Many people find that trimming their dogs' toenails is a nerve-wracking ordeal for both them and their furry friends. Dogs frequently have a natural aversion to having their feet handled, and just one bad experience with getting their toenails clipped can cause any canine to cringe with fear at the sight of a pair of nail clippers. However, allowing your dog's toenails to grow too long can have serious consequences. Following are five things that you need to know about why you should keep your dog's toenails trimmed.
Long Toenails Are Painful
When your pet walks on a hard surface and its toenails are too long, its nails are pushed back up into the nail bed, which can cause the animal to experience varying degrees of pain. Long toenails also alter the alignment of the bones in your dog's legs, potentially causing it to become unsteady on its feet, leaving your dog vulnerable to situations that may cause injury.
Long Toenails Make Dogs Think They're Always Climbing Hills
Dog's brains are hard wired to associate feeling its toenails with climbing hills. This can cause your furry friend to change its body posture, causing the overuse of certain muscles, particularly those in its hindquarters. This leads to permanent tissue damage that makes it difficult for your pet to perform certain tasks such as successfully navigating steps and climbing into your vehicle. In extreme cases, it may even make rising from a lying-down position a painful chore for your dog.
Long Toenails Are Hard to Cut
If you can hear your pet's toenails clicking as it walks across a hard surface, that means it's time for a toenail trim. Overly long nails are difficult to cut because the chances are that your pet is experiencing some pain. Your dog may jerk its foot away suddenly while you are in the process of cutting one of its nails, and this can result in painful accidents. It's also important that you know how to identify the live quick inside of your dog's nail -- because this contains living blood vessels, cutting through it will cause your dog a great deal of pain. If your dog's nails are light-colored or clear, you can easily see the quick inside of the nail -- it will be pink. The quick will be difficult to spot in dark colored nails, and you'll have to trim the nail a tiny bit at a time, inspecting it closely with each cut for a telltale pink or gray oval appearing at the end of the nail.
If you're putting off trimming your dog's nails, consider using the services of a professional. Professional pet grooming companies can make short work out of cutting your dog's toenails without causing it pain or discomfort.