Puppy Pedicure Needed

Melissa at Adventuroo hosts a meme every Thursday called “Capture the Everyday”.  This week’s prompt:  feet.

Technically, these are not feet, they are paws, but they need some attention all the same.  Sam, my eldest dog, lies quietly while I trim her toenails.  I’m very good at it – I’ve never “quicked” her (cut too deep and had a nail bleed) even though her nails are dark.  Boss is a different matter.  He’s a rescue dog we’ve had since December and I have yet to successfully trim his nails.  I could do it in two minutes flat – they are clear, I have professional-grade trimmers, it shouldn’t be an issue.

But Boss has lots of issues.  He’s terrified of storms, the vacuum, and helium balloons.  Oh, and pedicures.  I’ve tried gradually getting him comfortable with the process (holding his paw, sitting clippers nearby), I’ve tried it while he’s sleeping, I’ve tried it while someone else is distracting him with treats, belly rubs, and favorite toys.  Yesterday I even drugged him.  Yes, I sedated my dog.  It didn’t work.  He was as perky as ever, and finally I fell asleep waiting for him to get drowsy.  He’s scared of strangers, and has been known to nip when a stranger tries to get too close too fast, so I don’t want to put the vet or groomer at risk.  I figure if I can just get it done once he’ll realize it’s okay for me to do it again.  He really is a very smart dog, he just has trust issues.

Anyone dealt with this before?  I’d hate to go the muzzle-and-restraint route, but he’s going to have foot problems if these claws get much longer.  Help!


I just heard about this program and I’m getting in right under the wire, but for every blog post that mentions Pedigree Foundation Pedigree will donate TWENTY POUNDS of dry dog food to a shelter.  You have until midnight Eastern September third to link up at Two Little Cavaliers and “write a post, help a dog”.  Boss says thanks!

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11 thoughts on “Puppy Pedicure Needed”

  1. Try clipping just a couple of nails at a time. Boss will see you are not going to hurt him. That’s the way I got Annie and Mazzy to be still long enough for the whole “pedicure”. Now they think it’s part of the “bath” routine. Good luck!

  2. Awww doggie paws.

    We take our lab to PetCo now to have them do it. He does fine at home but they get so much better than we do. So, that’s probably not helpful with his trust issues though. Wish I had a good solution!

  3. When I was about 3, I hated having my nails cut, so my Mama told me that if we cut them and planted them, carrots would grow. We planted them in a pot on the windowsill, and sure enough… carrots! This is of absolutely no use to you and your problem, but sometimes hearing how crazy someone else is makes me feel better.

    1. Sadly enough, I was willing to give this a try. I sat Boss down, and calmly explained to him that if he’d let me trim his nails I’d plants them and Milkbones and Beggin’ Strips would grow (he’s not big on carrots). I pulled out the clippers and he growled at me and bared his teeth. And now my 12yo, who was watching the whole interaction, has serious doubts about my sanity. I think wine is next on the agenda.

  4. We have to practically bribe the dog to clip her claws. She once ripped two off and had to be sedated at the vets while they cauterised them.

    Now we have to cut one or two nails at a time and give her a treat afterwards… otherwise she shakes like a leaf whenever you approach her.

  5. In 12 yrs, Rowdy has NEVER calmed to letting me cut his nails, I have a groomer do it because they are professionals and I don’t have to be there to deal with the fall out!! Doubt ole’ Boss will get used to it either!! Hehehehe

  6. We gave up trying to cut our cats nails. We take her to the vet every month or so and it is totally worth the $17 in our savings on Band-Aids alone!

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