Why do dogs have nails?

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Dogs have nails for some of the same reasons as humans. Dog’s nails, or claws, serve a purpose by providing a way for dogs to dig, grasp things more tightly, and claw at predators or food. Dog’s nails also grow, just as humans do, and need to be trimmed regularly.

A dog’s nail comes out of the pad of the foot and contains a quick, or blood supply. The quick is sensitive, living flesh. Most dog owners dread trimming their dog’s nails for fear of cutting too close to the quick, which can cause a dog pain and result in bleeding and possible infection.

Trimming a dog’s nails is important to his comfort and health. Nails that are left untrimmed can cause pain for a dog when he walks, and unhealthy breakage of the nails. Dogs that walk outside often on rough surfaces like concrete can wear down their nails naturally, but still may need trimming occasionally. Dogs that spend most of their time indoors will need more regular trimming, as their nails will grow faster.

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