Cutting our dog's nails may be a matter of aesthetics or avoiding scratching floors and furniture. But beyond this, it is important to cut them for health reasons.
Risks of a dog with long nails
Dogs' nails tend to wear down naturally through walking or digging. When this wear is not enough, they can grow too long and present a risk. They could scratch floors, furniture and even hurt you.
If a dog with very long nails scratches himself, he could get hurt. Also, the nails can grow in a curly fashion, ending up embedded in the pads of his paws.
But it's not just long nails that can cause problems for dogs. Cutting them too short can cause no less worrisome problems.
Risks of cutting a dog's nails too short
Dogs' nails are not like humans', which naturally fall away from the flesh. In dogs, they encapsulate part of the dog's toe. If they are cut too short, you could injure his finger.
Cutting the nails too short can carry several risks for the dog. From generating pain and possible traumas associated with this activity, to causing bleeding. Which would not be abundant or risky, but it does open the way for possible infections if not treated correctly.
So, the nails should be neither too long nor too short and for that, they should be cut correctly.
How to properly trim a dog's nails
To begin with, you need the right tools, a pair of scissors or dog nail clippers. Then you will need to identify if your dog has white or black nails, since the difficulty of cutting will depend on the color.
They are the most difficult, because they do not allow us to see inside them. This means that we must advance with extreme caution to not damage the animal.
The ideal would be to cut the nails so that they do not touch the floor, but the distance between them is almost nil. Once this excess has been identified and removed, observe if a black spot is visible on the nail. If this is the case, do not cut anymore, otherwise you would be cutting part of the finger.
On the other hand, if no black spot is visible, you can remove more nail little by little. Always take care that you do not see the finger inside the nail.
With the help of a good ambient light, or a flashlight, you must see the nails against the light to identify where the finger reaches. Once you are sure of its position, place the scissors as close as you can without risk and cut.
Use treats at the end
Finally, you should give your pet a treat so that he associates the activity with something positive. They will be more willing, even expectant, about nail trimming in the future.
How often should a dog's nails be trimmed?
The normal would be to do it once a month, but the reality is that it can vary a lot from dog to dog. It will depend on whether the dog lives in an apartment or has access to land. If it takes a lot of walks or stays at home.
In short, it is recommended to use common sense as a criterion. If you see that they are too long, cut them, if you observe that they have not grown too much, do not cut them. It could even be the case that you only have to cut some nails, since not all of them wear out at the same time.