Why should I keep my dog’s nails trimmed, especially if I am taking her on a walk?

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It’s always important to keep your dog’s nails trimmed to a good length so that they are not hurting your dog as she walks. A good length for a dog’s nails is easy to determine when you look at your dog’s paw. The nail should not touch the ground when your dog is standing, and the nail shouldn’t protrude over the pads of the paw. Long nails not only can cause pain, but can also splinter and cause infection.

Many dogs with active lifestyles will wear down their nails during play and on walks. Dogs who frequently walk on rough surfaces like concrete will most likely need to have their nails trimmed less often. The natural wearing down of nails works very well for some dogs, but it’s still important to monitor your dog’s nails and trim them when necessary. Nails that are worn down during walks may not all wear down uniformly, so regularly check the length of each nail and trim any that are too long.

You can either trim your dog’s nails at home, or have your veterinarian trim your dog’s nails during check ups. If you are cutting your dog’s nails at home, be careful to avoid cutting too close to the quick. If you cut the quick, your dog’s nail will bleed. Also remember to cut the dewclaws, as walks or playtime does not naturally wear down these nails.

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