Home Care Tips to Trim a Labrador Puppy’s Nails

Tips to Trim a Labrador Puppy’s Nails

by Allison Marie
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Are you having a hard time trying to trim your Labrador puppy’s nails? Check out these tips to trim a Labrador puppy’s nails with ease!

Get Them Used to It

The main reason that many puppies run away from you when you try to cut their nails is because it is an unfamiliar feeling. They are not used to sitting still and getting their nails clipped, so they will try to escape.

You can try to touch their paws a few times a day so they get used to it. You can pet, hold, and pick up their paws so they will learn that nothing bad will happen when you touch them.

Reward Them Well

One of the best tips to trim a Labrador puppy’s nail is to reward them. Labradors are highly motivated by food, so giving them treats while you cut their nails can help them learn to stay put. It will also motivate them to like getting their nails cut if you give them a treat after you cut their nails.

You can also say words of praise while you cut their nails. You can have another person pet them and say “good dog” while you cut their nails so they understand that they are not being punished.

Let Them Walk on Hard Surfaces

You can let your Labrador puppy keep their nails trim by letting them walk on hard surfaces. They can walk on places like concrete whenever they walk outside to “file” their nails.

You can also get a scratch board to encourage your dog to do their own nails! You can train them to drag their nails against the scratch board so they can shorten their nails.

Keep in mind that this tip will not replace clipping your dog’s nails. It can help keep them round and trim, but it may not be enough to keep them from being long.

Create a Schedule

You can create a schedule for your Lab puppy to follow. Many Lab puppies do not like getting their nail cuts because it happens very rarely. 

You can make and follow a schedule for when you are going to cut your puppy’s nails. Most people recommend that you cut your puppy’s nails once every 3-4 weeks. 

It may take some time, but your puppy will slowly adjust to the idea of getting their nails cut. It will be just like giving them a bath, brushing their fur, etc.

Use a Dremel Tool

One of the best tips to trim a Labrador puppy’s nails is to use a dremel tool. This is an especially helpful tool if your puppy pulls their foot away or twitches whenever you try to cut their nails.

A dremel tool is a power tool that has an abrasive head. The abrasive head looks and feels like a nail file, which is what you will use to file down their nails. It is easy to use for many pet owners, and it helps pet owners feel less scared when they shorten their dog’s nails.

Have your puppy sit on your lap or lie down on the floor. Make sure you can easily pick up their paws. 

Gently hold and lift up one paw and move the dremel tool around their nails to shorten them. Make sure you move around to avoid grinding the nail down to the quick. 

You do not need to put a lot of pressure on your dog’s nails since the dremel tool can file them down with ease. Just be gentle and slow with it because it can take a few minutes to file down one nail.

Some dogs may not like the noise or vibrations of the dremel tool. Luckily, they just need to get used to it.

You can hold the dremel tool near them so they can get used to the sound. You can also try to file one nail so they get used to the vibrations. Repeat this a few times a day for several days until they do not look like they are bothered by the tool.

Follow the Color

For most dogs with light colored nails, you can pick up their paws and look under the nail. The small dark center in the middle is usually the quick of the nail, and that is what you should avoid cutting.

If your dog’s nails are dark, you need to be more careful. Trim around 1/16th of an inch of the nail if you are not sure. You can also ask a groomer or veterinarian to help you learn where the quick is.

The quicks of some dog’s nails are very close to the tip. If that is the case, you are better off using a nail file, dremel tool, or scratching board to file down your dog’s nails. 

If your dog has darker nails, you will want to be more careful. You can ask a veterinarian or groomer to show you where they estimate the quick is. You can also take note of how far they cut your dog’s nail so you can do it on your own.

Make Them Comfortable

Make sure you do not let your puppy feel like they are restrained. If the puppy feels like they are cornered or forced into a situation, they may cry and try to run away. 

If your Lab puppy is small enough to fit on your lap, let them sit there and pet them for a while. When you grab their paw to cut their nails, make sure you do it gently and slowly. You can also say lots of kind words to them so they know they are not in danger.

If your Lab puppy is bigger, you can let them lie down near you. Make sure they feel comfortable and you can do the same tips as mentioned earlier to help them feel calm.

To Conclude

It can be tough to trim a Labrador puppy’s nails at first. You can try any of the advice above like rewarding them, making them comfortable, and using a scratching board to easily trim your Lab puppy’s nails.

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