Trimming nails is one of the things that you need to do regularly for your dog. Overgrown nails are not only uncomfortable but also harmful for your dogs. In this article, we will go over how to trim your dog nails, especially when they are overgrown.
Overgrown nails are painful.
Longer nails mean longer quicks, which also mean discomfort for your little friend.
Inside dog nails, there is a part called the quick, which is the part where blood vessels reside and supply blood to the nails. When nails grow too long, the quick tends to grow longer too. With regular trimming, the quick tends to recede from the end. However, when nails are overgrown, the longer quick can cause extreme discomfort for your dog.
Overgrown nails change the weight distribution and in a long-term damage your dog’s legs and tendons.
We all know that dogs are energetic and they tend to run around a lot. Longer nails are difficult for them to touch the ground and run around. Therefore, dogs will exert the force on the nail bed instead. Overtime, this habit will damage the toes and the toe joints. Although nails look unimportant to us (because we don’t really use them for anything), they play certain roles for dogs, especially as a part of weight distribution and natural alignment for movements. As discussed above, overgrown nails cause your dog to shift the weight to the nail bed, which disturbs the natural alignment, and at the end will cause lots of pain to the dog.
Dogs will avoid nail-cutting sessions, making even more difficult to trim their nails.
When nails are overgrown, every contact with the nail is painful for your dog. Therefore, when you try to hold his paws for nail-cutting session, be prepared that he is more likely to avoid it. Thus, the problem is even more difficult to quickly resolve. It’ll time for you and your dog to trim down the nails.
Here are the steps:
Comfort your dog. Even if it’s a regular nail-trimming session, it is still crucial to familiarize your dog with the surroundings and the tools. Give your dog some nice treats and praise them, so that they feel more positive and comfortable and be more cooperative. Especially when your dog have overgrown nails, he tend to avoid touching or holding his paws. This preparation stage is extremely important in that case, so that your dog can relax and have a positive association with the nail-cutting.
Find the quick. Again, dog nails are made of two parts: one is the nail itself and the other is the quick, which includes various blood vessels to provide blood to the nails. The reason that you need to find the quick is that you do not want to cut into it, because it will bleed for sure, and it will be painful for your dog.
Cut slowly a bit at a time at a 45-degree angle. Back to our number one concern, we do not want to cut into the quick. If you use a scissor-type clipper, you must be really careful because if you cut it too much, and accidentally cut the quick, there is no way back because it’s already cut. If you use a nail grinder, it could be easier because your dog would probably react when you start to reach the quick. When you feel that the nails are getting spongy, it’s time to stop because you have reached the quick.
File your dog’s nails until the surface is smooth. This is to fix any rough edges after cutting, and is also to give a nice finish touch to the nails. Do not forget to go slow and little at a time because if you overdo, the quick will be exposed.
It takes a few nail-cutting sessions to reach the desired length if the nails are overgrown. You can only cut a bit every session due to the growth of the quick. For the quick to recede from the end, it would take more than just one nail-trimming session. So keep this in mind, and be patient!
Encourage and praise your dog! Compliment him or her for finishing the session! Not all dogs enjoy nail-cutting, so receive compliments (and treats) at the end is a great encouragement for him to do it again next time. Overgrown nails are painful, of course, so this experience may not be so pleasant for your dog, so dog owners should pay close attention to this in order to help the dog get accustomed to regular nail-trimming (because they will need more often nail-cutting to completely settle the overgrown nails).
How often should I trim my dog nails?
So now you understand why you should not let the nails grow too long. Even when your dog very much dislikes nail-cutting, you must do it nevertheless for the greater good. If your dog nails are at a normal length, each nail-cutting session can be a week apart. If your dog nails are overgrown, sessions can be closer to each other at every 2-3 days.
In short, overgrown nails are no good to your dog in anyway. It is important to trim your dog nails regularly, and it is always better to prevent than to cure. Remember the top rule is not to cut into the quick. However, if you accidentally do it, don’t be panic. You can use a cauterizer to stop the bleeding or a damp washcloth to clean up. Don’t forget to give dogs some treats to cheer him up during nail-cutting, and even during other sessions while grooming. We hope that this article is helpful for you, and that you know how to work on your dog nails for the best for your dog.