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How to use a Nail Grinder on your Anxious Pet

Many pet owners find clipping their pets nails can be a struggle, and many are looking for solutions to make this process easier on them and their pets. Nail grinders are a great choice for those who have dogs with sensitive feet, anxiety, or a fear of nail clippers. They are also a good choice for owners with delicate skin, as the nail grinder files the nail down, leaving a smooth, rounded edge that is less abrasive on the skin. 

How to get your pet used to the nail grinder

If your pet is anxious, or doesn't like having their nails clipped, you will likely need to get your pet used to the grinder before you can begin using it. To do this, you can follow these simple steps:

Step 1: Have your pet sit next to you, or on your lap. Give them lots of praise and cuddles to make sure they are comfortable. Show them the nail grinder, allow them to smell it if they would like. 

Step 2: Turn on the nail clipper. Reassure your pet that everything is okay, give them cuddles and treats if you would like. You can move the nail clipper around their body, to get them used to the noise. This make take a few sessions before your dog seems comfortable with the noise of the grinder. 

Step 3: Once your pet is comfortable with the nail grinder, you can get them used to the feeling of their paw being held while hearing the noise. To do this, you will hold your dogs paw in your non dominant hand and turn the nail grinder on. You can gently touch or tap your dogs nails with your finger while the grinder is turned on, so they learn to associate the feeling on their nails with the noise and see there is no threat. This may also take a few sessions before your dog feels comfortable with the process. 

Grinding the Nails

Once your dog is comfortable with step 3, you can begin grinding your dogs nails. For the first session, it's recommended to start with one nail and monitor their behavior before continuing further. When grinding the nail, you want to use short, tapping motions on the nail. Take care not to hold the grinder on one spot for too long, as it can cause the nail to heat up, which causes discomfort to the dog. After filing one nail, check in with your dog to see how they are doing. If they seem calm and relaxed, you can continue filing more nails. If they seem anxious, aggressive or are struggling to get away, stop the session for now. Always make sure you are the one to end the session, do not let the dog control the situation as this will establish bad behavior. Reward them with praise and treats, and do the next nail another day. 

It is really important to slowly introduce the nail grinding process to your dog, especially if they already have nail clipping fears or anxiety. Taking your time with this process will help the dog to feel more comfortable, and provides them with good experiences to reduce the fear surrounding the process.  

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