You might love your dog, but you probably don't like trimming their nails. Truth be told, dogs don't tend to like it much either, and this can make trimming their nails a real chore. Unfortunately, it's often more important than many owners realise. While dogs sometimes wear down their nails naturally as they move around, it's relatively common for them to need some additional help from a human with a pair of nail clippers.
This might not be the most enjoyable thing you do with your dog, but keeping their nails trimmed can actually help prevent them from harm. Here are just ways well-trimmed nails can keep your dog healthy.
1. Prevents Broken Nails
When your dog's nails are allowed to get too long, they are more prone to breaking away. They might split, tear, or get chipped, and these can be serious issues. Dog's nails often split up towards the toe, which can cause pain and infections. Broken nails also often expose the quick, which is extremely sensitive and likely to create pain whenever it is bumped. An exposed quick is also at risk of infection, and such infections can even spread to the bone if left untreated.
2. Keeps Them Moving Correctly
Your dog's nails hit the ground as they walk, so long nails can actually interfere with their gait. When claws are too long, pressure is placed on the wrong parts of the foot. To compensate, your dog may start moving differently. This might not seem like a big deal, but it means that weight won't be distributed effectively and increased pressure will be placed on certain joints and tendons. Over time, this may lead to joint injuries that can seriously impact your dog's quality of life.
3. Helps Avoid Ingrown Nails
In some cases, a dog's nail can get so long that it starts to curl back into the paw pad. As in humans, those ingrown nails can be a real problem. Aside from being painful to walk on, they can cause infections and sores that require additional treatment. As such, it's best to prevent them entirely by regularly trimming your dog's nails.
4. Prevents Slips and Falls
Finally, it's worth remembering that long nails can easily snag on carpets and other types of flooring. They can also cause your dog to skid across smoother surfaces. While your dog will often be able to get up from any slips and falls without hurting themselves, there's always a chance that such accidents can lead to injuries, especially if they happen while a dog is running fast. By trimming your dog's nails, you'll help prevent such accidents.
To learn more about maintaining your pet's nails, contact your local vet.