The True expense of a nail Trim

Why you, the dog owner, need to be acquisition over pond trims from her veterinarian

posted November 22, 2017


News flash!

Dogs. Do. Not. Like. Nail. Trims.

Shocking, right?

Not really. Most civilization understand this intuition from watching the shenanigans ensue as soon as a vet technology or groomer puts a dog top top a table and also grabs a nail trimmer.

As a vet behaviorist, I’ve seen plenty of fear and/or wild patients gain worse after ~ poorly taken on nail trims and grooms. Let’s protect against scaring our friends. Scared dog are much more likely to bite people, and also we’ve already got plenty of windy health risks to go approximately (dietary salt levels, sugary soda, water quality, etc., etc.)

Thankfully, nail trims are generally not clinical procedures. You can, and should, learn to do them in ~ home. However they are extremely important. With untrimmed nails, pets can snag or even rip your claws. More insidiously, long nails deserve to make animals walk and stand abnormally, turning otherwise tiny problems into large deals. Long nails deserve to make pets slip on flooring, and also that in turn can make them an ext anxious and also less willing to move or play. In short, nail treatment is crucial for pet health and welfare.

You are watching: How much do vets charge to trim nails

The difficulty is that an excellent nail trims may or may not be fast, however clients often expect the they need to be. This is most likely because, because that eons, veterinarian clinics have available this generally performed technical procedure either free or below-cost. As a result, clients frequently think of nail trims together a “quick” or “add-on” business that barely also needs an appointment.

This pressures veterinarians to squeeze pond trims in, even when that not urgent for the animal and also disrupts the hospital schedule. Why? due to the fact that veterinarians like to accommodate clients if possible. This is client service and also medicine. And also it’s tricky to combine the two well.

In addition, just a modest portion of owners and also veterinarians understand and also take appropriate action when usual stress signals and also signs of fear pop up. Poorly taken on nail trims are not great for her dog in the lengthy run. Repeated negative experiences in ~ the veterinary clinic deserve to make her dog dislike the vet, which will certainly make it tough to administer excellent medical care in the future. And also if your dog already has any kind of underlying fear of civilization or handling, poorly done nail trims can escalate this fears and also cause formerly non-aggressive dog to growl, snarl, snap, and/or bite.

To avoid the escalation of fear, anxiety, and also stress pertained to nail trims, we very first need to gain clients and veterinarians top top the very same page. So i did casual survey that veterinarians and also clients to settle some typical misconceptions.

Here’s the skinny.

VETS want YOU come KNOW

The ability or willingness of her vet to execute a pond trim ~ above a fearful and/or aggressive dog without sedation or anti-anxiety medicine is no a enjoy on you as an owner or them as veterinarians. In fact, knowledgeable, honest veterinarians will certainly strongly encourage a range of alternatives or alterations come the traditional nail trim for all patients who uncover nail trims stressful.

She/he will certainly use special foods, soft surfaces, music, tenderness touch, and a strong background in body language to assess your dog’s comfort. The employee will carry out restraint just as certain needed, and will never do a pond trim v “brutocaine” (vet slang for intense bodily restraint, often with many people). If your dog is distressed for more than a couple of tries or a few seconds and can’t get comfortable, her vet might recommend testing anti-anxiety medications and also trying again one more day. Your vet is not trying come inconvenience you, even though this strategy may stick the to your schedule.

This is the best medicine. Hear to her vet.

A damaging vet isn’t going to offer these options. A lazy vet is simply going to have actually staff barrel with a nail trim even when doing so dangers complicating medical care in the future and doing damages to her animal’s behavior at home.

Thankfully, most vets space neither damaging nor lazy, but they room concerned about what friend think. Regarded or actual client pressure may make some good vets go, go, go when they must stop. The vast majority of veterinarians will avoid a nail trim or other managing procedure on a dime if they recognize that’s what a customer prefers.


Dogs are regularly fearful throughout nail trims. Even a dog who’s less wiggly or aggressive as soon as in the “back” without household members may not be much less fearful. Instead, he or she may simply be in the “freeze” setting of “fight, flight, or freeze.” Vets who store going after a dog freezes boost the hazard the dogs will certainly become much more frightened and also potentially aggressive, not only at the vet clinic but in constant life together well.

Please call your customer if a dog is having trouble v nail trims. Because these are often done the end of client sight, they might not know.

If a pet is having actually troubles v nail trims, you re welcome provide certain resources and training on how to teach the dog come tolerate or like it.

Continue come encourage client with new puppies come teach puppies early to enjoy having actually their feet handled and like having nail trims. This is an important part that at-home dog care, and some families don’t know how essential it is.

The an excellent News for Vets and also Families

While pond trimming is a technical skill, many people and their dogs find it basic to learn! many dogs deserve to learn to tolerate and also even like nail trims, as long as everyone who works through the dog’s feet knows exactly how to do it a pleasant experience.

Let’s move the humble, and also behaviorally risky, nail trim ago home. Right here are some sources to gain everyone started! Happy Trimming!

Fear FreeTM

-You can uncover certified veterinarians, groomers, and trainers at this site.

See more: What To Do When Everything Is Colgate Toothpaste Made In Usa

The Bucket video game from Chirag Patel at domesticated Manners

-A great technique for learning around cooperative care with your dog.

Nail maintenance for dogs Face publication Group

-Find a neighborhood of like-minded friendly dog folks that really desire to assist each other uncover ways the making pond trims much more fun for everyone.

E"Lise Christensen, DVM DACVB


The American college of veterinarian Behaviorists is an organization of vets who have had actually years that training, education and also certification in animal behavior.