Let’s talk about your dogs nails…
One question we’re asked more than any is if we cut your dogs nails on their appointment. The truth is, we trim every dogs nails on their visits to us (with the exception of those with nail health issues and behavioural issues).
So, we’re here to answer a few questions and queries you may have regarding your dogs nail care.
The dogs nail is made up of the outer shell (hard keratin coating, often black or brown in colour, but can be translucent) inner shell (softer keratin underneath), and the vein or quick. The quick is an important part of the nail, containing live tissue and blood supply.
It can easily be caught, and while it may not hurt every dog, it does bleed and the feeling can become unpleasant for your pet.
Here is a diagram of a healthy, regularly trimmed nail, and an overgrown nail.
Quicks continue to grow as a nail grows, which is why longer nails cannot be cut right back immediately.
In order to make the quick recede (shrink) it is important to have frequent nail trims, cutting a little at a time, as close as possible to the quick. As the nail gets shorter, so does the blood supply, meaning we can trim them shorter each time. Cutting too far up the nail will cause the quick to bleed and cause discomfort for your pet.
Another way we can manage nails that are too long when dogs are sensitive to nail clipping is by using a grinder, which will slowly wear away at the outer coating of the nails.
Dogs with short feet or dogs that don’t place their feet flat due to breed complications (pugs, French bulldogs, bull breeds, dachshunds) may suffer more with overgrown nails, as the nails tend to grow under the pads rather than ahead of the dog. This can lead to ingrown nails, injury to the bottom of the pads, and discomfort. These dogs should consider having very frequent nail trims to prevent issues.