So why is it that important for you to keep your dog’s toenails on the short side? Well, anatomy and physiology are intertwined with common sense on this one. Imagine letting your toenails grown very long, to the point where they hit the ground or the end of your shoe every time you walked or took a step. Imagine now that your dog is walking and trying to prevent his toenails from hitting the ground. He will walk much differently, perhaps with a stilted gait, but more importantly, he will begin to rock back and start putting more weight on the heel of his foot rather than on the toes. With dogs, this can mean the beginning of arthritis, tendon and ligament injuries, and splayed feet. Long toenails can lead to degenerative changes in your dog’s toes, feet, legs, shoulders and hips. The front feet are a bit more affected than are the back since the front legs are typically straighter and absorb more concussion from walking. The hind legs are typically more angular and thus less affected.
You may need to invest in a small nail grinder while resembles a dremel tool. You’ll continually be able to push back the quick. Most dog owners are not experts at cutting toenails; in fact, many are actually petrified at the thought. So, if you would not like to take your dog to your veterinarian to cut his toenails, consider starting when your dog is young and allowing him to get used to it.
Nail clippers can be your best friend and your worst enemy. If your does not sit still and behave perfectly for you while it is “nail time”, you should probably shy away from nail clippers. Particularly with larger dogs or those with black or dark toenails, you cannot see the quick so there is a greater likelihood that you will nick the quick.
Even if you only take the grinder or nail clippers out and just touch them to you pet’s toenails, whether the tool is running or used, it will help the dog to become more comfortable and confident when it comes time for the dreaded toenail ritual.Be sure to have a styptic on hand just in case the dreaded quick in nicked. Do not restrain your dog. Your energy should be very calm yet confident.