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I have a 6 lb Yorkie that is a rescue, we've had her about a year, and the vet thinks she's about 3 years old - when I take her to get her nails trimmed it's EXTREMELY traumatic for her.  they have to put a muzzle on and she jerks around, and tries to bark and bite, which is not like her at all - she NEEDS to have her nails trimmed about once a month, but it's SO traumatic that I hesitate to bring her, how can I make this situation better?

Hi Abbott,

I feel for your problem as many dogs experience this.

This is really an animal behaviorist question. They have worked with people on this issue.

But I will try to give you a couple things to try. But if you have a trainer in your area, you may want to speak with them as well.

First, I would give her some natural relaxers or calmer formula's a while before you take her in to get her nails trimmed.

Visit a natural pet food store and ask about anti anxiety formulas, they should carry a couple. You can also look on Amazon and search for dog calmer products and you will find a number of them. Some work better than others, read reviews and just try one.

There is also a product called Thundershirt. This wraps around the dog and helps to keep them calm during stressful times. You can also look them up and read about them.

Secondly, I would be constantly working with feet. At home you need to keep rubbing them, touching them, maybe running an electric toothbrush or other vibrating device around her feet. Keep clicking on her toenails to simulate trimming them.  

Start slow with anything and reward her for acting good. Give her a little pinch in the neck area when she is bad.

Continuous work like this at home will produce a desired effect. It just takes a lot of work with her. Habits are formed by continuous work with animals or humans. This behavior is formed sometimes when they have a traumatic experienced as someone may have hurt her doing this in the past.

Make sure that you are not present when her nails are cut. Most dogs will act up if the parent is in the room with them. That's why our groomers can cut dogs nails that the parents can't and claim the dog really acts up.

That's why your vet gets better results working with your dogs where you can't.

Use these strategy along with some calming aids and she should get much better soon.

Again, if you have a trainer in your area, you should go speak to them about this situation and see if they have any ideas as well.

If you have any further questions, please feel free to ask.



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Roger McLeskey


Can answer all nutritional information for all dogs. Common problems with food, supplements, weight control, allergies, fleas, etc. Questions regarding raw food, homemade food, skin & coat issues, ect. Can't and/or will not do medicinal type questions that the vet takes care of.


I am certified in Dog Nutrition. Over 6 years now I've owned a natural pet food retail store. I've worked with hundreds of dogs and there owners to achieve better health. We promote a healthy balanced species related diet. This is the way nature made your pet to thrive. Fortunately for those who cannot or wish not to feed a raw based diet, there are alternatives with supplements and cooked food. Just don't let processed food be there only diet. Food is the most powerful medicine. Heal the core of the animal and the rest will take care of itself. We've turned the lives of many dogs around. There parents come back into the store and comment to us on how there dog acts like a real dog again. Our business is thriving and we continue to help many.

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