Nail Clipping

Regular nail inspection, with clipping or trimming when required, should be part of the routine care of your pet.  Whilst many outdoor and active pets will wear their nails down naturally, elderly and indoor pets will probably need some extra help.  The requirement for nail trimming can vary depending on breed, age, level of exercise and the environment in which your pet is kept. 

Be sure to check your pets' dew claws regularly (the little claws on the inside of their front legs), as they don't touch the ground, so can grow faster than the rest of the claws.

Some dogs may benefit from having the tips of their nails taken off once every week or two, however for most it will be longer than this, and you will have to decide what is right for your dog by inspecting their nails on a regular basis.  If you notice a change in the sound of your dog's nails on hard floors, this is a pretty good indication that it is time for a trim!

Cats also require nail clipping, with the frequency depending on their lifestyle. Indoor-only cats will need more regular nail trims whereas outdoor cats may naturally wear their nails and require less frequent trimming.

What happens if my pet’s nails get too long?

If a pet's nails are allowed to grow too long, they can split, break or bleed, causing soreness or infection in your pet's feet and toes.  Long nails can get caught and tear, or grow so long that they can curl backwards into a spiral shape that can make walking very painful for dogs (it's a bit like walking in shoes that are too small).

Cats are able to retract their claws, so this is less common for them, however cats do still need to have their nails regularly clipped (especially if they don't get much natural wear and tear).

Uncut nails may curl so far that they corkscrew all the way round and pierce the paw pad, leading to infection and debilitating pain.  Nails should be inspected and/or trimmed on at least a monthly basis.  If not, the quick can grow out with the nail, making it nearly impossible to cut properly.  It is very important not to cut the quick of a nail as this is rich in nerve endings and very painful for the pet.  If you do accidentally cut into the quick, pressing the nail into a bar of soap will effectively stop the bleeding.  For pets with long quicks, puppies and kittens with short nails, or those with black nails that hide the quick, using a nail file can be a safer way to remove the sharp tips.


We have a variety of nail clippers that suit different pets - from the very small to the very tall. 
Call to book an appointment today to have your pet's nails checked.  We can also teach you how to do it if you would prefer to cut them yourself.