Why do dogs HATE having their nails trimmed??

If you’ve ever chased your furry friend around the house, brandishing a pair of nail clippers in one hand and holding a fistful of treats in the other, you’re not alone. When it comes to nail trims, all the coaxing, bribery and begging in the world seem useless. The whole process feels like a battle of wills, and most of the time we are the ones who surrender because of how adversely they react. Relying on groomers and vets to do the job every few weeks can get costly in the long run, but leaving their nails untouched can cause your dog discomfort if they get too long.

So what exactly is the deal with dogs and having their nails trimmed? If we think about it from their perspective, it’s easy to see why they hate it so much. A dog’s paws are jam-packed with sensory nerves that play a crucial role in helping them assess their surroundings. They use their paws for many activities, like running away from threats, traversing coarse terrains, and digging up your flowerbeds. A dog’s aversion to having their paws handled is instinctive – in the wild, a wounded paw could be the difference between life and death. Naturally, dogs feel the need to protect their paws and even the sweetest, most well-trained dogs can react negatively to a nail trim.

Does that mean we need to give up on trimming their nails completely? Of course not! It’s our responsibility as pet owners to keep up with the grooming needs of our dogs, and nail trims are an important part of that. There are ways to help smoothen the whole process, and while it may take some patience, the benefits of being able to trim your dog’s nails at home are certainly worth it. Keep reading this week's series for a handy guide to safely trimming nails without causing your dog undue stress.