How does that children’s song go??? The leg bones connected to the knee bone, the knee bones connected to the foot bone. For your favorite fur buddy, the foot bone is connected to their claws or nails… and frankly, those nails can get pretty gnarly if not attended to on a regular basis. Ah, but there’s the rub, not all dogs are created equal when it comes to the ease and comfort they feel in having their feet and claws fiddled with!

When it comes to nail trimming, your pet will likely fit into one of two common categories;

Joe or Jane Cool, who isn’t bothered by the paw play, noise and sudden uptick of attention to their feet. These easy going hero’s just go along to get along, often wagging tail/leaning in because they actually enjoy the attention and love their star power during the clip and cut process. We all wish our pet pals were THAT chill at toe trim time.


The “All the World is a stage, and dogs with unruly claws merely disgruntled players” types. These Thespians of the canine theater will act out the death scene in Hamlet if you glance at a toe, pick up a claw or approach then with a rogue clipper. The Oscar winning performances come out when the curtain of the claw cut goes up.

I’ve seen mild manner dogs turned into skilled assassins at first sight of a grinder, clipper or sneak attack guillotine trim attempt. Paws are hidden, teeth shown, vocal displeasure registered and Houdini like escapes made from death grips and tight corners. In these cases, Home Dog don’t play that nail cutting nonsense!! Its often funny to watch, until its not, because there is an automatic stress built in with these personality types.

What some fur parents/owners don’t always recognize is their role in the dogs anxiety and tense feelings. Often the human fear of the pets reaction, or potentially injuring a jumpy buddy, is so great that your favorite friend can feel it radiating from you and they react to that negative vibe. Another key factor is that we often make spur of the moment decisions to trim and groom, then find ourselves without all the needed equipment or items to do or complete the job… so we stop and start, adding time and unnecessary steps which our pet is not willing or able to endure, which ups the stress level on both side. This is not a winning formula, so you need a well a laid plan for success.

Dog getting nails clipped

If you are going to be your dogs personal nail stylist here are some sure fire tips to follow and items you’ll need to assure a positive outcome;

To assure you are outfitted and prepared for anything, here are needed tools for nail trimming mastery;

I know, it seems like a huge laundry list of items just to trim a nail. However, think of who and what is at stake for the process to flow correctly! Once you’ve mastered a routine that works for everyone, it’s nothing more than trust and repetition from a loving parent to their trusting fur companion. You have to walk a mile in the right shoes to properly learn to trim a few feet… or something like that!

The best thing is, if you cant or don’t want to trim nails yourself, if you feel uneasy or uncertain performing nail care, or your pet is absolutely refusing your attempts to care for their gnarly toes (and it happens, don’t feel defeated, or like the worst Parent on the Block, some furry friends are just NOT HAVING IT)  the fine staff at Freddie’s Place Animal Hospital can help you get them back on their feet, so to say, with a Wellness Care appointment to trim the offending nails in one quick trip.

For more information on nail care or any other of our services, call ahead for information or walk on into Freddie’s Place, you’re always welcome. Plan on an experience where we  treat you like family…cause you already are!

We want to help you “keep the ball rolling” for your pets health needs