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Have you ever been walking or playing with your dog and hear the clicking of his or her nails on the ground? This is a pretty clear indication that your dog's nails are too long. Longer nails can actually cause issues for your dog, which is why they need to be trimmed regularly. How regularly? We detail that below.
Dogs need their nails trimmed regularly because when too long, the nails can cause issues for your pup. For starters, they can lead to injuries, like torn claws and resulting infections. These kinds of injuries are painful and require vet care. Some dogs may even need to be anesthetized so the nail can be safely removed and the wound cauterized.
But even if your pup doesn't experience an injury like this, overgrown nails can cause other uncomfortable issues. For instance, the long nails can cause your dog to change the way they walk and carry themselves. If this is a prolonged habit, it can change the bones in your dog's feet and put extra pressure on their joints. In the long run, this can cause serious joint issues, such as pain and arthritis.
Fortunately, there are several options for trimming your dog's nails. You can do it yourself at home with dog nail trimmers or grinders, get your pup's nails trimmed at the vet or take them to a groomer.
Pro Tip: If your dog is anxious or fearful of having his or her nails trimmed, it's best to go to the vet or a professional groomer to avoid injury.
How often to trim your dog's nails is a complex question, though, since there are no set timelines. This is because different dogs' nails grow at different rates and some dogs may wear down their nails more than others. A general rule of thumb is that a dog's nails need to be trimmed when they are just about to touch the ground as your dog walks. A dog's nails should not hit the floor, scrape the ground, catch on carpet or click when walking on hard flooring. Overall, it seems like most dogs need their nails trimmed monthly.
One thing to note is that puppies need more frequent trimmings because their nails grow at a faster rate than adult nails. It's recommended that you trim your puppy's nails weekly and a little bit at a time. Doing so each week is not only important for the nails, but will also help train them to be okay having their feet touched (which will make future trimmings go more smoothly).
Another situation that requires more frequent trimmings is when dogs have extra long nails. Such overgrown nails have extra long quicks, so they'll need to be trimmed down a little bit each week to encourage the quick to shrink. Eventually these dogs will have the proper length nails and quick, meaning you'll be able to slow down trimmings to every month or so.