JACKIE MURPHY
SPECIALIST DOG TRAINING
Be smart, give your pet the best start

Teddy’s Top Training Tip: Look after your dog’s nails.

22/11/18

 


Teddy’s Top Training Tip: Look after your dog’s nails.

How often do you check your dog’s nails? How often do you get your dog’s nails clipped? Did you know that the length of the nail can impact on your dog’s pad, gait and overall health?

It is vitally important that you check your dog’s nails regularly and clipped them if necessary. A hard surface such as a pavement can wear (file) the dog’s nails as he or she walks, however this is not enough. Untrimmed nails can break, bleed and in some cases can grow into the pads of the feet.

Over time a long nail can do serious damage as when a dog stands on their paws on the ground, the nail is then driven back into the nail bed which creates pain for the dog and in turn puts pressure on the toe joint. Over-grown nails can be very painful to walk on for any dog, but more so for older dogs especially if they are also suffering from joint pain.

It is functionally important to cut your dog’s nails to help with the overall weight distribution of the dog. Think about a dog’s nail that is too long, it will have an impact on the way they stand, walk, run and this, in turn, can make any of these daily activities very painful. Posture is important at any age and a long nail can affect your dog’s posture.

How often should you trim your dog’s nails?

This can depend on how much your dog’s nails get worn down. One key point is to check the nails
regularly and if they are long, they can also cause the paw area to splay or they may catch on something which can result in paw damage.

  • Check your dog’s nails at least once a week.
  • If the nail is long, then clip them – if you are worried about the catching the quick when you clip the nail, then ask a reputable groomer or see your veterinary surgery and ask them to carry it out.
  • When clipping the nail, it is much better to take small amounts off the nail rather than remove a large section.

NB: Do not feel guilty if you cannot cut your dog’s nails, it is not easy to carry out, so seek professional advice.

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