How often should I clip my dog’s nails?

Are you one of the dog owners that give their pet a pedicure? Lucky pet! Not many dog owners would take the time to trim the pet’s nails. Similar to tooth brushing and ear cleaning this part of grooming routine is often neglected. This can be due to the fact that while dogs would tolerate and even love their fur brushed, most would be extremely resistant when it comes to nail trimming. Dogs commonly do not want their feet touched. An uncooperative dog would make this part of grooming routine very difficult. A dog that squirms a lot can cause you to cut the quick. Dog nails cut improperly will bleed – a lot. Cutting the quick will also be very painful to the dog. This is one of the reasons why a lot of dog owners would not bother cutting the pet’s nails.

Nail trimming however is necessary. Dogs have this habit of jumping on their favorite people. Nails allowed to grow long can scratch the skin of the human family. Long nails can rip clothing or get in the carpet to cause nail breakage. This would entice the dog to continuously bite or to pull on the broken nails. This can lead to paw and foot infections. Long nails will interfere with the dog’s gait as long nails that touch pavement or any hard surfaces will cause the dog pain. When the dog jumps it will rock back on its paws as the long nails will touch the ground before the pads of the foot can. This would make the toes splay and cause lameness. Dog’s nails grow quickly because of the protein in the diet. The quick supplies the nails with nourishment thus it will grow longer than normal if the nails are allowed to get long. This would make trimming the nails difficult. You either have to trim the nails twice a week to make the quick recede slowly or you can have the procedure of cutting the nail and the quick done by a vet with the pet under general anesthesia.

These situations can be prevented by regularly trimming the pet’s nails. Dog owners would commonly ask how often the nails of the dog should have to be trimmed. The nails of the pet should be cut every four to six weeks. Six weeks if the pet is allowed to exercise on hard surfaces. When you take your dog for a walk on concrete, black top or hard and rough surfaces, the nails will wear down naturally. Hard concrete will act like a nail file that will grind the dog’s nails. However, dogs that are seldom allowed to go outside and mainly kept inside the house would need more frequent nail clipping. Carpeted floors would be too kind on the nails of the dog.

How would you go about trimming the pet’s nails? This grooming procedure would be much easier if the dog was accustomed to nail clipping at an early age. The dog would view nail clipping as another enjoyable experience with the master. Older dogs that are not accustomed to this grooming procedure would need some form of restraint. A smaller dog can sit on your lap. An arm draped around the dog’s body will prevent it from vaulting. Large breeds have to be placed on a table or on a couch. Your upper body and your arms can pin the dog down to the table. Make sure to use sharp nail clipper for dogs. Dog’s nails are thicker and harder than human nails thus your own nail clipper would not do as it can only cause nail breakage. Nail clippers for dogs can be purchased for less than $10 dollars.

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