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Nail Health in Dogs

January 13, 2019

 

Can you hear your dog walking across a hard surface by the tap, tap, tap of their nails? Then it’s time for a nail trim.

Untrimmed nails on your dog can do more damage than just to your floors. There are many important reasons to keep Fido’s manicure up to date.

 

Many diseases or health conditions affect nails and feet and pet parents need to check feet often. Just handling their feet regularly helps them feel more comfortable when it is time for a nail trim:

 

 

 

  • Ingrown nails can become infected and painful. And with any pain situation, can affect your pet’s attitude and make some dogs aggressive or bad tempered. Long nails can grow around and into the bottom of the foot. The dewclaw nail if your dog has it, can grow into the leg and are often hard to see in a long-haired pet.

  • Nails that are too long can tear, making them painful and easily infected. This can result in vet bills and requires soaking and long-term antibiotics or surgical removal.

  • When the nails are too long, your pet doesn’t walk correctly and this strains the leg muscles and torques the spine.  This is especially important in breeds that have propensity toward back, hip or patella issues.  Posture is important even for Fido,

  • Excessively long nails can cause your dog to hurt themselves from a slip or fall. Nails help provide traction and increase a pet’s ability to walk and run without slipping especially on tile or hardwood surfaces. Some dogs are anxious on slick surfaces and keeping the nails short can increase their confidence and traction.

 

Some dogs’ nails grow faster than others.
How much your pet walks or plays on concrete, asphalt, or grass will have a influence on how much the nail will naturally wear down. If your pet is a senior, has arthritis or you are simply too busy to walk them often, nails can appear to grow fast because they are not worn down from walking or digging. Also in dogs with liver disease, the nails do grow faster than normal and could be an indicator of a health problem. Talk to your vet if you feel that your dog’s nails are growing too fast. 

 

Is walking my dog enough to wear the nails down?
Most likely dogs with hard, tough nails will require clipping as they cannot wear them down from use. Even dogs with soft nails will need regular clipping to train the quick to recede. If your dog is athletic, it is even more important to keep the nails trimmed to prevent extra stress on feet or joints when running long distances or hiking around San Diego. Nails should be short enough that they do not touch the ground when standing.

 

Professional groomers or vets are the safest source for a good doggie manicure.

Keeping nails trimmed often, encourages the quick to recede so that nails can be clipped shorter over time. Frequent trimming and keeping the experience routine and pleasant reduces your pet's anxiety during the procedure.

 

Don't forget your dog's paw pads either! In cold or exceptionally hot weather, paw pads can become dry or chapped. After a nail trim, apply a soothing balm to keep your dog's pads soft and pliable. At Dunk'N Dogs, we do full service manicures as well as clipping or dremel. Check out our package deals on nail trims to keep your commitment to your pet's health.

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