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Long Dog Nails Neglect Harms Your Dog's Health

dog nail trim

Many people may not think much of a dog’s nails, but they are very important for the dog’s overall health. Nails play a big role in how a dog walks, runs, and even affects its posture. If dog nails are too long, they can cause the dog to walk or run improperly, leading to joint pain and other health problems. Therefore, it is important to trim your dog’s nails regularly. 


Moreover, you must keep your dog’s nails short because they become uncomfortable or even painful for the dog when overgrown. However, cutting your dog’s nails too short causes inflammation, bleeding, excessive pain, and much more. 


So to help you out, we came up with a quick guide to taking care of your dog’s nails!

Dog Nail Anatomy Overview

Dogs’ nails have a nerve and a vein running through them. There are four main parts of a dog’s nail: the quick, the shell, the point, and the pad. The quick is the pink part of the nail that contains blood vessels and nerves.


The quick grows with the nail, so if you clip your dog’s nails too short, you may cut into the quick and cause bleeding. Whereas the shell is the hard outside layer of the nail, which is made of keratin. The point is the sharp end of the nail. The pad is the soft part at the end of the nail.

What Happens If You Don’t Cut Your Dog’s Nails?

If you don’t trim your dog’s nails, they will become too long and curved over time. It makes it difficult for your dog to walk and causes them pain. Other than that, here are some of the most common health issues caused by long dog nails neglect.

Foot Deformities

Your dog will probably experience pain and discomfort, especially when walking. The nails may grow so long that they curl or splay out to the side of the paw. It can be extremely painful for your pet and cause them to develop toe or foot deformities.

Ingrown Nails

Ingrown nails are a common problem in dogs and they can be very painful. Their nails can grow so long that they curl under and dig into the skin. If your dog has an ingrown nail, you’ll probably notice that he’s limping or licking his paw more than usual. The nail will also be swollen and red, and may even bleed.


If you suspect that your dog has an ingrown nail, you should take it to the vet. The vet will sedate your dog and clip the ingrown nail so that it’s even with the rest of his nails. He may also prescribe antibiotics to help prevent infection.

Bacterial Infection

Bacteria can get trapped under long nails, leading to infection. If you ignore the problem, the only option may be surgery, which is costly and high risk of post-surgical complications.


Moreover, dogs have a habit of licking or chewing at their paws after going outside or being active. So, overgrown and unkempt dog nails can lead to smelly breath due to a bacteria buildup in the mouth.

Structural Damage

In extreme cases, overgrown dog nails can damage the dog’s feet and lead to structural problems. It is because the nails can put excess pressure on the paw, which can cause the dog’s foot to deform over time.

Splitting Paws

If you don’t trim your dog’s nails regularly, they will start growing around its feet oddly, leading to splitting paws. Splitting paws is terrible because it can cause your dog to become injured quite easily. 


There are many different reasons for this issue, but the main one is overgrown nails. They can potentially cause unbearable pain when walking or trying to use their paws.

Digestive Issues

Digestive issues can be due to dogs’ nails, as they can scrape the lining of the intestines when ingested. It can lead to inflammation, pain, and even bleeding. In some cases, your dog may require surgery to remove the nails. Plus, it causes your dog’s stools to become hard and compacted, leading to constipation.

How To Tell That Your Dog’s Nails Are Too Long?

If you’re not sure whether your dog’s nails are too long, there are a few things you can look for. Long nails can cause discomfort and lead to other health problems for your pet, so it’s important to keep an eye on them.

Limping Due To Curled Nails

One sign that your dog’s nails are too long is if they start to curl under. This can make it difficult for your dog to walk and it will end up limping. One of the easiest ways to tell if your dog’s nails are too long is by looking at their paws. If you see that the nails are curling over the tips of their paws or touching the ground when your dog is standing, then they’re definitely too long.


Another sign that your dog’s nails are too long is if they start to bleed. If the nails have grown too long and started to curl under, they can cut into the skin on your dog’s paw, which can lead to bleeding.

Nails Clicking On The Floor

Another way to tell is by listening to your dog walk. If you have hardwood floors or tiles in your house, you can hear your dog’s nails clicking on the floor, which means their nails are too long. In the case of carpets, your dog’s nails might get stuck in them at some point if overgrown.


If your dog’s nails are long, you will notice them scratching the sofas or even you. Usually, if you trim your pup’s nails, they aren’t sharp enough to scratch you. So, once you feel that your dog is going around scratching stuff, you must set it up for a nail trim!

How Long Can Dogs’ Nails Grow?

The general consensus is that the nails should not go past the paw. However the appropriate length may depend on their breed. For example, a Labrador Retriever’s nails can grow up to 1 inch, while a Chihuahua’s nails typically grow only about 1/4 inch long. If you’re not sure how long your dog’s nails should be, it’s always a good idea to check with your vet.

How Often Should You Trim Your Dog’s Nails?

The answer to this question depends on a few factors, including your dog’s breed and lifestyle. Generally, most dogs should have their nails trimmed every four to six weeks. However, if your dog has a very active lifestyle or a breed with particularly sharp claws (such as a border collie), you may need to trim them more often.


If you are unsure about how often to trim your dog’s nails, it is best to consult with your veterinarian. They will advise you on the best schedule for your dog. However, it is a good idea to keep an eye on your dog’s nails and trim them as needed. It will help keep your dog’s nails healthy and free from tears or splits.

Tips To Keep In Mind Before Cutting Dog Nails

Here are four tips to help make the process easier and safer for both you and your pup:


  • If your dog has never had its nails trimmed before, start by getting them used to having their paws handled. Gently rubbing and massaging your dog’s paws can help them relax and get comfortable with the process.


  • Only trim the nails if they are visibly long and sticking out beyond the paw pad. You don’t want to cut too much off, as this can be painful and cause bleeding.


  • Use a good quality nail grinder for dogs that is safe and reliable. There are a variety of clippers on the market, so find the one that’s best for your dog.


  • If you’re unsure about how to trim your dog’s nails, ask your veterinarian or a professional groomer for help. They can show you how to do it properly and ensure that your dog’s nails are trimmed evenly.

Final Thoughts

In short, keeping your dog’s nails trimmed is important for their health and well-being. It not only helps them walk and run more comfortably but can also prevent painful nail beds and infections. Be sure to trim your pup’s nails regularly – we recommend every 4 to 6 weeks to keep them looking (and feeling) great!

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