Letting your dog's nails grow too long can lead to a variety of problems, including nails painfully growing into your dog's paw, a misaligned gait, or strained joints. You know your dog's nails need to be trimmed regularly, but unfortunately every time you try to do so your dog whimpers and tries to get away from you and the clippers.

Many dogs experience anxiety when it comes time to have their nails clipped, but luckily there are things you can do to overcome this and take proper care of your dog's nails. Here are five tips for dealing with your dog's nail trimming anxiety:

Use a Grinding Tool

Some dog owners find that while their dogs are anxious about nail clippers, they do much better with nail grinding tools or drills. A nail grinding tool made specifically for dogs will likely be safer and quieter than using a regular handheld drill with a grinding attachment. Be sure to only hold the grinder to your dog's nail for a couple seconds at a time before moving on to the next nail. Otherwise, the nail may become painfully hot, making your dog less likely to let you grind their nails in the future.

Try Herbal or Prescription Sedatives

For super anxious dogs, light sedation may be in order before any nail trimming session. Your vet may be able to prescribe something, or you can find natural, herbal anti-anxiety drops for dogs at major pet stores or online. Whether you go the prescription or natural route, be sure to consult with your veterinarian before administering a sedative to your dog. You'll also want to pay careful attention to dosage instructions.

Wear Their Nails Down on Concrete

If your dog is especially anxious about having their feet touched, you may wish to avoid trimming their nails altogether. Instead, take them on lots of long walks on concrete sidewalks, as the concrete can effectively file down your dog's nails.

Some dog owners find the floors of outdoor tennis courts to be similarly effective at wearing down a dog's nails: simply throw a tennis ball or two for your dog in an empty tennis court and let them chase it. Whether you're walking them or letting them run around a tennis court, they will get great exercise while also having their nails naturally filed down.

Take Them to the Vet

Your local vet clinic or a place like Pet Medical Center – Full Service Veterinary Care most likely offers nail clipping services. Since vet clinic staff members are experienced with both clipping dogs' nails and dealing with dog anxiety, they most likely have a few tricks of the trade to make the nail clipping process easier and faster. Some vets will even lightly sedate your dog for their nail clipping, or clip their nails when they're in the vet office for another procedure requiring sedation, such as teeth cleaning.

Slowly Acclimate Them

Some dogs respond well to being slowly acclimated to nail trimming. The idea is to start with baby steps, rewarding your dog along the way, and gradually building up to clipping their nails. For example, in the first acclimation session, you may simply take the nail clippers out and then reward your dog with a treat and lots of praise.

For the next session, let the nail clippers touch your dog's paw for a second, and then reward them. Your dog will soon begin to associate nail clipping with getting tasty treats and praise from their owner, which may help them overcome their anxiety.

By following these tips, you'll be able to trim your dog's nails on a regular basis without stressing out you or your dog.