Updated: Jul 25
Whether you clip your pup’s nails, dremel them, or send them to the pros – most pups struggle with some anxiety around the task at some point. If you are looking for something to give your dog to cut their nails, CBD can be a fantastic natural method to keep a dog calm.
Dogs can struggle with the act of nail clipping itself or from being in the fast-paced environment of a grooming salon. Regardless of the source of their anxiety, we have you covered with tips on getting your pet relaxed and ready for a nail trim!
How Does CBD Help with Trimming Nails?
CBD is known to stabilize mood and create a sense of calm and safety by increasing levels of serotonin in the brain.
These effects make it a great choice for creating positive associations during nail training and for acting as a natural calming aid when tackling nail trimming.
CBD also can help your dog feel safe enough to avoid any fear-based aggression during nail trimming. Even the sweetest dog can be scared enough to feel aggression during their first few nail trims. CBD can help you avoid any growling or nipping behavior by allowing your dog to feel safe.
Getting Accustomed to Nail Cutting
Beginning with desensitizing training before your first trim can go a long way. Dogs are naturally averse to their paws being touched so you will need to work carefully to get them used to this action.
Giving CBD for these training sessions can put your dog in a positive and calm frame of mind and allow them to better focus on your teaching.
The training should involve repeatedly introducing the clipping tool and the holding of their paw alongside treats and praise. This will have them associate both with positive rewards.
Nail cutting is a stressful process for both owners and their dogs! However, you want to feel in control when you perform this task. By the time you feel comfortable enough with your pup's progress to trim their nails, you want to be familiar with the tools you will be using. If you can feel confident your dog will pick up on it and you will be able to avoid any mistakes that could cause setbacks.
Be sure to know exactly how the clipping tool works, how it moves, and how to hold it. You can find plenty of videos and written guides to help you learn if you have any uncertainties.
In general, you want to feel cool and calm when you begin. Your dog can be affected by your emotional state and as such you need to ensure you are a good model of serenity!
When you go to give your first nail trim, give them CBD first to allow them to feel as calm as possible. CBD will serve as a foundational tool for all the praise and training you will provide during nail clipping.
You will want to start very slowly. Trim only the very tips of their nails first and give plenty of praise after each nail.
Give breaks after every few nails if you can as most dogs prefer this!
One of the oldest tricks in the nail-trim book is using peanut butter while grooming. This distraction creates a positive association and helps whoever is performing the nail trim. You should see less squirming and escape attempts as they zero in on the tasty treat.
You can use Suzie’s Goes Nuts CBD peanut butter on a lick matt or smooth surface like a bathtub to keep your pet preoccupied while you clip. Using a peanut butter with CBD combines the benefits of distraction with relaxation!
If you need to restrain your pup in order to trim their nails you want to be very careful about how you go about it. If you use too much pressure or force you can end up only making their fear and struggles worse. This can also lead to injury if you are not careful.
Ideally, you want to be able to stand behind your dog and gently fold their paw backward until their paw pad is facing you. Never twist their arm or leg as you do.
If needed, you can wrap an arm around your dog's hips for their back legs. Your armpit should rest on their body but do not put your weight on this area. For their front legs, you can wrap an arm lightly just below their neck. Do not apply any more pressure than is absolutely necessary.
If this method of restraint does not work with your pup, consider desensitizing them for longer or consulting with a professional trainer or dog groomer.
Watching for the Quick
The quick of a dog's nails are a sensitive group of blood vessels attached to the nail. If cut, this part of the nail is known to bleed quite a bit.
Do not be too hard on yourself if you do knick the quick, as it happens to even the best dog groomers. Just be sure to have the appropriate supplies to stop bleeding quickly, effectively, and calmly. You will want to have a quick-stopping powder (sold at most pet stores), a wet cloth for compression, and bandages nearby just in case this does happen.
CBD for Grooming Salon Calm
Similar to some of the other techniques discussed, you want your dog to form a positive association with the grooming salon to help them stay calm during their appointment.
You should first identify with a groomer if they see your pup having more anxiety during the grooming service or when waiting in the designated holding area. This can help determine how to best help your pup feel calm at the groomer!
Provide CBD at least 30 minutes before the grooming appointment but no longer than an hour and a half before. Give them plenty of praise and rewards as you travel and when you arrive at the salon for positive reinforcement.
If you have a groomer who would be comfortable with it, you can also bring some CBD treats along with you for them to give during the appointment or when they finish up your pet's groom. This can give them an extra little push of calm to allow them to get through their appointment.
Don't forget - you know your dog better than anyone else. Their fears and needs are going to be as unique as their personality. While these tips can serve as a guide, you want to always trust your gut when it comes to navigating training and grooming with your dog. When it comes down to it - that is your best tool for accomplishing a calm nail cut.
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