Trimming your dog’s nails is not just for aesthetics—it also keeps their feet healthy. Just like brushing your pet’s teeth is important, so is taking care of their paws. Long nails could harm you, your pup, and your floors or furniture. Here’s why regular nail trims for dogs are necessary.

Trimming Your Dog’s Nails Helps Keep Them Healthy 

When we mention the damage a dog’s nails can do, most people think about their floors, rugs, and furniture. But your pet is actually the one in the biggest danger. Long nails can cause serious pain and even create lifelong problems. 

When a dog walks, they put considerable power into their paws. But if their nails are too long, the impact can send that force back through the foot and up the leg. This can cause problems like deformed feet, injured tendons, and even arthritis. 

Dog’s nails grow in a curved shape, and if they don’t get trimmed, their nails will start to curl back into their feet. Similar to ingrown toenails, overgrown nails can be very painful and lead to infections. Paw pain can also cause joint and back pain from uneven weight distribution. 

How to Trim Nails In Three Steps

To ensure that your dog has the perfect pawdicure, you should be clipping their nails every 10-14 days. Here’s how to do it safely:

  1. Hold your dog’s paw gently but firmly, with your thumb on their paw pad. Gently press down so that their toes spread and the nails come forward.
  2. Clip a small amount off the end of each nail, straight across, making sure to stay forward of the curve of the nail.
  3. Give your dog a little treat and then move on to the next paw. 

Tips for Trimming Your Dog’s Nails

  • Use treats to make it more fun. Feeding your dog treats every time you get out the clippers and cut their nails will help them learn to enjoy their pedicures. 
  • Start small. Training your dog from puppyhood is the best way to desensitize them to nail trims. 
  • If you have just adopted an older dog, make sure they are used to you touching their paws before you break out the clippers.
  • If you are worried about cutting the quick, always take off less than you would think, and keep styptic powder on hand just in case your dog wiggles.
  • If you struggle with trimming your dog’s nails, you don’t have to do it yourself. Groomers and veterinarians often offer nail trims for a small fee. 

Veterinary Care Keeps Your Dog Healthy

If your dog is showing signs of pain or if you’ve noticed changes in their behavior, it might be time to trim their nails. But if you have just trimmed them and still see the signs that something is not right, a trip to your veterinarian might be in order. A vet will be able to pinpoint what is ailing your dog and get them back to enjoying snacks, cuddles, and everything else they love. 

At East Valley Animal Hospital, we are here for all your dog care needs. From the little things like nail trims and checkups to bigger things like surgeries or emergencies, we are equipped to handle any situation. We even have a physical therapy room to get your pup back on track after an injury. Our highly trained team cares about animals and knows how much pets mean to their families.

If it’s time for a checkup or if you have any concerns about your pet, contact us today to make an appointment.




Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (9/5/23). Photo by Kristine Tanne on Unsplash.