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How to Trim Your Labrador’s Nails Without Clippers

by Allison Marie
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Just like humans, Labrador Retrievers also need their nails clipped. However, if your Lab runs for the hills at the sight of clippers, how to trim your Labrador’s nails without clippers may be a question that’s been on your mind.

Of course, there may also be other scenarios that would make you look for ways to trim your Lab’s nails without using clippers.

Hence, here are some alternative ways and some tips on how to trim your Labrador’s nails without clippers.

Other tools to trim your Labrador Retriever’s nails

A nail file

A very easy way to know how to trim your dog’s nails without clippers is to use a nail file to buff your dog’s nails.

You can find nail files that are specially made for dogs in most online pet shops, pet stores, and veterinary clinics.

However, you do not always need to buy one that is specifically made for dogs. If you prefer, you can just use a firm file, like those made of glass or metal, to file your dog’s nails.

With a big dog like a Labrador, what you can do is to have them lie down near you. If they are small or still puppies, you can put them on your lap.

Hold one paw in one hand and hold the nail file in your other hand.

Next, gently rub the file against your dog’s nails back and forth in order to create a more rounded nail shape.

Make sure not to rub it too quickly since you do not want to file into the quick.

Don’t forget, however, that using a nail file may not be as efficient as using clippers.

The nail file rubs off sharp and ragged bits of nails to create a rounder shape, but it will not be easy to use a nail file to make your dog’s nails shorter.

Human clippers

A quick way to know how to trim your dog’s nails without clippers is by switching to human clippers.

However, keep in mind that you cannot use human clippers on every dog.

You can only use human clippers if your dog is very small, such as when your Labrador is still a puppy with very small, sharp tips.

If their nails are big (especially if they are too big to fit into a nail clipper), you should never use human clippers to cut the dog’s nails.

Take your Labrador Retriever pup’s paw and carefully insert the tip of their nail into the clipper.

Make sure you are not near the quick—cutting the very tip of the nail only is fine—then close the clipper to cut the tip of the nail.

A dremel tool

A dremel tool is a power tool with an abrasive head that can help you easily trim your Labrador’s nails without clippers.

The abrasive head helps buff out the surface of your Lab’s nail, which can be very helpful if your dog keeps pulling their feet away when you cut their nails.

Keep in mind, however, that not all dogs will like the dremel tool immediately.

In fact, some Labradors may feel uncomfortable when they feel the vibrations and hear the sounds.

To address this, you can use the dremel tool on one nail at a time throughout the day.

You should notice that your dog gets accustomed to the tool after trying this method a few times.

To use the dremel tool, have your dog in a comfy position. Most Labs prefer to lie down.

Hold the tool in one hand and your dog’s paw in the other. Slowly and gently let the tool touch the nail and move down round the tip of the nail.

Take your time with the tool since sometimes, it takes 1-2 minutes to file down a nail.

Remember to never add too much pressure. The dremel tool can file the nail without needing too much effort. Also, always remember to avoid the quick.

Ways on how to trim your Labrador’s nails without clippers

Now that you know how to trim your dog’s nails without clippers, you need to make sure that your dog gets used to getting their nails trimmed.

You can try out any of these helpful tips to help your dog:

1) Touch your Labrador Retriever’s paws daily.

The reason why many dogs do not like to get their nails trimmed is because they are not used to their feet being touched.

It is an unfamiliar place for them, so they may feel surprised or ticklish when you touch their paws.

Try to touch and hold their feet a few times a day. Make sure you do not forcibly grab them.

Be gentle so that they will know that it is okay for people to touch their paws.

2) Make it a positive experience.

Another huge reason why many dogs are scared of getting their nails trimmed is because they did not have good experiences.

If someone yelled at them while they got their nails trimmed, they will try to run away whenever they see a nail file or clippers.

Try to make sure your Labrador knows that they are safe. You can say kind words and take breaks to pet them while you cut their nails.

Make sure you have rewards ready for them at the end. If your Labrador Retriever realizes that they will get rewarded after they get their nails trimmed, they will be more likely to behave the next time you cut their nails.

3) Create a schedule.

If your Lab gets their nails cut once in a blue moon, you cannot expect them to react well when you cut their nails.

They would not be used to it at all, and they will want to get away from the unfamiliar situation.

Therefore, you need to set a schedule and follow it.

Most dogs should get their nails cut every 3-4 weeks, so cutting them at least once a month is a good practice.

This is also a good thing to implement since overgrown nails can cause a number of problems.

For instance, since overgrown nails can curl outward, it may hurt for your dog to walk and could lead to a nasty infection.

All in all

You can trim your dog’s nails without clippers by using a nail file, human clippers, or a dremel tool.

You can also help your dog get accustomed to getting their nails cut by following any of the tips we have mentioned above.

Check out this post for other tips on Labrador grooming.

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