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Are Your Dog’s Nails Too Long? Find Out If They Are and What to Do About It
Can you hear your dog’s toenails clicking on the floor as you walk? If not, your dog’s nails are the right length for his health and longevity. Keep up any activity that keeps them tired. If the answer is yes, and you can hear clicking on the bare floor, then your dog’s nails are too long. Is this a big deal? Yes, at least it will cause pain for your dog and a possible vet bill. At worst, it can cause arthritis and premature death for your dog.
It is a common misconception that it is enough to trim a dog’s tips once or twice a year. If you can hear it clicking, it’s not working. Just like humans, dogs’ nails never stop growing. But, unlike humans, their arteries (the part supplied with blood) continue to grow. If the nails are not cut or ground naturally by the dog on a regular basis, the rapids become longer and longer, and eventually this will cause the dog to lower its feet incorrectly and / or may cause the nails grow directly in the dog. dog pad Nails that grow in the pad can cause a painful infection, which is not treated, can take the dog’s life. Long straight nails cause an incorrect step, throwing the hips and back out of alignment and causing premature aging and arthritis. How many old dogs have you seen that have super-long nails that can’t walk or lift normally? These dogs suffer terribly, and if they cannot walk, they will soon die.
You have three choices when it comes to trimming your dog’s nails. You can start exercising your dog on asphalt or hard surfaces to grind the nails naturally. You can trim your dog’s nails at home. Twenty percent of dog owners are able to keep their dog’s nails trimmed at home. Most likely, you are part of the 80% of owners who take their dog to a professional groomer or veterinarian to have their nails trimmed. If you have a dog with nails that curl (such as a cocker spaniel or shih tzu), exercise will not be enough if your dog has dewclaws. Dewclaws have the highest probability of actually growing into the dog’s pad or skin. If your dog has straight growing nails (shepherds, boxers, labs), then exercise alone can do the trick. There are a number of types of clippers (and dremels) that you can choose from to trim your dog’s nails at home. If you do the fast and the nail bleeds, you can use styptic powder (available from the groomer), or starch or flour packed on the nail to stop the bleeding. Whichever method you use, it’s helpful to know that your dog’s nails will naturally grow 1/8 to ¼ inch away from the edge of the nail within a few days of being trimmed. This is why dogs who run every day never have bloody nails and never need their nails trimmed.
How do you get nails to the right length humanly? Have the nails cut back (which means ¼ inch in front of the quick) every 5 to 10 days until the length of the nail is back where it should be – not clicking on the floor when the dog walks. It is a normal occurrence for the groomer to cut the nails too short if the goal is to get more than “just the tips”. It is better for the long-term health of your dog to have a groomer who always clips too short, versus the alternative.
Clicking nails are an easy sign for all dog owners to judge whether or not their dog has the optimal length of nails for their long-term health and happiness. It is up to the owner to take action for the well-being of his four-legged friend. Once your dog’s nails have grown back to the optimal length, maintain your dog’s nail length. The average maintenance schedule for the average dog owner is monthly clipping. Each dog has a different growth pattern and exercise habit. Remember, be a conscientious dog owner, enjoy a long life and optimal health from your dog – listen to the click.
Copyright 2010 DuAnn Lustig-Chambers
Reprint rights: You may reprint this article as long as you print the “about the author” information and keep all links active.
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