Few pet parents enjoy trimming their dog’s nails. So is it okay to skip the clip?

Macro of dachshund paw

Trimming a dog’s toenails is one of those tricky tasks that many dog owners would prefer to toss in the too-hard basket. After all, it’s fiddly, can be stressful and is likely to put everyone in a bad mood.

So can you get away with skipping a clipping? The short answer is no. Trimming your canine companion’s nails is a job that mustn’t be ignored. Here are a few reasons why you need to take a deep breath and get it done.

1. Your dog can’t trim their nails themselves

As recently as a couple of centuries back, dogs were rarely kept as pets. Canines were workers first and foremost, and because they were out rounding up cattle and guarding flocks of sheep and racing after vermin all day, their nails were worn down naturally and didn’t need trimming. These days, however, the majority of dogs spend most of their time indoors, their only exercise a leisurely stroll around the block each day if they’re lucky. Activity-induced pedicures are a thing of the past, which means it’s up to us to keep those nails in check.

2. Long nails are a health hazard for dogs

If your dog’s nails get too long, they’re more likely to break. This can leave the sensitive quick, which contains nerves and blood vessels, open to painful infections. Dewclaws (aka the dog’s “thumbs”) can be hazardous, because they never come into contact with the ground, and so don’t get worn down, meaning they’re prone to catching on things and being torn off. Be sure to take extra care to also maintain these nails too.

3. Unruly nails can cause pain for your dog

Excessively long nails can cause joint pain, arthritis and even skeletal damage, because they can make the bones in the feet flatten and change the way a dog walks. By trimming your dog’s nails, you can avoid this.

4. Your furniture will thank you

A few decades ago, everyone had carpet. These days, however, exposed floorboards are all the rage. While they may look great, they’re not compatible with long dog nails. Regular nail clipping will avoid nail divots and scratch marks on wooden floors, not to mention leather sofas, limestone tiles and other soft surfaces.

So, no – you shouldn’t skip the clip. Trimming your dog’s nails is extremely important for maintaining their overall health.

Questions you may have about trimming your dog’s nails:

Can I cut my dog’s nails with human nail clippers?

Human nail clippers can be used to clip your puppies nails, but it will be much harder to do effectively as they grow up. Your adult dog’s nails will likely need to be cut using a specialised tool. Petbarn has a variety of nail trimmers designed specifically for dog claws for a safer and easier process.

How often should you cut a dog’s nails?

You should cut your dog’s nails every month or two. You should check the condition of your dog’s paws often to see if there are any noticeable issues.

How short can I cut my dogs nails?

It is very important that you do not cut your dog’s nails too short. This will cause considerable pain for your dog and can result in bleeding. Our full guide on how to trim your dog’s nails can be found here.

Where can I get my dog’s nails cut?

If you’re not confident that you can do this task yourself, take your dog in to a Petbarn grooming salon or your local Greencross Vets where the professionals can help you provide the best care for your pet.

Petbarn dog grooming

Petbarn dog grooming