Get helpful advice on how to clip a dog’s toenails from the source: a dog!
Mishu is a rescue dog turned advice columnist who shares her canine wisdom on everything from real life dog problems to the path to human contentment. Integrative veterinarian Dr. Julie Buzby is happy to welcome her to The Buzby Bark where Mishu answers seven questions about learning how to clip a dog’s toenails.
How do you feel about having your toenails trimmed, Mishu? Why do you think most dogs dislike this process?
Dear Mishu: For me, it’s scary because even though I trust my humans, I don’t like people “doing things” to me. I was abused as a puppy before I came to my people, so I have a strong instinct to protect myself. Even though nail trimming doesn’t hurt, the pressure feels weird and I don’t really understand why my people need to do this, so I would just prefer they didn’t.
Do you have light nails, black nails, or both?
I have the black, shiny nails of a warrior princess!
What do your people do for you to help make the nail trimming process positive/comfortable for you?
They give me lots of treats and usually have two people involved — one giving me treats and petting me, and one trimming my nails. It’s MUCH better than the few times I’ve gone to a groomer to have my nails trimmed (I was terrified and shaking the whole time).
Has your parents’ nail trimming technique improved after taking Dr. Buzby’s course? What are they doing differently now?
In the past, only one human at a time would work on my nails, and they would try to cut a lot off each time before I ran away. Now they have two people and they trim slowly, a little at a time. In the end, though, I think they manage to trim more off than before.
Have your parents ever accidentally hit your quick? How did you respond and what can be learned from that?
No, they haven’t. Now they follow Dr. Buzby’s advice so they can see where to stop trimming to avoid the quick. Before taking the course, they were afraid to trim my nails very short because they are black and didn’t know where to stop. It seemed great to me at the time, but now that I see how much faster I can run with properly trimmed nails, I would never go back!
For someone who says, “I’d like to trim my dog’s nails, but I’m afraid.” What advice would you give them?
We’re all afraid, aren’t we? I guess conquering those fears is a matter of knowledge (how to do it right) and the love and trust between human and dog.
For someone who says, “I’m not sure how to clip a dog’s nails.” What would you tell them?
I would tell them that if I can handle it, then their dog definitely can! I have some trust issues, as I mentioned. I used to only let my people trim two or three nails at a time before I would run away and hide. Now that they use Dr. Buzby’s method, they usually get all four or at least two paws done in one session before I lose patience. Just take Dr. Buzby’s class and you’ll be an expert soon too!
About Dear Mishu
Every day is a gift, so focus on the now and stop worrying! That’s the message of Dear Mishu, the advice columnist who also happens to be a rescue dog. You can find the wise, funny, and friendly dog giving out her advice for humans on her website, on Instagram @dearmishu, or on Twitter @dearmishudear.