Can you hear your dogs nail clacking on the wooden floor when they walk? Or maybe you’re getting scratched every time little Fido jumps up on you! Long nails can be more than just a hassle, they’re a real health concern for your dog! Overly long nails can make it so uncomfortable to walk that your dog may change their posture, causing bone deformations and even arthritis. I’ve trimmed countless dog’s nails, and I’ve discovered a few important facts and tips that would be helpful for you – the reader and owner.
The first sign that your dog’s nails are too long are if you can hear them clack on the floor when they walk. Their nails shouldn’t touch the ground when they’re standing. If you notice either of these, it’s probably time you get their nails trimmed!
Unfortunately in most cases, no. If your dog’s nails are very very long, it may take a few grooming sessions to get them to the ideal length. This is because in all dog’s nails, there is something called the ‘quick’. In clear nails this often looks like a dark brown or red vein, and in darker nails this is way harder to see. This is filled with blood vessels and shouldn’t be cut into (as this can be painful and create issues further down the line).
When nails start to grow long, the quick often grows out with them, which can make it more difficult to groom. However, with regular nail trimming, the quick will start to recede meaning you can get them to an ideal length over time.
For most dogs, nails only need to be trimmed every 1-2 months. However for dogs with longer nails, they may need to be trimmed as often as fortnightly. It really depends on your dog, their activity level, and the length of their nails.
Apart from getting their nails trimmed during a regular grooming session, make sure they walk on concrete regularly to help file down the nail. But PLEASE be careful especially if their nails are so long that it affects their walking. In these extreme cases, I would urgently suggest you to get in a groomer to trim their nails.
As a groomer, I have dealt with all dog temperaments. In fact, most dogs don’t really like getting their nails trimmed because it’s a very sensitive area. If you have had to take your dog to the vet to have their nails trimmed, have you considered Nubreed? I have helped rehabilitate many dogs through the nail trimming process to be a less stressful experience.
Another option which I use for dogs that don’t like trimming is nail grinding. This is a slower method, but is also less stressful for your dog. The file will slowly remove layers of the nail in a safer and easier way.