Every part of a dog's body contributes to his or her overall health in some way, so why do many pet parents seem to overlook 20 of them? Well, having your dog's nails trimmed is not always a fun and enjoyable experience, (we'll get to that in a later post) but it is important to keep up with it for the sake of your dog's comfort and well-being. Keeping your dog's toenails short does more than just keep your floors in pristine condition, it also improves your companion's quality of life especially as he or she ages.
Every step that a dog walks as their nails touch the ground causes the toes to be pushed up in an unnatural position. Over time, this can lead to improper posture and painful arthritis in the feet and legs. Think about it as if you were wearing shoes that were a size too small; at first it might not seem like a big deal, but over time you would probably have very sore feet and maybe even change the way you walk in an attempt to relieve some of the discomfort. Our bodies, as well as dogs, are meant to move in a specific way, and changing this movement even slightly can throw everything off balance.
The best solution to this problem is to simply keep those nails as short as you can! All dogs should have their nails trimmed at least once a month, but in order to shorten the length of the nails rather than maintain them, they could be trimmed as often as once a week. If your dog's nails tend to curl as they grow (some examples might be pugs, shih tzus, beagles, or any dogs with dew claws) you need to be especially cautious to ensure they are not close to growing into the pads of the feet. This is extremely painful and having the nails removed from the foot can be an expensive procedure if it needs to be done by your veterinarian. Remember that dogs can't always communicate when they are uncomfortable, so it's up to us as responsible pet owners to do everything we can to keep them in tip top shape. Trim those nails!
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