Dog health

Why Long Toenails Are Harmful To Your Dog’s Health?

Dogs with long nails are considered as human walking in oversized shoes; painful and uncomfortable!

Is your dog making a clicking noise while walking? It means that they are long overdue for a nail grooming!

Clipping dog nail is much more than just a cosmetic chore. This is even more important because long nails can cause pain and in severe conditions, trigger the irreversible damage to the pet’s overall health. Besides, it can also result in gait and spin-related issues in your canine.

But, let’s accept it, some dog owners get intimidated by their pooch nail-clipping process, especially if their pet doesn’t like having their paws held or touched.

Nevertheless, no matter how daunting the nail trimming task would become, the owner should not give-up on the idea. After all, it will make their fluffy pet healthy and happy.

The Autonomy Of Dog Nail

dog nail groomingA dog’s nail consists of two major parts: pink quick and a horn-like nail called the shell. The quick provide blood to the nail and runs throughout the paw. When the nail becomes too long, nerves, present in the quick start bleeding making it hard for the owner to cut.

Long nails also cause deformation in the feet and injure the tendons of the paws. However, regular trimming clip-off the quick from the nail, making it comfortable for the pooch to walk and run.

Does Every Dog Needs Nail Trimming?

Different breeds have different nail grown patterns; while some pets are flat to the ground, some have high knuckles.

Further, if the dog walks or exercises at soft surfaces like grass, dirt paths or even at indoors, the nails get automatically filed, thereby minimizing the need to trim. However, the pet that runs or exercise on hard, concrete surfaces might need regular trimming.

How Long Nails Affect The Pooch?

Having too long nails can lead to several issues to the dog’s health, some of them are:


The long nails can hamper a dog’s ability to walk or run efficiently. It can dig into the soft tissues of the paws, causing pain while running, exercising or even walking. Moreover, it can also be painful for the dog.


Long and tidy nails are more suspected to nail infections. As per the study, if a dog nail is chronically infected, it can lead to permanent defective nail growth.  Also, long nails are more likely to have infections lodged inside which come in contact with blood vessels making the nail infectious.

Unexpected removals:

A dog nail can catch the carpet, plants or furniture making the entire claw to rip out of the paw! Not only this will be painful for the dog, but will also make the paw prone to fungal infections.

Leg deformity:

Long nails can cause the bone structure of the leg to become deformed.  The nails get curved and grow into the soft pad of the foot, making it painful for the pet to walk or run. It also affects the posture of the dog. The pets hind legs will tuck forwards and the front legs stand behind the perpendicular (when observed from the side of the pet). However, the actual posture should feature front legs perpendicular to the ground.

Health problems:

Toenails that are too long affect the gait of the dog making it predisposed to the severe health issues.

All About The Basic Of Clipping


How do you know that your pet needs nail trimming?

Nail grooming for dogs first requires checking the length of your pet’s nails. Moreover, if you notice a lot of licking or an odd limping on your pet’s feet, chances are that their paws are hurting and they perhaps need a nail trimming.

The right method:

Mostly short quicks are considered as the preferred length for a pet overall health and maintenance of the nail. So, start clipping the nails at 45-degree following a slant of the growth, as the nail and the quick grow at that angle. The right dog grooming kit will make the task a breeze.

The Right Clippers:

Nail Grooming for Dogs

Dog nail clippers come in three different styles:

  • Scissors: If you are new in the dog nail clipping trick, then scissor-clippers should be your friend. They work just like an ordinary scissor and are quite easy to use. Moreover, these types of clippers are perfect for the dogs with larger and thicker nails.  So, if you have breeds like boxer, Bloodhound, Akita or Safari, these clippers are the best.
  • Guillotine: As the name suggests, these clippers work like a guillotine. To use this, just stick the end of the nail in the hole of the clippers and squeeze gently. The lower blade or the clipper will gently clip-off the end of the nail. These clippers are designed for small-to-medium in size dogs.
  • Grinding tools: Dogs with Pedi paws are the most frequent users of this tool. While it doesn’t completely slice the nail, it works by simply scraping the excessive nail. This is perfect for the canine that has thick nails.

Trimming Procedure

So you are ready for the nail trimming with all supplies and your pet?

Wait! Know these pre-trimming tips to make the process less daunting for you:

  • Make your pet used to have his paws touched. Let them feel the sensation of getting their legs and toe touch. Make the experience smooth by offering treats.
  • Keep an eye on your pet’s feet, and look for the debris and dust. If you find unclean paws, clean it with cloth and then start trimming.
  • Trim the fur on the paws to minimize the irritants that might get stick in your dog’s feet.
  • Do not trim at once, move slowly and gently. You might take several days to complete one paw, and that’s OK.
  • Go for the slant angle trick.
  • Keep septic powders in hand to stop the accidental bleeding from the quick.
  • Polish the nail correctly after clipping to smooth those rough and clipped edges.

What Kind Of Nail Does Your Dog Have?

Dogs nails are either white or black, and both need different trimming techniques.

Trimming White And Tan Colored Nails:

These nails are easy to cut! Start by trimming a little area of the nail. Also, make sure that in white nails, the trimmed surface will turn pink as soon as it is about to reach the quick. Once it reaches to quick, stop the trimming process and clean the nail.

Trimming Black Nails:

These types of nails are more challenging as the quick is not visible from the side of the nail. So, if your pooch has black nails, safely trim the hook, thereby making the nail flat from the bottom. However, if your dog doesn’t have hooked nails, pay close attention to cut the surface carefully. Ideally, when trimming the black nail, the surface will show a grey or white center, but as you move close, the center will turn black and then pink before reaching to the quick.

The bleeding situation:

If you have trimmed the nail too deeply, and the nail is bleeding, don’t fret! Use septic powder on the cut surface to stop bleeding. You can even use cornstarch or flour to stop bleeding or can also apply ice.

So, now that you know the importance of nail grooming for dogs and effective tips to do the task, make sure that you keep your dog nails in tip-top shape. Just trim it!

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