Trimming your pet’s nails is probably something that you both dread. Although it may be a stressful task, it is very important to ensure their comfort and overall health.
There are a variety of problems that can be caused by long, un-trimmed nails:
- Long nails are often painful to walk on. When nails are so long that they constantly touch the ground, they exert a force back into the nail bed, creating pain for the dog.
- Overgrown nails can affect your pet’s posture. Posture plays a big role in balance, and therefore your pet is more susceptible to falls when going for walks, or even just up and down steps.
- Long nails are prone to breaking. A split or broken nail can cause your beloved pet an enormous amount of pain; especially if the wound becomes infected.
- Pets with untrimmed nails are more likely to damage furniture. Although this is not a medical issue, having your favourite leather sofa torn up by your pet is not much fun.
Now that you better understand why you should keep your pets’ paws in tip-top shape, let’s move onto how. We’ve provided some quick and easy instructions below:
- Choose a time when both you and your pet are relaxed!
- Hold each paw firmly as you work and push on the pads lightly to make the nail stick out (this is especially important for cats, whose claws retract when not in use).
- Trim the nail at a 45-degree angle, being careful to avoid the quick (which is the soft cuticle rich in blood vessels and nerves contained in the nail). If you accidentally cut the nail too short and it bleeds, don’t panic. A quick dab with some silver nitrate will stop the bleeding quickly. If the bleeding does not stop, seek Veterinary help.
- Finish the nail trim with lots of praise and treats!
If this process is too difficult or stressful, do not despair. Your trusted Veterinarian or groomer can tackle this task, as an alternative.
Health issues stemming from un-trimmed nails are something that is dealt with all too often at Humane Society London & Middlesex. Help us continue to provide medical care and shelter to surrendered, pets in London & Middlesex County by signing up to be a PAW Monthly Donor.
Article written by Claire Belsheim, Marketing Coordinator at Humane Society London & Middlesex