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Like humans, a dog’s fingernails grow continuously. All dogs need regular nail clipping. If they grow too long, they can snag on carpets or furniture and cause serious injury.
“Long fingernails tend to break, and then you can have a split nail,” said Dr. Grace A. Mengel, assistant professor of clinical primary care medicine at the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. “It’s a common scenario in emergency rooms: the nail splits, it gets caught in a thread and it bleeds. Pet owners come to the emergency room, where we end up removing the nail. I used to call it the $ 150 nail clipper. This is a good incentive to keep their nails in good condition, as they are less likely to break. “
Too long nails can also cause the feet to straddle, making it difficult for your dog to walk properly and maintain traction on the ground. Also, since most dog nails curve downward, the nail may begin to curl towards the paw as it grows. In severe cases, the nail can penetrate directly into the skin of the paw pad, causing pain and infection.
If you’ve never cut a dog’s nails before, you might feel nervous or intimidated. Remember, you can always ask your vet or groomer to show you how to do this. Most vet staff and groomers are happy to give you a quick lesson.