We are all aware that grooming is an essential part of keeping our dogs comfortable, healthy, and good-looking. However, many people who own big dogs struggle to keep them still long enough to trim their nails. It is common for dogs with past trauma to be averted to grooming, especially when it comes to nail trimming. So we are going to take a look at how to restrain a large dog for nail clipping.
Why Should You Trim Your Dog’s Nails?
Just like humans, dogs’ nails grow continuously and require clipping regularly, usually about once a month. Wild dogs naturally wear down their nails by hunting and traveling across different, typically rough, terrains. Domesticated dogs generally do not wear down their nails, which is why they need to be trimmed on a regular basis.
Your dog’s nails will grow too long if left uncared for. A great way to determine whether your dog’s nails need trimming is if they make a tapping sound when they walk or jump. If they do, you will need to cut them. Long nails can get caught on carpeting and other furniture, pulling and potentially tearing the nail, leading to severe injury.
A dog with long nails also has trouble walking properly and can find standing and moving awkward and painful. In extreme cases, the nails can become so long that they curl around your dog’s paw and become embedded in their pads.
Restraining A Large Dog
An important thing to note is that all dogs bite, provided they have teeth. This is a fact of life. Every dog has a trigger, which can be anything from fear to pain or both, but you can never truly know when your dog is going to bite.
While knowing how to restrain your dog is important, it is also crucial to understand how to stay safe while doing so. The first way to hold your dog safely for a nail trim is to wrap one arm around their neck gently and the other around their stomach, preferably in front of their hips. You can also use your free hand to hold their paw while you trim it.
It is vital that you do not use more force than necessary; otherwise, you will cause your dog to become nervous and resistant.
Another way to restrain your dog is by using a method known as lateral restraint. This is useful for dogs who are rather squirmy. First, lay your dog on their side, then, facing their back, take your arm which is closest to their head and place it around their neck, gently.
Then place your other arm on top of their back and in front of their hips and grasp the bottom leg. As with the previous hold, do not use more force than necessary. You can easily keep your dog’s head still with your arm if they are struggling.
Clipping Your Large Dog’s Nails
For a lot of dog owners, trimming your dog’s nails can seem quite daunting, especially to those who own large dog breeds. Start by buying a nail clipper that is specifically made for use on large dogs. Small trimmers will not be strong enough to cut through your large dog’s nails and likely will not fit over them in the first place.
While some dogs are unbothered by having their paws touched, the majority of large breeds find it uncomfortable. Remove this feeling of unease by touching your dog’s paws often while praising and rewarding them as you do so. This will form a positive association in your dog’s mind between the reward and having their paws handled.
Be sure to check the color of your dog’s nails. Some large dog breeds have white nails, while others have black. The color of your dog’s nails determines how easily you will be able to spot the quick, which is the part of the nail that provides blood flow. The quick is easy to spot on white nails and is much harder to see on black nails.
Take your dog’s paw into your hand firmly and use the other to clip the nails. Remove the clippers the moment you feel sponginess – that is the quick, and you must avoid cutting it at all costs.
Types Of Dog Nail Clippers
This type of dog nail clipper works like a pair of scissors to cut your dog’s nails and is best suited for use on large dogs. These clippers provide superior force, which is needed to cut through the more robust, thicker nails of big dogs.
Not as intimidating as they sound, guillotine clippers are best used on smaller dog breeds. Using them is quite simple; just place your dog’s nail between the blades and squeeze. The blade is lowered and gently trims the edge of the nail
These clippers work by sanding down the end of the nail instead of clipping, which is excellent for use on dogs who are distressed by the feeling of regular clippers. These clippers also let you smooth out the end of the nail.
Getting your dog used to being restrained and grooming is essential from a young age, especially if they are going to grow to be quite large. Hopefully, with the tips mentioned above, your grooming sessions will be a walk in the park (pun intended).