All dogs will need to have their nails trimmed regularly, even shih tzus. But doing so can be an anxious time for your dog. Like any unfamiliar task, repetition over time will help your shih tzu become more comfortable when having their nails trimmed. Getting to that point requires some patience along with an approach that makes it easier for them to accept what is happening.
What follows are a few tips that will help you trim the nails of your shih tzu. And do so while minimizing the anxiety for your dog.
The younger the shih tzu, the easier it is going to be for them to accept having their nails trimmed. It also helps to trim their nails regularly, so they get use to what is happening. But even if you get the shih tzu as an adult, you can still start the process of trimming their nails.
Offer Treats: While it may seem that treats are the answer to everything when it comes to your shih tzu. It is true that offering a treat for every nail that is clipped will help ease their anxiety. You only want to offer treats for every nail until they become comfortable with the process. Once you are through trimming all of their nails, then offer them a treat.
Get Help: It will help to have someone else present to hold the shih tzu and offer them treats while you trim their nails. They can hold, pet, and provide comfort during this time. Once they become use to having their nails trimmed, a helper should not be necessary.
Distraction: An old, but effective trick is to provide your shih tzu with something to occupy their mind while you trim their nails. Put some peanut butter on a spoon and let them lick it while you work on their nails. That will keep them from focusing on what you are doing and save you from buying more treats.
How to Trim a Shih Tzu’s Nails
The best way to start the process is letting the shih tzu sniff the trimmer or clipper and do nothing else. This will let them know that it is not that scary. On the next day, lightly touch the trimmer to each of their paws, so they become less anxious over time. It may take a few days for them to get use to the trimmer before you can really start trimming their nails.
Preparation: Be sure the clippers work before you start the process. And have some clotting powder ready just in case you cut the nail too short and cause some bleeding.
Expose Each Nail: You’ll need to gently move the fur out of the way and lightly press on the top and bottom of each toe so that the nail is extended. Then, using the clipper to cut straight across the tip of the nail. And remember to trim the dewclaws which are located further up the paw.
If you do not feel comfortable trimming the nails of your shih tzu, then have a qualified pet groomer or veterinarian do the job for you.