Getting your pet used to having its nails trimmed
While it is obviously easier to teach a young pet to willingly participate in its care, older animals can learn to comply with the procedure just as well. In fact, contrary to popular belief, you can teach an old dog (and cat!) new tricks. When an animal is unwilling to let you trim its nails, this is often due to a bad experience which has taught it to fear the procedure. Don’t rush things. Teaching your fearful pet to tolerate the procedure requires time and patience, gradual handling sessions and, above all, plenty of treats!
Before you trim all your pet’s nails in one go, you need to be able to handle his paws without triggering signs of stress. Reward your pet with treats every time you handle his paws and spread the sessions over several days or even weeks. This allows you to shorten the sessions and trim only one or two nails at a time. This gradual approach will teach your pet that having his paws handled is nothing to fear, and that it actually ensures a steady supply of delicious treats!
(If your pet is particularly reluctant to let you trim his nails, we recommend that you read the article on how to desensitize him to the procedure.)