Wag N' Wash Natural Pet Food & Grooming Blog

The Importance of Nail Care for your Dog

Posted on Mar 7th 2022

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The Importance of Nail Care for your Dog

You know you’re supposed to trim your dog’s nails. But do you know why? Nail trimming can be an anxiety-inducing procedure for dogs, which in turn may make you anxious. Plus there’s always a chance you could accidentally cut the nail too short, causing your dog pain, which is pretty much the worst feeling ever.

It can feel like a much better option to just let your dog’s nails grow, and trust that regular walks will take care of their nails. While your dog’s regular exercise will help, they still need to have their nails trimmed. Here are the two big reasons you shouldn’t let your dog’s nails get too long:

  1. It can result in injury
    If your dog’s nails are overly long, they can snag on something like carpeting or furniture and tear. Not only is this painful for your dog, but if the torn nail is severe enough it could result in an infection and require veterinary care.
  2. It can result in long-term pain
    If your dog’s nails are long enough that they hit the floor with every step, this puts pressure on your dog’s nail bed and toe joint. Not only is it uncomfortable and even painful for your dog - long term, it can affect the way your dog’s leg and toe joints are aligned. This makes dogs more susceptible to injuries and can make walking and running painful.

Dogs typically need their nails clipped every 3-4 weeks. Dogs who walk or run regularly on hard surfaces like asphalt or concrete experience more wear on their nails and may need their nails trimmed less, but they should still be trimmed regularly. If you have a dog with a lot of anxiety around getting their nails trimmed, try trimming their nails one or two at a time. It will take you longer, but it will make the experience better for the both of you.

The most difficult part of trimming your dog’s nails is dealing with the quick. The quick runs through the core of the nail and supplies blood. Cutting the quick results in pain and discomfort for your dog, as well as bleeding. If your dog’s nails haven’t been trimmed in a while, the quick may have grown long. Regular nail trimming, just a little bit at a time, will cause the quick to recede and make nail trimming a better experience in the future.

There’s a variety of tools you can use to trim your dog’s nails. Guillotine-style clippers are generally the preferred tool but they may not work for dogs who have extra thick nails. Scissor-style clippers are the other choice. For dogs with small or fine nails, you could file or grind them down instead of clipping them. If you use a grinder, it’s important to make sure any hair around your dog’s foot is trimmed back so it doesn’t get caught.

We know you care about your dog, and your dog’s health, so trimming their nails and making it a good experience is important to you. You can become confident in trimming your dog’s nails with a lot of patience and a lot of treats. Or, pop over to your local Wag N' Wash, which provides nail trimming and grinding services on a walk-in basis, no appointment necessary.

Whether you’re looking for the right tools, or looking to put your dog’s paws in the hands of a professional - find what you need when you visit Wag N' Wash today!