Why do dogs need their nails trimmed?
This depends very much on the dog, some dogs NEVER need this procedure, others need regular trims.
Trimming nails is not just a simple case of good hygiene and looks, as it is to us humans. Sure, shorter nails can make your dog look rather cleaner– but they can also improve the gait, posture and proprioception of your dog.
The direction of nail growth in dogs is a downward curve and since dogs stand and walk with the pads of all their paws on the ground, having long nails will result in constant contact of the nail on the hard ground. This can cause the nail beds to become sore and eventually painful. Anything painful is a cause of discomfort and discomfort of any kind is, well, unwanted.
Did you know that dogs with long nails tend to stand a little backward because their long, angled nails are the ones touching the ground? Thus, long nails can affect your dog’s gait, posture and, of course, their performance. Their gait and posture can look rather awkward when they have long nails that keep catching on the ground every time they take a step. It’s like the uncomfortable feeling when we have long nails and wearing tight shoes. I can tell you that the sensation is very far from pleasant. When your dog has joint problems or injuries, long nails can even aggravate the condition by putting even more strain on the joints.
Some dog owners say (or complain) that their dogs don’t want their nails to be cut but there is a good way to get around it. Watch our videos and learn how to do this procedure correctly.
Do remember though some dogs will NEVER let you cut their nails without some level of sedation!
As vets we advise that if your dogs nails need trimming they should be done every two weeks, a little bit at a time.
If you use the correct method and a high quality set of dog nail clippers this will become an easy process.
Paul Proctor Veterinarian