Trimming your dog’s nails is an important grooming task that helps her stay happy and healthy. When you don’t clip your dog’s nails, they can end up growing too long, which can cause problems. Find out more about why you should make sure your dog’s nails are well-trimmed at all times.
Reasons to Trim Dog Nails
Dogs that run around on concrete, blacktop or other hard surfaces often are able to wear down their nails. However, many dogs either spend most of their time indoors or running around on grassy surfaces. This means that their nail tips aren’t worn down regularly, which can lead to overly long nails.
Nails that are too long are at risk of being torn off, such as if your dog’s nail gets caught on a piece of carpeting or furniture. This can result in an injury that might require veterinary care if it’s serious enough. Longer dog nails also make it harder for dogs to walk around comfortably. When your dog’s nails hit the floor constantly as she walks, this can put more pressure on the nail bed. This pressure can cause discomfort that forces your dog to distribute her weight differently while she walks, which can affect the way her toe and paw joints are aligned.
If your dog isn’t used to having her nails trimmed, you might need to work on ensuring that she feels comfortable with this task. You can do this by gradually introducing her to the clippers and getting her used to having her paws handled. Form positive associations with this by rewarding her with treats and praise until she allows you to clip her nails without getting nervous.
When you trim your dog’s nails, hold the clippers at a 45-degree angle. Clip each nail carefully so that you don’t accidentally cut into the quick, which is the live part of the nail. This means stopping before you reach the pink part if your dog has white nails. For black nails, stop clipping when you no longer see a whitish interior.
How often should you trim your dog’s nails? Ideally, you should aim to clip them when they are long enough to reach the floor. You can visually check your dog’s nail to determine this, or listen for the sound of her nail tips hitting the floor as she walks.