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Importance of Caring For Your Dogs Nails

Why Do My Dog’s Nails Need To Be Trimmed Regularly?

In severe cases a dog’s nails can curl under and grow into the pad of the dog’s paw causing a very serious and painful infection. These types of ingrown nail problems are most common on the dewclaws. The dewclaws are the nails located on the inside of the paw.

Your dog may squirm during the first couple of dog nail trimming sessions, but whether they know it or not they will be happier because of your efforts.  Several health issues can arise if the nails are neglected, such as:

  • Painful ingrown nails
  • Nail bleeding if the “quick” (blood vessels that extend into the nail) gets too long
  • General discomfort in feet, legs and hips due to shifting weight as a result of long nails

How Do I Know When My Dog’s Nails Need To Be Trimmed?

When your dog’s nails are beginning to curve is one indication that your dog’s nails need a trim. And if you hear a clicking or tapping sound as your dog walks across a bare floor it’s definitely time for a nail trimming. It is best not to wait that long – once or twice a month is usually a good rule of thumb for dog nail trimming. If you let your dog’s nails grow too long then it could take some time to get them back to a healthy length again. Regularly trimming the tips of your dog’s nails is the best approach.

Some dogs walk and run on rough surfaces and are able to wear down their nails, but most dogs will need some help. You will get to know how fast your dog’s nails grow if you routinely inspect your pet’s nails. Even if you don’t actually trim them each time, regular inspection will help assure that your dog’s feet stay healthy. So, make nail inspection and dog nail trimming an important part of your dog’s routine grooming.

When Should I Start Trimming My Dog’s Nails?

If you’re starting with a puppy the answer is as soon as you bring your new puppy home.

If you have an adult or an older dog the answer is pretty much the same – right now. If you start early it probably will not take too long for your puppy to adjust to a dog nail trimming routine. Make a habit of handling your puppy’s feet everyday. Dog nail trimming will be much easier if your puppy doesn’t mind having his feet handled.

If My Dog’s Nails Are Over Grown How Can Dog Nail Trimming
Get Them Back To A Healthy Length?

You will need to trim your dog’s nails regularly and a little more often. Start by clipping very small pieces of the nail tip until you can see a dark, round, kind of moist looking disk appear in the middle of the nail.

This means you’re approaching the quick and the nail will bleed if you cut it any shorter.

Try trimming this far every week or two and the quick will gradually recede. Over time the length of the nail can be shortened.

Why I Dremel Instead of Clip?

The abridged summary answer to this question is that it is more comfortable for the dog and you can get the nails shorter and smoother (which is nicer for you). Many dog grooming professionals agree that this is actually a much more comfortable method of maintaining nails than clipping them because it does not pinch or hurt the quick. The quick is sensitive living flesh inside your dog’s nail. Also, when clipping on dark nails, you are effectively cutting blind. In order to get the nails back, you keep doing a series of small clips and try not to hit the quick. As a result, you often stop short of where you could go, if you were using a Dremel. When done properly, there is no squeezing or pressure on the quick with the Dremel. Further, you can see “inside” the nail as you gradually grind back to the quick. So, you can judge when you’re getting close to nicking it and stop in time. With the Dremel, you can also grind off all around the quick so that it recedes faster and you can get even shorter nails. The closer you can get to the quick, the more you can force it to recede and the more quickly it will recede. Finally, you can grind off all the corners and rough edges leaving nice soft nails that don’t gouge nearly so much when your Dobes paw you for affection.

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