How Often Should You Trim Your Dog’s Nails?

October 28, 2022

How Often Should You Trim Your Dog’s Nails?

Many pet owners are put off by the notion of clipping their dog's nails. We get it – it can be scary! Still, just like humans, dogs’ nails have to be clipped on a regular basis.

How frequently should you clip your dog's nails? In this post, we will answer some of the most common questions that dog owners have about clipping their dog's nails.

When Should I Trim My Dog’s Nails?

There is no one right answer for when you should clip your dog’s nails. How often your dog’s nails need to be trimmed depends on how quickly your pup’s nails grow. That said, the more you trim your pet’s nails, the easier it will be because they’ll be more accustomed to it.  If possible, trim your dog’s nails weekly (or bi-weekly).

What Should I Know About Trimming My Dog’s Nails?

First-timers should proceed with extreme caution. It may be best to watch a professional clip your dog’s nails first and watch their technique so you get it right. When trimming your pup’s nails, always avoid the nerves and blood supply. Consider getting a specialty nail clipper that prevents accidents.

As for how to trim your dog’s nails, take just enough off each nail to keep it short, but not so much that you cut the quick or nerve endings that extend just beyond the leading edge of the quick. For some dogs, it may be simpler to grind their nails rather than clip them, or to clip them and then smooth off the edges using a nail grinder so they don't snag and pull.

What Affects Growth of Dog Nails

Here are some factors that may impact how fast your dog’s nails grow. This information may be useful for determining how often you need to trim your dog’s nails. 

  • The Surface Your Dog Walks on: Does your dog spend most of their time indoors or only on carpeted surfaces? Alternatively, does your pup spend a lot of time taking walks, in the grass, or on concrete/gravel? The surfaces your dog walks on may impact how quickly their nails grow.
  • Time Spent Moving Around: Does your pup spend the majority of their time in your arms or on the couch? Or do they move around on their own?
  • Type of Food They Eat: The diet of your dog, particularly the balance of specific minerals and vitamins, may affect the health and development of your dog's nails.
  • Existing Medical Conditions: Nail bed infections, auto-immune illnesses, and tumors can all impair the health and development rate of a dog's nails.

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