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Nail Health for Dogs

I Need Your Help . . . My Puppy Is Wearing Down His Nails!

I know a lot of pet owners who don't like to cut their pet's nails in fear of cutting too far, which usually leads to a trip to the groomer, but what about those pets that wear down their nails naturally just by walking? This question comes from LilPeaPod about her smooshy, Samson:

We had Samson's nails clipped for the first time by our vet tech the day he got his final shots. She did a great job, and Samson didn't fuss much at all. The problem is, now that we are able to take him out on walks, a few of his nails have worn down to the quick! I'm not sure if this is a problem or not, since he doesn't seem to be in any pain and they aren't bleeding. I'm worried, but don't want to stop walking him now that we're in the middle of potty training, and he really does need his exercise. Any advice?

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cutiekat88 cutiekat88 9 years
i think that it would be not that bad it better then cutting the nails and havin it bleed and spendin money to have your dogs nails trim at the groomer so often.
Susanna Susanna 9 years
If he isn't bothered by it, I wouldn't worry about it. If you keep his nails short, the quicks will shorten over time. (Similarly, quicks will lengthen over time if the nails are kept too long.)
kiwitwist kiwitwist 9 years
I agree, if he is naturally wearing his nails down by walking on concrete/cement then that is better. My Collie always has long nails and they end up hurting her. While my Aussies nails are always very short.
lexichloe lexichloe 9 years
I hate cutting Bean's nails, b/c it's horribly awkward to do, and almost impossible. I walk her everyday and it does wear them down. They continue to grow despite the walking, so we have them clipped every other 2 or 3 months. Walking does help!
Spectra Spectra 9 years
My dog wears her back nails down naturally when she walks and I almost never have to clip them. They are very close to the quick, but since they don't cause her any pain, I don't worry about it. Think about it; there are a lot of people who have very short nails and it doesn't seem to hurt them. They make a gel-cap type nail cover that you can buy and glue onto your dogs' nails to protect them and I think they last about 2 weeks. That might be an option if his nails do start bugging him.
arcticpuppet arcticpuppet 9 years
My pug wore her nails down pretty bad when she would be walked from our condo in Mammoth Lakes, CA to Canyon Lodge, maybe 3 miles one way. We got her little booties and she loved them and her nails were able to grow a bit!
Aphrosette Aphrosette 9 years
If he's not bothered by it you shouldn't be either! And it will save you the time, energy, and money of having them professionally done. If they do start to bleed or if he starts chewing on them take every one's prior advice and walk on softer surfaces keeping a good eye that they don't get infected. A great way to prevent them from chewing is to put a baby sock over his paws and a hair tie to keep it there. If the nails are bleeding this will help keep out things that could infect the nail bed including his own salavia from chewing. Just remember to check change and wash the sock regularly otherwise it will do more harm than good.
Renees3 Renees3 9 years
It seems to me, if it's not hurting him, it's not too big of a worry. Just keep a careful eye on his nails, try walking him on grass more and I'm sure he'll be fine! He's so cute!
wakeupandora wakeupandora 9 years
its not a terrible thing, especially if they aren't bleeding. In fact, it might benefit him in the long run to naturally wear his nails, his quicks may become shorter and easier to manage. But if they start to crack and bleed, be careful! Infections in the claws can take a bad turn fast! However, we realized that running our dogs in a local tennis court wasn't such a great thing because it was starting to really wear down the nails AND they started cracking. It all depends on what surface you are predominantly walking and how hard he is running/playing on that surface. Maybe you can focus Samson's walks on a softer surface for a while if its making you nervous?
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