|Barked: Thu Jan 12, '12 5:15pm PST |
|I think a problem your having is that, if I'm understanding correctly, you're not there when the nails are trimmed. You or someone the dog loves or trusts should be there to make sure they know it's alright and they're not just with a bunch of strangers. How would you like it if a bunch of strangers put a muzzle on you and took you into a room away from your master and started cutting your nails? Doing the nails yourself would be a good idea, and it would also make the dog less stressed as you would be in a familiar and loved setting, with the following tips...
Probably the best tip I ever heard was, to put the dog on a slippery surface. It may be hard if your dog is big and heavy, but trust me, it'll be worth it to know that the nail trimming isn't causing too much pain or stress for your dog. Any stainless steel surfaces, like a table, washing machine, etc. could work... and if you can't go for slipperyness, just go for height. If a dog is on a slippery surface when you're trimming their nails, they'll be more focused on keeping their balance than you and their nails. If their on a heightened surface, they'll be more focused on that than you an their nails. A combination of the two work nicely, but, as well as this works, it's easy to see why it may be impractical. If there's no way to accomplish this, you may want to try something different. Get a friend or a neighbor to do the nails. Make sure you tell them exactly what they have to do and guide them through it so that nothing goes wrong. Make sure you're there and act happy, so that your dog can feel secure as you are there and are giving off an aura of confidence and contentment. I hope that makes sense. You're dog will be more focused on the excitement of a visitor than their nails. If nothing else, just get someone your dog is familiar with but doesn't see very often to come and hold the dogs attention via petting/treats etc. while you do the nails.
Basically what you're aiming for in trying any of these methods is to take your dog's mind off of nail trimming and get them focused on something more pleasant. Muzzles and being surrounded by strange people would just put more stress on your dog.
Another tip to reducing stress is doing nails one at a time. I've read in various books that getting all 20 nails trimmed at the same time is like a child getting a bunch of shots all at once. Spreading them out and maybe only doing 2 nails per day is definitely a good, stress-reducing idea to try. I wouldn't recommend sedatives unless as a last resort.
Hope I helped!
Edited by author Thu Jan 12, '12 5:22pm PST
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