Posted by Kevin McNulty on March 01, 2017
Trimming your dog's nails is an essential part of their health routine and grooming. Dogs are meant to walk on the pads of the paws, and nails should only touch the ground when running or needing traction. If you hear your pet's nails clicking when they walk - they're probably too long. Long nails can lead to bone and joint problems, because your pet isn't able to walk right.
In short, most pet owners do not trim their pet's nails often enough!
So, how often is recommended? The average for most pets is to trim nails every six to eight weeks. If you don't trim them regularly (or have them trimmed with regular grooming visits), the nails can curl and grow into the pads - which is a big painful "no no" for your pet.
If you're a "city-dwelling" family and your dog walks a lot on sidewalks or asphalt, this will naturally wear their nails down and you may not have to have them trimmed as often.
When attempting to clip your dog's nails at home, make sure you do your research first. Your veterinarian or even our staff at Pets Plus can help point you in the right direction of the best tools and tricks. We can show you where to stop trimming so that you don't cut to the quick (cutting to the vein).
The key is to start young. With a puppy or kitten, you can start early so they are used to be handled. For older or adopted dogs, start slow - one nail a day. Make it a positive experience by having lots of treats on hand, talk calmly and praise them. If your pet has anxiety, you might want to leave this to a professional groomer.
Here is a wonderful step-by-step explanation of how to clip a dog's claws with photos and tool suggestions. And, as always, your experts are right around the corner at Pets Plus and we are happy to assist you in any way possible!