If your dog's nails are too long, you can always contact your vet or groomer to have their nails cut. This is especially important for dogs that don't like to have their paws touched or are difficult to handle when their nails are cut. You can also cut your nails at home with a nail clipper or a nail grinder. When it comes to dog nails, length matters.
Letting a dog's nails grow for too long can put it at risk of injuries, infections and serious orthopedic and postural consequences. On a dark-colored nail, it can be nearly impossible to see how fast. If this is the case with your dog, try trimming just the tip of the nail in very small increments. In How to Cut a Dog's Nails Without Stress and Make Your Dog Really Enjoy Them, I told myself that long nails completely ruin an otherwise beautiful leg.
If your older dog is sensitive to cutting his nails, walks and other exercises can wear out his nails naturally. The message that is sent to the brain with every step a dog takes is wrong until nails that are too big are cut to the right length. If you've never cut your dog's claws before, consult your local vet, an experienced dog specialist, or a canine groomer who can teach you how to do it. A Hello Ralphie vet can give you a thorough consultation on handling your older dog and explain how you can treat heavily grown toenails.
There are usually only two reasons why your dog's nails have reached a point where they look like the claws of Halloween monsters. Some dogs have spurs on only the two front legs, some dogs have spurs on each leg, and some may even have two spurs on each of their back legs. Nails that are too long can make it difficult for your dog to walk because they can prevent him from placing all his weight on the foot pads. Dogs with long nails will naturally bend their back legs forward and their front legs out of the natural perpendicular of correct posture.
Whether you decide to cut your dog's nails with sedation during an unrelated surgical procedure, such as spaying or neutering, or you have to schedule a separate procedure, either way, you'll be putting your dog under anesthesia and incurring expenses that could have been avoided. One of the preferred methods for treating persistent nail bed infections is to remove the nail completely by means of dog nail removal surgery with local anaesthesia. There are many different ways to cut your dog's claws and many different cutting tools you can use (nail clippers, cutters, nail scissors, trimmer or plier). To try to minimize this pain, your dog may move slightly differently, which in turn may make him more susceptible to other joint injuries, especially in older dogs, where posture may already be a problem.
For many people with dog nails that are too long, surgery may be the only option to reduce the orthopedic consequences associated with negligent nail care. Watch the video above where I illustrate the effect of dogs' long nails with some simple exercises you can do at home.