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Under normal circumstances, clipping a dog's nails should be straightforward, calm and painless, however, when carried out by someone untrained, it can be an intensely stressful experience for both you and your dog. The good news is that dog grooming courses from OCA are there to help you. 

There are so many ways you can do things wrong and cause your pet distress, whether it’s using the wrong tools, doing it at the wrong time of day or simply using the wrong technique. We look at that here, as we cover some of the main dos and don’ts. 

So, let’s start with the Dos…

Do…Get Familiar With Your Dogs Paws! 

As any pet grooming course will tell you, practice makes perfect. When approaching nail clipping for the first time, why not start by holding your dog’s paw comfortably in your hands for a few days - something that also helps them get used to the feeling of being held. While doing so, try making sounds with the clippers, so they can get used to that too. The next step from there is the actual clipping. 

Do…Create A Relaxed Animal Atmosphere

As online training in pet care invariably shows, dogs can easily become spooked when they’re being tended to, which is why creating a calm atmosphere can really help things. We’re not talking canine meditation here; rather just perhaps doing it at the right time of day in a quiet area of the house - away from the kids. You’ll usually find the whole thing a lot less stressful if you do.

Do…Use The Dog Clippers At The Correct Angle

You want your pooch to be comfortable when clipping its nails, which is why you need to angle the clippers at 45 degrees. What’s more, when you clip, clip confidently, as being hesitant can result in not all of the nails being removed. There are different options available when it comes to clippers, too, so get the right ones for you and be sure to replace them periodically, as they can become blunt.

And to those Don’ts…

Don’t…Clip The Dog's Nails ‘Quick’ 

As you’ll find out by taking dog grooming courses, the quick is the vertical, pinkish line that runs through the centre of your canine’s nails. You should avoid clipping through this at all costs, as it will most likely cause bleeding and pain for your pooch. Depending on the breed, the quick can be grey, rather than pink, but if you’re unsure, speak to a local mobile dog grooming expert for advice.

Don’t…Rush Things 

As humans, we like to do our nails all in one go, but that might not be possible with your dog - depending on how sensitive they are. The chances are, your dog will let you trim one nail at a time, but if they really start to struggle, it’s best to stop and leave it a while before trying again.

Don’t…Try-On Your Own

Understanding your dog's behaviour can be challenging; perhaps an online dog training course could assist. If you can, try enlisting some help when clipping your dog’s nails, as it can completely change the whole experience. An assistant can help by distracting your dog while you concentrate on clipping, possibly enabling you to get the job done without them noticing and becoming distressed as a result.

Dog Grooming Courses For Owners & Future Professionals

No one wants to inadvertently hurt their dog, even if they have the best intentions, so it’s essential to know exactly what you’re doing with jobs like nail clipping. The good news is that if you want to expand your pet care knowledge, it’s more convenient now than ever before, thanks to flexible online learning like our Dog Grooming, Pet Care & Dog Training. 

This online training, like all the courses we provide, is CPD-approved, delivered in bite-sized video modules and is created in collaboration with top experts from the sector. If you would like to know more about this or our selection of flexible payment options, visit us today at 

Alternatively, if you prefer to speak to an education support worker before enrolling in any of our dog training, first aid or dog grooming courses, simply contact us by calling 1300 611 404. To learn about our dog grooming courses, enquire with us today!

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