Nail Clipping for Dogs – when should they be done?

Nail Clipping for Dogs – when should they be done?

Many dog’s nails will wear down naturally if you are walking them mainly on pavements or roads.  If your dog is exercised more often in woods, grassed areas or along natural terrain, sometimes their nails will continue to grow and need manually trimming.

How long is too long?

If you can hear your dog’s nails ‘clicking’ when they walk on wooden, tiled or concrete flooring then it may be time to get those nails trimmed!  On carpet, their nails may also get snagged or caught up on the pile.

Nails that are too long can break, chip and splinter - among other painful conditions.  In extreme situations, the nails can continue to grow until they twist or curl around and become embedded in the pads of your dog’s paws which would require veterinarian treatment.

Dog nails should NOT touch the ground when they are standing. Their nails should sit a few millimetres off the ground.

Is it painful for my dog?

Nail clipping should never be painful for your dog – their nails have no nerve ends in, just like our fingernails.  However, dogs do have a ‘quick’ which is a blood supply that runs the length of the nail.  The quick will grow with the nail, so if nails are allowed to get too long it can take a few months of regular clipping small amounts off the nails to get the quick to shrink back.  If the quick gets nicked when the nails are being clipped  (this sometimes happens with wriggly dogs) then your dog’s nail will bleed – it isn’t a serious complication and can be stopped quickly with styptic powder but may put your dog off having their nails trimmed as it can hurt when this happens!

The Dew Claw

The dew claw is a claw or nail on your dog that you may not even notice (some dogs even have them removed manually by their breeder – especially working dogs).  It sits higher up on the leg than the rest of the nails.  As the dew claw never comes into contact with hard surfaces to help wear them down, they often become very long and sharp.  It is always worth checking your dog’s dew claws as they can get caught or snag on things which can be painful for your dog.

In store we offer a nail clipping service, to take the stress out of clipping nails yourself – if you are local you may want to pop in and take advantage of us undertaking this for you.  We charge £8 per dog and the service is available weekdays only.  You can also call and book for this on 01484 246420

Laura, Dolly & Reggie xxx