Hello all! I hope that you all are well, and this year is looking up for you despite what is going on in the world. It’s hard to speak about topics that seem so trivial compared to what’s going on, but I believe it’s important to keep ourselves occupied by learning new things like why it’s important to keep your dog or cats nails trimmed. Not many people realize that our pet’s nails need trimming and upkeep just like us humans who regularly groom our nails when they get too long, it is a personal hygiene must. Trimming your dog or cats’ nails is vital for their health.
Why Pets Need Their Nails Trimmed
Just like human nails, our pets’ nails continuously grow and with this growth, their nails need to be periodically trimmed. Untrimmed nails could lead to overgrown nails in your pet/s, which can cause extreme discomfort. In severe cases, overgrowth can cause nails to start to twist into the pads of your pet/s feet which get lodged and can lead to wounds and infection. One indicator to look out for if your pet’s nails are too long is to listen for a clicking sound when they walk on hard flooring this is more so for dogs. Another indicator is when the nails start to curl, by this time it is vital that your pet/s get their nails trimmed. Long nails can also get snagged in carpets or rugs, they can also break, chip, or split causing discomfort. Nails that are too long will also cause pain while walking or standing, which can be extremely uncomfortable for your pets. This would be a different case for dogs or cats who are in the wild as they would naturally wear their nails down by the tough outdoor ground. With domesticated pets, this is different because their environment is indoor living so we have to do our best to keep an eye on their nail growth and keep their nails trimmed since they cannot keep them trimmed naturally.
Ways to Trim Your Pet’s Nails
Of course, you can use the traditional dog/cat nail clippers. When using traditional clippers it is important to be sure that they are sized properly for your pet/s. Clippers that are too big can cause accidents, such as the clippers slipping and then you end up clipping more than just the nail itself. Sometimes the pressure of the nail trimmer is not a great feeling for some pets, and this could be a reason why it is difficult to trim your pet’s nails. So, you can always opt for a nail grinder. When using a nail grinder, you can quickly and easily trim your pet’s nails along with giving it a smooth finish. Rather than a harsh, sharp finish nail trimmers tend to leave behind. Mind you that nail grinders can have disadvantages as well, such as over-grinding and leaving the quick exposed which is quite painful. That’s why it is imperative that you pay very close attention when trimming your pet’s nails. Also, the friction from the grinder can cause heat which can make the nail tender so make sure to only keep the grinder on your pet’s nail for only a few seconds. It is best to do short pauses on the nail and check the nail than a long continuous grind. The grinder tends to be best for dogs as they have thicker nails than cats, a traditional trimmer will work perfectly for your feline friends. You can find a variety of nail trimmers or grinders at your local pet store or even Amazon!
Careful of that Quick!
Not many people know that within your pet’s nails there is an area called the Quick. This is an area in the nail that is filled with nerves and blood vessels. If nicked while trimming nails can be very painful and will bleed. When your pet/s have white nails, the quick can be easily seen, it will look pink within the nail. Pet/s that have dark or black nails it is a lot harder to see the quick. If you turn the nail towards a light you can usually see the dark shadow of the quick. When it comes to not being able to see the quick, just go slow and trim little by little, that you do not accidentally trim the quick. It is always best to keep some styptic powder in case the quick is accidentally cut, dip your pet’s nail into the powder and it will stop the bleeding. A vet trip to make sure infection does not set in is advised.
It is important to introduce your pet/s to nail trimming early on in their life as it’ll make it easier to trim their nails down the road, and your pet/s will not feel stressed or scared. You can start by just working on touching and handling their paws, then move onto handling the paw pad and their nail, then to the trimming. Always make trimming nails fun and positive, rewards with treats tend to make your pet/s associate nail trimming as a positive thing! Now if your pets give you too much of a challenge when trying to trim their nails, and even treats don’t help, you can always take them to a professional groomer who does nail trims or even your veterinarian. Keeps you and your fur baby safe and happy! There you have it folks, why and ways to trim your fur babies nails to keep them happy, healthy, and pain-free.