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Long Nails Alter Posture

Updated: Apr 10, 2020

Did you know long nails can alter your dog’s posture and increase wear and tear on the joints?

Long nails for dogs are not only painful, but alter posture, leading to misalignment of the spine and joints. When a dog’s nails contact the ground, the hard surface pushes the nail back into the nail bed. This puts pressure on the toe joints and forces the toes to twist to the side. Long nails can also curl into the foot and grow into the pad of the dog’s foot, becoming very painful and tearing the skin. This can cause sore or arthritic toes. Correcting a misaligned spine will not correct issues if the dog’s nails are still too long.

If you can hear your dog’s nails as they walk, or they are visibly touching the floor, they are too long! Depending on how active your pet is, the average amount of time between trimmings is no longer than 4 weeks. Active dogs may need less nail maintenance if they are wearing their nails down with running regular on hard surfaces. 

The nails have a quick (vein) so it is important to correctly learn how to trim them or take them to someone who knows how. The easiest way is to have someone to help you handle the dog. You can use either a dremmel or nail clippers. A dremmel is safer as it prevents bloody accidents and allows you to file the nail closer to the quick without cutting too short. A nail clipper may be faster but is more difficult to use, especially if the dog’s nails are black and you cannot see the quick.

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