When to trim your dog’s nails

When to trim your dog’s nails

Updated on 9/28/13, Originally posted on 12/3/11

These nails are way too long

Weekly Bible Verse: Proverbs 26:17 He who passes by and meddles in a quarrel not his own is like one who takes a dog by the ears.

Dogs require their nails to be trimmed on a regular basis, accept for the few that wear their nails down naturally.  The environment and life style your dogs lives will determine how often they need to be trimmed.  Dogs that are active or outdoors a lot will require minimal care, if any care at all.  Things like digging and going for frequent walks wear down the nails on a dog.  On the other hand, pampered house dogs (like our Bichon Frise lol) need regular trimming.  Most dogs require nail trims every 3-6 weeks.  Just like people’s nails, and how some grow faster then others, the same is true for dogs.  Every dog is different.

These nails are too long

To check your dog’s nails, to see if they need trimming, place him or her on the table (for large dogs place them on a hard floor).  With your dog standing, look at the nails to see if they are touching the table/floor.  If the nails are touching, they need to be trimmed.  When nails grow out too far, it causes pressure on the dog’s bone structure and tendons.  A dog that has very overgrown nails have toes that bow out and this is painful to the dog.  Another bad thing that can happen when nails become very overgrown is they can curl back into the dog’s pads, ouch!  Always be sure to trim your dog’s dewclaws along with the other nails.  Some dogs do not have dewclaws because they were removed as a puppy but most mix breeds and some purebreds have dewclaws on the front 2 legs.  Some breeds have back dewclaws as well but this is not very common in most breeds.  Every dog has 4 nails on each foot and usually 2 dewclaws, so be sure to trim all 18 nails.

These nails are heavily overgrown

A dog with heavily overgrown nails p1 A dog with heavily overgrown nails p2

A dog with heavily overgrown nails after trimming

Keep an eye on your dog’s nails.  Make sure you pay special attention to dogs with a lot of fur on their feet because it is harder to see the nails.  Your groomer or vet can trim your dog’s nails if you do not know how far to cut them.  If you live near Apple Valley California, we at God’s Creatures Grooming would be happy to take care of your dog’s nails.

2 Responses to When to trim your dog’s nails

  1. admin says:

    Hi Melissa Louviere,
    We would recommend you take your dog to the vet. If the nail is broken or if the bone is broken, you dog is not going to let you trim the nail. The dewclaw (nail on the side of the leg) may need to heal first before it can be trimmed. A lot of dog breeds don’t need their dewclaws and they are often removed to prevent problems later on in life. Talk with your veterinarian more about dewclaws to see if they should be removed. It’s often the perfect time to remove dewclaws when your dog goes in to be spayed/neutered or when they go in for dental cleaning. It’s great Melissa that you are paying attention to your dogs dewclaws because most owners do not and the dewclaws become overgrown and grow right back into the dog.

  2. Melissa Louviere says:

    How can I trim the little nail that is on the side of the foot? He is yelping with pain. Looks like the nail is broken and is out to the side of his foot.

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