A good dog grooming schedule involves a lot more than simply washing and brushing them. To prevent any unnecessary scratches (for both you and your dog), you will also need to get into the habit of trimming your dog’s nails regularly. Trimming your dog’s nails is also essential for preventing other health risks that may not seem obvious.
Of course, there are many other aspects of dog grooming to consider, but maintaining their nails is absolutely crucial. In order to help ease the process somewhat, it is recommended that you touch your dog’s paws frequently while they are young. Doing this will allow them to get used to the feeling of their paws being handled, allowing you to trim their nails much more manageable.
Some dogs may never adjust, however, in which case a patient and caring touch will be needed when it comes to trimming their nails. Here, we will discuss how often you should be trimming your dog’s nails, as well as other grooming basics that will ensure that your furry friend is as happy and as healthy as they can be.
How Often Should Your Dog’s Nails Be Trimmed
As a good rule-of-thumb, it is recommended that you trim your dog’s nails before they begin to touch the ground while they are standing. The rate at which your dog’s nails grow will be different from others. However, it is a good idea to start trimming your dog’s nails with some frequency, mainly while they are young, in order for them to better adjust to the discomfort of having their paws handled. As such, if you can manage to trim your dog’s nails once every week or so during their early years, you can save yourself plenty of hassle further along down the line.
It is also vital to ensure the quality of the trim each time. If you have never had to trim a dog’s nails before, this will take some practice to perfect. Do not be afraid to take your time during every trim, cutting just one nail at a time and giving your dog a break in between. Take particular care not to cut too close to the quick, which can lead to severe conditions and horrible pain for your furry friend.
It would be best if you aimed to trim the nails short enough so that they are no longer close to the ground but still long enough not to damage the nerve endings or blood vessels. Clear nails are much easier to trim. Either way, take your time and go as slowly as you need to. After a while, you will become much more proficient, making each trimming session that much easier.
Factors Which Affect Nail-Growth
Numerous factors will influence how quickly your dog’s nails grow. Some of these include:
The types of surfaces they spend the most time on. Hard surfaces tend to exacerbate nail growth; this includes surfaces such as concrete and asphalt. On the other hand, your dog’s nails may grow slower if they spend more time on carpets and grass.
The amount of time they spend on the ground. Dogs that spend a lot of time playing will experience a quicker rate of nail growth. In contrast, those that spend more time on your lap will have their nails grow much slower.
The food they eat. Nutritious dog food will ensure that your dog’s nails grow in a healthy manner, as well as maintain the consistency of time it takes.
The conditions they face. Certain conditions can lead to improper nail growth; issues include nail bed infections, auto-immune disorders, and tumors.
Why You Should Use a Nail Grinder
Some dogs never adjust to the feeling of their paws being handled and their nails being clipped. Fortunately, nail grinders present a viable alternative to clippers which can help you maintain the nails of particularly stubborn dogs.
Grinders necessitate slow movement. This means that you can take your time for each nail trimming session, thus giving your dog the pause they need to remain calm. Grinders can also be easier on certain dogs’ nails, reducing the amount of pain and discomfort they may experience. This generally applies to dogs with nails whose quicks are long and therefore difficult to avoid with traditional means. Using a grinder will allow you to trim closer to the quick, which will cause it to recede over time.
When using a grinder, make sure that you trim your dog’s hair beforehand, as any hair that gets caught in it will be yanked, causing a significant amount of pain. This applies to your hair as well – make sure that it is tied up before switching on the grinder.
Once you have gotten into the swing of things, you can generally push the length of time between trims to up to three weeks. Consistency is vital, however. Make sure you maintain a steady rhythm and pace at all times – do not be afraid to take it slowly.