Posted on Feb 22nd 2021
One grooming step that dog owners often forget about is nail trimming. Whether your dog frequently visits a groomer or not, keeping his or her nails trimmed is essential. The importance of nail trimming is about more than looks, as well. Untrimmed nails can lead to a variety of health problems, including:
Short nails are important for maintaining balance while your dog is walking, running, or playing. Nails that are long enough to touch the floor can cause pain and discomfort. The pressure of long, painful nails can cause your dog to walk funny and may lead to splayed, deformed paws.
As nails grow, they begin to curve and push into the paw pad. If you've ever had an ingrown nail yourself, you know just how painful this can be. Ingrown nails often need to be surgically removed and could lead to weeks of recovery (with the cone of shame) for your dog.
The biggest risk of an ingrown nail is infection. Nails have dirt and germs caught under them, and this can cause a nasty infection if the nail cuts into your dog’s paw pad. While this can usually be corrected with the removal of the nail, a more serious infection may require surgical amputation of the affected toe.
While nails must be pretty long to grow into the paw pad, nails that are even just a bit too long can also cause issues for your canine companion. Broken or splintered nails are common when a dog has not had his nails trimmed recently. This is painful for your dog, and broken nails are more likely to get caught on carpets or furniture.
If your dog is continually walking around on nails that are too long, the pressure from the nail hitting the floor can lead to chronic pain in the toe joints. This may cause your dog to walk funny or whimper in pain while walking.
Nail trimming is scary to many dog owners, but with a little bit of practice and patience it is very easy! Start by getting your dog used to having his paws handled - play with and hold his paws in your hand. Gently apply and increase pressure to each toe joint. Always have treats on hand to reward your pal for being such a good sport! Once he or she is used to the paw handling, show him the clipper or grinder you will use and allow him to become comfortable with it - give it a few clips (not on the nail yet) so he gets used to the sound. The next step is the actual clipping. Firmly hold your dog's paw in your hand and don't begin unless he is calm and relaxed. Then, clip the nails one at a time at a 45-degree angle, avoiding the quick (the center of the nail that contains blood vessels). If you and your dog are still too squeamish to try nail trimming at home, don't be afraid to stop by your local Wag N' Wash! We are the professional dog groomers near you that provide nail trimming and grinding.Nail Trimming Services