How Long Should Dog Nails Be!
HOW LONG SHOULD DOG NAILS BE?
Trimming your dog’s toenails can be intimidating … and you feel terrible if you cut the quick by mistake! Some dogs never forgive you for this and will hide when they see you get the toenail trimmers out.
So how can you tell where to cut your dog’s nails? It may be easier than you think.
LOOK FOR THE QUICK
Your dog’s nails should be about 2mm away from the quick. The nails should be long enough to be visible, but not so long enough that they touch the ground when your dog’s on a level surface. They should still be long enough to provide traction on hills.
HOW TO FIND THE QUICK
The quick is the core of living tissue in your dog’s nails. The nails grow around this central core of pink tissue. The quick contains sensitive nerves and blood vessels … so if you do nick it by mistake, it bleeds profusely and your dog may yelp with pain.
Tip: If you wear reading glasses, wear them to trim your dog’s nails too.
To find the quick, gently hold your dog’s paw in your hand. Make sure you’re in good light, and that there’s no fur covering the nails. Dogs’ nails are semi-transparent, so you should be able to see a pink area toward the centre of each nail. The pink area is the quick that you want to avoid cutting.
This works for dogs with dark nails too. In fact, it’s actually easier to see the nail structures on pigmented nails than on white ones.
As you trim your dog’s nails, cut a little bit at a time … and stop when you see the white inside the nail with a small dot of black at the centre. If you don’t see the black, you can cut a bit closer. But be careful to take just a small amount off at this point or you will cut the quick.
ARE YOUR DOG’S NAILS TOO LONG?
A good guideline is to trim once his nails start touching the ground while he’s standing on a flat surface. You may also hear his nails clicking on the sidewalk or hard floor. That’s another sign that it’s time to trim.
HOW OFTEN TO TRIM TOENAILS
Some dogs will wear their nails down with long walks on hard surfaces and may not need such frequent trimming. But it’s a good idea to check your dog’s nails every 3-4 weeks, depending on how active he is.
If your dog’s nails have become a bit too long, you may need to trim more often for a while. The quick recedes if your dog’s nails are cut more frequently.
So while more frequent clippings may seem like a chore, they can make the process less stressful for you and your dog.