Nail trimming is an important part of your dog’s grooming routine, but deciding on a nail-clipping schedule can be tricky if you’re new to dog parenting. How often you trim your dog’s nails depends on their growth rate, so the frequency may be slightly different for every dog. For some dogs, they may need a weekly trim, whereas others will only need it every 3 or 4 weeks.
When Should I Trim My Dog’s Nails?
You can usually tell when it’s time for a trim when you hear a “clicking” sound when your dog walks, caused by their nails tapping against the floor. According to PetMD, nails should be trimmed as often as is necessary to prevent them from touching the floor when your dog is standing up.
Dogs that regularly walk on rough ground, like on the sidewalk when they’re out for their daily stroll or on concrete in your yard when playing, may need their nails trimmed a little less often. This is because rough surfaces help to wear down the nails and keep them dull.
On the other hand, dogs that don’t walk much on rough ground, like apartment dogs and lapdogs, are more likely to need a regular trim to keep their nails at the optimum length. Puppies also need more frequent trims, as their nails grow at a pretty rapid rate.
When trimming your dog’s nails, be sure to avoid the “quick,” which is often visible in white nails (the pink inner area). However, the quick is not always visible, for example in black nails, so be sure to only cut off the tip and don’t go too far down as this could be very painful for your dog.
Why Is Nail Trimming Important?
It’s important to keep up with trimming your dog’s nails as often as is needed because not doing so could give rise to a number of health issues. An ingrown nail is one such issue that can cause a great deal of pain and discomfort for dogs. It occurs when untrimmed nails curl backward and bury themselves in your dog’s paw pad. It’s hard to imagine how painful this condition must be for afflicted dogs.
It’s also much easier for unkempt nails to break or split, which can be very uncomfortable for your dog. According to The Kennel Club, long nails can put extra pressure on the foot, which causes your dog to walk differently in an attempt to avoid discomfort. This, in turn, can cause injury to the joints in the foot.
Another important reason for trimming your dog’s claws regularly is that this helps to prevent the quick inside from growing too long, thereby reducing the risk of cutting into the quick in the future.
The best way to know when it’s time to give your dog’s nails a trim is to check them frequently, as different dogs have different needs. If your dog’s nails are fast growers, they will need to be trimmed more often. If they’re slow growers or are worn down by your dog walking on rough ground frequently, they may need to be trimmed less often.
The best rule of thumb is to check that the nails are not touching the ground when your dog is standing on a flat floor/ground and listen for that famous “clicking” noise. If you hear that, it’s definitely time for a trim.
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