You and your stunning dog have many things in common. Perhaps both of you have prominent personalities and spread joy towards everyone around you. The thing I am referring to in this post, though, is nails.
Take a look at yours and recall all the knowledge you know about nails. Most of that could be applied to your dog’s nails too, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that overgrown dog nails are bad for them.
Nail hygiene is pretty much universal. Long nails harbor dirt and germs that could lead to severe infections. Trimming and cleaning them prevent bacteria from living and thriving under the nails. We should even frequently wash our undersides with soap and water.
As humans, we make a conscious effort to take care of such things, but our dogs can’t? What exactly are the dangers of long dog nails?
The consequences of overgrown dog nails
Nails are a part of dogs anatomy. If you are wondering why it is a big deal to trim your dog’s nails when they’re created this way, here is why. Wild dogs and dogs who are very active outdoors tend to wear down their nails.
Your indoor dog doesn’t get that same type of friction on their nails from tiled and carpeted floors. That is why you have to step in instead of mother nature to keep your dog’s nail trimmed and their health well.
Trimming your dog’s nails could get very challenging, but that doesn’t make neglection a solution. The repercussions resulting from that will severely affect your dog’s health and quality of life.
A dog’s nail is made up of two things. The first is the pink quick, which is what runs through the core of the claw and supplies it with blood. The second is the harder outer shell.
The more you trim your dog’s nails regularly, the more the quick recedes. Receding quicks are very beneficial because shorter quicks mean easier nail trimming sessions and less nail clipping accidents.
– Slipping and Falling
Nails help dogs have a firm grip and balance when they walk or run. Long nails make dogs walk in a plantigrade position, which is walking on the soles of the feet. This makes the long nails push the dog’s toes upwards, forcing the heels to come downwards, in the name of restoring balance.
This strains your dog’s ligaments and muscles in the leg. The change in your dog’s bone alignment makes your precious dog lose balance. This change also makes your dog more liable to break their legs frequently. It also leads to loss of total control while running, causing your dog to slip and fall often.
– Joint pain and Arthritis
It doesn’t all stop and slipping and falling. The pressure applied to the now differently angled bones causes joint pain and could lead to arthritis!
– Nail getting ripped off
Everyone has experienced getting their invisibly chipped nail caught in a piece of cloth and chipping or breaking their nails. This also happens to dogs, except for the resulted damage is immense. Their long nails could get caught in furniture or even a carpet. This could completely rip off the entire nail.
Not only is that very painful, but also the quick and nerve endings are now left exposed. This is the perfect opportunity for an infection to take place. If one of your dog’s nails gets ripped off, take them immediately to the veterinarian. The wound MUST get cleaned as soon as possible.
– Nails getting split
Overgrown dog nails mixed with rocky playtime make up the perfect recipe for an imminent catastrophe. When a nail splits, it doesn’t just damage the outer, hard shell. It also goes through the quick as well.
Like I mentioned before, an exposed quick is like an open invitation for germs to come over and cause an infection.
– Damaged paw beds
When a dog’s nails get too long, they could get curled. The sharp tip of the nail can pierce into the pad, creating an open wound that is painful and possibly infected.
The vet will probably prescribe antibiotics and pain medication, but I think we could all agree that cutting your dog’s nail is the best thing to do to prevent this from happening in the first place.
– How to cut overgrown dog nails
We have a post that tells you How to Trim Dog Nails in 5 Steps, so make sure to check out. I’ll summarize the steps now, so you have an idea on what to expect.
- Recognize the quick- the pink area of the nail- and trim above it.
- If you’re clipping black dog nails, you won’t be able to see the quick. Stick to only clipping the tips.
- Don’t trim the entire desired length. Trim one small bit at a time instead.
- Gently file the nails to even out the rough edges of the recently trimmed dog toenails
- Reward your furry pal with a treat with every nail you cut and file.
- Repeat the process every week.
Getting into the routine of regularly trimming your pup’s nails will reduce the amount of joint pain they would feel as they age. It the least that we could do to take care of these kind and faithful creatures.
Make their lives easier by keeping their nails short. Remember, prevention is always better than cure!
How often do you trim your dog’s nails? What is their favorite treat?
Great tips, Ayah. I don’t trim my pup’s nails enough!