The first thing that comes to my mind when people ask how often they should trim their dog’s nails is imagine yourself in high heels all day long and then going to bed without taking them off and getting up the next morning and starting your day with the high heels on.
Dogs walk on their toes with the bones held at angles.
Ideally a dog’s nails should not touch the ground when they are standing. The nails should also not extended over the pad when the foot is in a relaxed position.
While nails do provide traction, in normal standing and walking the pads provide the most traction.
All pets have hair between the toes, however, some breeds will have long hair between the toes. This hair can then cover the pads, reducing the pet’s traction on the floor.
It might surprise you that walking alone is not enough to keep your dog’s nails at the perfect length. It takes time walking on a variety of abrasive surfaces to wear down a dog’s nails.
For this reason, it is important to check their nails regularly to see if they need trimming.
Correctly trimmed nails can greatly contribute to your dog’s health.
Long nails are painful. When a dog’s nails contact hard surfaces, the hard surface pushes the nail back into the nail bed. This either puts pressure on all the toe joints or forces the toe to twist to one side and cause abnormal compensatory posture. Plus, the nails can become caught, damaged and split.
Each dog is different, but it is recommended to trim the nails every four to six weeks. This will recede the quick (blood supply to the nail) faster.
If you don’t feel confident trimming them yourself consult with a professional groomer or your veterinarian, they can help in maintaining your dog’s nails at an appropriate length.
Submitted by Veronica Negrin, Pinetree Pet Care Centre