If your dog’s nails are too long, it is good to cut them. Dogs can suffer a lot from (too) long nails. But how do you know when a dog’s nail is too long? When you should Dog Nail Trimming and why is it so important to cut your dog’s nails? How do you actually do that? Can you cut the nails of your dog yourself? You can read all about it in this article.
Does my dog have long nails?
Dog nails always keep growing. For many dogs, this is not a problem because the nails can wear well on their own. Like when a dog regularly walks on paved surfaces, can already wear well on it naturally. For dogs that walk a lot on forest trails, the beach or lawns, this will be less likely.
Without nail care, the nails than get the chance to grow considerably and become too long. It is not always easy to see whether the nails of a dog are too long.
The position of the foot plays an important role in this. One dog has a slightly rounded foot like a cat, with the nails pointing more downwards. The other dog has a somewhat flatter foot, a bit more like a hare, with the nails pointing more forward.
Causes of Overgrown Dog Nails
dog nails that are too long It is therefore very different for each dog if the nails are too long and need to be cut. In addition to the natural wear and the position of the feet, there are a few other causes of long dog nails:
- Dogs walk and run mainly with their hind legs off. As a result, these nails will wear faster than the nails of the front legs, which will often be longer.
- Small dogs are too light in body weight, so the nails do not carry enough weight to wear really well.
- By collapsing the tendons in older dogs, they often lean more on the rear part of the foot. As a result, the dog nails point a little more upwards and they no longer touch the ground enough to wear out.
- Due to illness, old age or injuries it may be that your dog moves less than usual and the nails cannot wear enough.
How many nails does a dog have?
In addition to the 4 nails on each toe on the feet, a dog can also have thumbnails. The dog’s thumbnail is on the inside of the paw, slightly higher than the foot. In some countries, it is removed early because a dog can be very annoyed by this thumbnail and unfortunately this happens regularly.
Some dogs also have a thumbnail on the hind leg, but this is still rare. The thumbnail is also called the Hubertus claw or wolf’s claw. An annoying disadvantage of the thumbnail is that it does not come into contact with the substrate. The thumbnail will therefore never wear out on its own and will also grow around.
Be careful with this and make sure that the thumbnail is cut on time. Otherwise, there is a chance that it will penetrate the skin.
The Consequences of Long Nail
Dog nails Good, regular nail care for the dog is very important. Failure to properly track the nails can have painful consequences. In some cases, even treatment at the vet or medical intervention is necessary. You see a lot of long nails and these problems with dogs that don’t go out for a walk or live in kennels.
Examples of painful consequences of long dog nails are:
- The dog’s nail is broken.
- Dog’s nail is torn.
- The dog’s nail is off.
- The thumbnail has grown.
- The dog gets the wrong position of the paws.
- The dog gets various joint complaints.
- Dog gets spread feet.
- They stay too long because cutting is done in life. In order to be able to reduce nails in length, you will regularly have to cut them shortly behind life.
Cutting Your Dog’s Nails
You can save a lot of suffering by taking good care of your dog’s nails and cutting them when needed. Well, this always looks very easy, but in practice, it is always disappointing. This is mainly because not every dog allows the nails to be cut just like that.
It is wise to immediately practice this well with puppies and young dogs and to repeat this with adult dogs in-between haircuts. Puppy nails, in particular, are growing very fast and will need to be trimmed more often. When you do this in a calm and relaxed way, your puppy will become familiar with cutting and nail scissors.
Keep Practicing Well
Then also practice a number of times without actually cutting nails. The touches, movements, and sounds will then be experienced as normal more quickly. You can also continue to practice this way with adult dogs that may have already developed anxiety. It is important to work slowly towards the cutting in small steps.
Reward your dog at times when things are going well and try to gain your dog’s confidence slowly and calmly. If you notice that this still remains very difficult, then you are very welcome to visit the Discus pet store. The specialist in the store is ready for you and is happy to help you when your dog’s nails are not working. For this, you can usually go to the grooming salon or the vet of your dog.
Use Nail Scissors for Dogs
To be able to cut your dog’s nails it is first important to have the right material for this. There are different nail clippers that you can use to cut your dog’s nails. You have nail clippers for Chihuahuas, nail scissors for large dogs or Guillotine nail scissors.
The latter prevents you from cutting through when cutting and accidentally cutting the nail too short. The nails of large dogs can be very thick and strong. Good nail scissors, especially for dogs, is definitely recommended. Do you not have this in your possession? Then drop by our store and we will help you make the right choice. The nails must always be cut carefully.
Take Into Account ‘Life’ in the Dog Nail
Living tissue grows in the dog’s nail, “life”. Life is a filled cavity consisting of blood, blood vessels, and nerves. Life ensures that the nail is nourished and therefore does not crumble, for example. With white nails and light nails, life is very visible, but with dark nails, this is very difficult without bright light.
For dogs that have both light and dark nails, you can first cut the light nail and then maintain the same distance for the other nails. When cutting, keep in mind that your dog may be frightened and the paw may detract from its reaction. If you cut at about 2 mm distance from life and use a good pair of scissors, your dog will not notice this.
If you do cut in life, this will hurt and the nail may bleed hard. Try to stop the bleeding by pressing on it with a cloth for at least 10 minutes. You can also choose to pre-purchase the products that can stop the bleeding. Doesn’t the bleeding stop and don’t you trust it? Then always call the vet.
Do you still have questions about cutting your dog’s nails after reading this article? Would you like some help or more explanation about nail care for dogs? Write to us.