious issue with the dog and both Chet and I have clipped Sampson good, so I always have the styptic powder (designed for dogs, cats and birds) and the Q-tip, if I clip him and he bleeds I pop the Q-tip in my mouth and dip it in the powder. Then you push the powder into the dog’s nail and pack it; which helps stop the bleeding. You do want to try to keep the dog off his feet at least for a little bit.
If you have successfully clipped the dog’s nails, you have just saved time (from taking him to the groomers or vets) and money; the bonus is you have also probably saved your dog an enormous amount of stress.