Did you know that involving your pup in paw print arts and crafts can have positive effects on how well they sit to have their nails trimmed? A fairly common struggle dog owners face is having their pups’ nails trimmed without them squirming. A simple and effective way to remedy this is desensitising them to having their paws touched!
Why do dogs dislike having their nails trimmed so much?
There are several reasons why dogs may dislike having their nails trimmed:
- Pain or discomfort: If a dog’s nails are overgrown, the quick (blood vessel and nerve that runs through the nail) may also be longer, making it more difficult to trim the nails without causing pain or discomfort.
- Fear or anxiety: Dogs may have had a negative experience with nail trimming in the past, such as having their nails cut too short or being restrained too tightly. This can lead to fear or anxiety around nail trimming in the future.
- Lack of socialisation: If a dog was not properly socialised to having their paws and nails touched and handled when they were young, they may be uncomfortable with this type of handling as an adult.
- Noise and vibration: Some dogs may be sensitive to the sound and vibration of nail trimmers, which can be frightening or uncomfortable for them.
- Lack of familiarity: If a dog is not accustomed to having their nails trimmed regularly, they may find the process unfamiliar and uncomfortable.
It’s important to note that if a dog’s nails are not trimmed regularly, they can become overgrown and cause discomfort or even health problems. Therefore, it’s important to work with your dog to desensitise them to nail trimming and make it a positive experience for them.
Desensitisation in Playcare™
Paw pad arts and crafts can be a fun and engaging way to desensitise a dog’s paws. Aside from being able to make adorable art to take home, desensitisation is another reason we decided to incorporate paw pad art into our days in Playcare™. Being more comfortable and familiar with having their paws handled will eventually grow their patience for having their nails trimmed, and can also be useful for paw cleaning, and general paw maintenance.
How to desensitise your dog’s paws at home
Of course, we encourage you to do fun arts activities with your pup at home but desensitising their paws can also be as simple as handling them often, for short amounts of time. The trick is to start small. Begin with simply picking up your dog’s paw and placing it straight back down, before progressing to holding them and touching between the toes until they get more comfortable (treats with also help with this!). Practise this for as long as your dog is comfortable; as soon as they begin to show signs of being overstimulated by it, call it a day and repeat again tomorrow.