The canine nail grows constantly, as does the human fingernail. Wild canines, like wolves and foxes, wear down their nails naturally as they travel through the wilderness in their daily lives. Dogs, on the other hand, lead more pampered lives and need help keeping their nails at a proper length. This is especially true of smaller, lighter breeds who don’t have the body weight to help wear down their nails.
Also, because dogs walk barefoot, they are prone to develop issues with their paw pads. Dogs with long hair are especially at risk of having problem with their paws because of the hair that grows between their toes.
To keep your dog’s paws in good shape, inspect them at least once a week. Look for cracked pads, burrs, foxtails, and other objects that may have become lodged between your dog’s toes.
If you find deep cracks in your dog’s paw pads that are painful to the touch, contact your veterinarian. Your dog may need medication to help them heal. Don’t worry if he has hard calluses, however. Active dogs have callused paw pads because they use them a lot.
Next, look in between your dog’s toes. If you see burrs and foxtails tangled in the fur, place a dab of Cowboy Magic® Detangler & Shine™ on the affected area and work the object out of the hair using your fingers.
If you’ve ever seen a dog with overgrown nails, you have an idea of how uncomfortable this condition can be. Long nails on a dog cause the paw joints to twist to the side. The dog’s toes may also be forced into an unnatural upward position. If nails are allowed to stay overgrown for a long time, the dog may develop abnormalities in his gait and other parts of his body.
The frequency in which your dog needs his nails trimmed depends on his breed, his body type and his activity level. All dogs should have their nails evaluated at least once a month to determine if they need trimming.
You’ll know your dog needs his nails trimmed if you hear clicking or scratching when he walks on a hard surface. If his nails are curled and turn out to the side, they are way overdue for a trim.
If you want to trim your dog’s nails, these are the tools you will need to have on hand:
Once you have your supplies ready, follow this plan:
If you keep an eye on your dog’s toenails and trim them whenever necessary, your dog will get used to the process. His feet will look good and be healthy, too.
If your dog is completely uncooperative, or if you are afraid to do the work yourself, you can ask a veterinarian or professional groomer to trim your dog’s nails for you.