Considering clipping your dog’s nails yourself? You may want to spend some time getting your dog accustomed to the tools you’ll use and to having their paws touched. Many dogs will react badly during a nail trim, but doing a few simple things in preparation can make all the difference.

First, start by handling your dog’s feet gently. You want your dog to associate these touches with positive reinforcement, so make sure you have some treats handy. Do this each day until your dog becomes comfortable and confident with your hands on her paws.

Next, you should introduce your dog to the clipping or grinding tool. Lay the tool on the floor and place a treat next to it, so your dog will smell both the treat and the tool. Do this each day until your dog becomes accustomed to the tool.

You’ll want to combine these experiences to clip the dog’s nails. You may want to have another person help you in case your dog needs to be held. Gently hold your dog’s paw and snip off a small portion of the nail. Be sure to avoid clipping the quick, the dark center of the nail. The quick provides blood supply to the nail and is very sensitive. Snipping the quick will cause a lot of pain for your dog and quite a bit of bleeding as well, so it’s very important to cut only the end of the nail. Make sure you snip dewclaws as well!

Of course, after all that preparation, some dogs still hate having their nails trimmed.  In that case, splurge on a day at the doggy spa for your pooch, and a day at the human spa for yourself.  You’ve earned it.