We just adopted a dog from the local shelter and we love her like crazy already, but her long nails are scratching our hardwood floors and she makes a lot of noise with them, clickety-click-click. I’ve never had to cut my dogs toenails before – am I supposed to do that? And how?
Congratulations on your new addition and kudos to you for adopting from the shelter. Toenail trimming? Great question! I’ve never had to cut the nails of our Labs – they just natural wear down from walking on pavement and running. But, depending on the type of dog and the curve of their toes, they may not wear down or wear down evenly. If your dog is small or mostly an indoor dog that doesn’t pound the pavement, you will need to clip their nails.
Dogs have four toes and a dew claw – although the dew claw may have been removed as a puppy (a controversial procedure) or they may have them only on the front legs. These dew claws typically don’t touch the ground, so of course they won’t wear down. It’s been my experience (again with Labs) that these don’t grow very fast, if at all, so I don’t pay them much mind. I did have to have them trimmed on Tino once or twice and you do have to watch them because they could get quite long.The removal of the dew claws is deemed necessary by some as they can easily catch on something and injure the dog. But you have to weigh that possibility against the surgical removal of the dew claw and all that surgery entails. In addition, dogs whose dew claws do touch the ground may be at a disadvantage if they are removed.
So, how do you do it? As I said, I’ve never had to, so I’m no expert at this. But Dear Labby always has an answer, so I put my librarian hat on and checked out the internet for some reliable tips. Here’s a few that might be helpful:
- Trimming Your Dogs Nails | ASPCA
- How to Trim Your Dog’s Nails | DrsFosterSmith.com
- Training a dog who dislikes having their toenails trimmed | Dr. Sophia Yin
Of course, you can always ask your vet or your dog’s groomer to trim them for you. Good Luck!
Readers – any other words of advice for Toenail Tapper?
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