Clipping a dog’s nails is something most dog owners fear. There are a lot of reasons for this: They’ve either heard stories about clipping too far and causing the nail to bleed, they feel like they don’t know enough about what they’re doing to do it properly, or their lack of confidence makes them worry they are going to hurt their dog.
While those fears are valid and the outcomes are all possible, clipping a dog’s nails doesn’t need to be a terrifying thing. It’s also not the only way to shorten a dog’s nails – grinding is also a viable option, and in some cases, can be easier to do.
Regardless of the method employed, nail maintenance should start when the dog is young so they get used to having their feet handled. Many dogs develop an aversion to having their feet touched, which can make it almost impossible for non-professionals to clip the dog’s nails. Establishing a sense of safety when their feet are touched also generally benefits them throughout life when it comes to grooming, veterinary visits, and general behavior.