Trimming a dog’s nails is an often stressful, but necessary, aspect of caring for a canine friend. Allowing your dog’s nails to grow too long can lead to trouble walking, pain, and infections.
Why a Dog’s Nails Need to Be Trimmed
If nails grow too long, it can be difficult for a dog to get traction when walking on a slippery surface, such as tile, linoleum, or a hardwood floor. Long nails can also scratch and damage the floor. If a dog walks on a harder surface, such as pavement, its claws can hit the ground with each step and cause pain.
Long nails can put painful pressure on toe joints and can even affect the alignment of joints if the problem isn’t addressed. Untrimmed nails can curl and eventually grow into the dog’s paw pads or skin, which can be painful and can lead to an infection. Long claws can also get caught on objects such as furniture and can get torn off when the dog tries to free itself.
How Often Should You Trim Your Dog’s Nails?
A dog’s health and how it spends its time influence how often trims are required. Some infections and autoimmune diseases, as well as diet, can affect the rate of nail growth. A dog that often runs on hard surfaces will have its nails naturally ground down, but a pet that spends most of its time on soft surfaces won’t have its nails ground and will need more frequent trims. As a rule of thumb, you should trim your dog’s nails often enough that the nails don’t touch the floor or ground when the dog is standing.
How to Cut Your Dog’s Nails
Keep your dog’s nails short, but don’t cut off so much that you cut the quick, a blood vessel that runs through the nail. Doing so could cause bleeding and pain. Have a clotting product on hand in case you accidentally cut a nail too short and damage the quick.
Some dogs have a fifth nail, called a dewclaw, on some or all of their paws. Those nails also need to be trimmed.
Take it slow. Pet and praise your dog and offer treats. If the dog becomes particularly agitated, you might have to take a break to play with your pet and try again later.
The younger your dog is when you start trimming its nails, and the more often you do it, the easier it will be for your dog to get used to it. If cutting your dog’s nails yourself is too stressful for you or your dog, you can have a groomer or veterinary technician do it for you. They have plenty of experience and know-how to keep dogs calm.
Keep Your Dog Healthy and Safe
Trimming your dog’s nails can keep it healthy. Keeping the dog in the yard or on a leash can also prevent injuries. DogWatch of Western Mass offers collars, leashes, and hidden fences to keep your pet safe and contained. Gain peace of mind and give your pet freedom. Order training products today!