Regular nail clipping, or trimming, should be part of the routine care of your pet. It is essential for elderly and indoor pets, whereas outdoor pets may wear their nails down naturally.
The requirement for nail trimming can vary depending on breed, age, level of exercise and the environment in which your pet is kept. Working and herding breeds of dogs are active and generally have compact feet with well arched toes that angle the toenails downwards towards the ground. If these dogs are active on hard surfaces such as gravel, rock and concrete, their nails may not need trimming. Other breeds may have nails that grow more forward than downward, and therefore no matter how much exercise they get on rough ground, it is unlikely they will wear down naturally.
Some dogs may benefit from having the tips of their nails taken off once every week or two, and others only 2-4 monthly. You will have to decide what is right for your dog by inspecting its nails on a regular basis.
Cats can also have their nails trimmed, although outdoor cats need their nails to help them escape danger by running up a tree if faced with a strange dog or human. Indoor cats often have their nails trimmed but beware as this can sometimes increase the amount of scratching your cat does on your carpet or furniture as they feel they need to sharpen their nails all the time. Provide your cat with plenty of indoor climbing and scratching posts to avoid damage of your furniture.
If you are cutting your pet's nails at home always be sure not to cut them too short as this will cause a lot of bleeding, is very painful and will create a "foot/paw anxiety" for your pet which is very common. If you are unsure how to safely cut your pets nails we offer a nail trimming service, and we are more than happy to teach you too!
What happens if my pet’s nails get too long?
If a pet's nails are allowed to grow, they can split, break or bleed, causing soreness or infection in your pet’s feet and toes. Long nails can get caught and tear, or grow so long that they can curl backwards into a spiral shape that can make walking very painful for dogs (it's like walking in shoes that are too small).
Cats are able to retract their claws so this is less common for them, however, cats do still need to have their nails regularly assessed (especially if they don't get much natural wear and tear). Uncut nails may curl so far that they pierce the paw pad, leading to infection and debilitating pain.
We have a variety of nail clippers that suit different pets - from the very small to the very tall. Make an appointment today to have your pet’s nails checked. We can also teach you how to do it if you would prefer to cut them yourself.