Picture this: You are typing on your computer with nails that are 3 inches long. You have to contort your fingers, wrist, and hand to be able to effectively punch those keys. Over time, your hands start to hurt and your wrists start to suffer from carpal tunnel. Painful, huh? Now look at your best friend’s feet.
Ouch! Imagine what your pet feels like walking around with nails that are too long!
Dog toe nails grow at the same rate as our finger nails. Regular walks on hard surfaces like pavement or cement can help file them down naturally, yet some dogs do not grind them away so easily. Take my Greyhound Mix, Rocky. The way his foot was shaped and how he carried himself, they never seemed to shorten despite hours of running/walking. Imagine that? A Groomer that has to schedule regular nail trims for their own pet!
Long nails can cause additional stress on your dog’s feet and lead to long-term side effects such as hip and joint problems. This is due to them walking differently, or unnaturally, to compensate for the length of their nails. Remember the damage done to our own hands typing? We always want to make sure that our beloved pets are comfortable and safe.
Long nails not only affect joints, but they can also cause injuries in our fur-babies feet. The nails can grow so long that they get embedded into a pad which can cause pain and infection. It’s nasty business removing these embedded nails and torture to both the pet and the loving groomer that has to pull it out. Long nails can also get caught in carpets and break off. When this happens it can expose the quick, aka the vein in the nail. When this happens, your baby will bleed. And speaking from experience, a bleeding nail will bleed and bleed and bleed…..getting all over the place and causing great stress on everyone involved.
Monitoring your pets nail growth is essential to creating a healthy, happy family member. Technology today allows us to keep track of everything! (Gotta love the tech, right?) Put in your calendar every 4 weeks to look at your pup’s feet. Rule of thumb: if there is a slight curve to the nail, it might be time to get them clipped. If you look real close, you will see the pink quick inside the nail. (It easier to see on clear or white nails but don’t be alarmed if your pooch has black nails – close examination may show the vein). If there is ¼ of an inch of nail past the quick, your pet is overdue. Check out our YouTube Video of a nail trim at Million Dollar Dog.
To do or not to do (on your own). That is the question! Nail trims are typically left to the professionals because most pets do not like their feet messed with and because if quicked, it will bleed. Most pet owners do not want to be responsible for hurting their baby. We get it! Nail trims can be tricky and without the proper tools, can be stressful and messy. When in doubt, call your local vet or groomer and set up an appointment. It only takes 15 minutes to have shorter nails. If you are really ambitious, ask the professionals to show you how you can do it at home. We love to share our knowledge with pet owners to create a happier, healthier family member!