Hack 1: First, BE Prepared Yourself
With pets taking so many of their behaviors cues from us, it's crucial that we give lead by example. When it comes to something potentially stress-inducing like nail trims, there's no such thing as being too prepared. The best way to prepare yourself is to do some research into the nail trimming process with your specific pet. Whether that’s a cat, dog, or another small mammal, there will be specific instructions to follow for each and different tactics that will work best. When doing your research, be sure to watch some videos to get a better understanding of the full picture and the details in getting that perfect trim. For larger animals, it’s usually helpful to have another person to help you hold them and keep everyone safe during the process. Getting the proper grooming gear is also a big part of preparing. You’ll want a top rated pair of clippers and some styptic powder in case you accidentally cut a nail too close.
Hack #2: Get Them Prepared
Getting your pet ready for their nail trim is a process that can happen over a period of weeks and ideally should start as early as possible. First, you’ll want to start getting them used to body handling, having their paws picked up and held, and being held by another person during these exercises. Doing these exercises repeatedly helps desensitize them to the trimming routine. It will also help you to know if they’re ready to begin or if they need more time getting used to the pre-steps. If you’re starting with a young puppy or kitten, it’s best to begin doing these handling exercises when they first come home. This works in your favor to prevent future body sensitivities. If you’re going to be trimming an older animal, you’ll want to take a slower, more gradual approach.
Hack 3: Make it Positive
Creating positive associations is the most important thing to focus on above all else to ensure your pet will be a great participant in their nail trims. You can do this by always pairing all of your exercises with something positive like a treat, praise, and pets. When you’re practicing, be sure to let them know how amazing they’re doing and then spoil them to pieces when the exercises are complete. You’ll follow these same steps during the real trimmings as well. This helps to make the animal feels positive or at least neutral about the activity as a whole. It also gives them something else to focus on during the procedure so they don’t get as overwhelmed or stressed out. Typically, vets offices will offer you this service when you’re there but sadly a large animal of pets are uncomfortable when they’re at the vets office which can lead to anxiety or even aggression during nail trims. When done properly, at home nail trims can be a breeze. But if you’re struggling, we’re always here to help with our mobile grooming service!