Overgrown Dog Nails Problems [Quick Facts]

There is no way to sugarcoat it.

The length of a dog's nail is important.

Too long dog nail can lead to damage, infection, and serious orthopedic and postural problems in your dog.

Continue reading if you have a dog with excessively long nails.

In this article, you will learn how long is too long for dog nails.

  • The ideal length for a dog's nails?
  • Too long dog nails have a number of negative repercussions.
  • Shortening your dog's nails to a healthy length is simple and can be done TODAY.
Overgrown Dog Nails Problems
Overgrown Dog Nails Problems

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Is it possible for growing dog nails to cause problems?

Long claws are more prone to chipping, ripping, splitting, and breaking.

On which can be very unpleasant and necessitate veterinarian attention.

In addition to being vulnerable to harm, standing or walking on a long-clawed paw exerts pressure on the wrong portions of the foot, causing pain and discomfort.

The Function of Dog Nails

Dogs' nails, or more precisely, claws, provide a practical use by allowing them to dig, grab objects more tightly, and paw at predators or prey.

Dog nail trimming is a must.

It's possible that wolves in the wild would benefit from having longer claws.

In order to find and survive, they catch and kill prey, eat it, then travel through harsh terrain in search of that prey.

Long nails make perfect sense for wolves.

When was the last time your dog had to climb a hillside to track down and kill a small animal for food?

I'm going to take a shot here and say, “Never.”

While dog nails certainly serve a role, I'm going to explain why I believe size and length are important.

Why is it that shorter is better?

When it comes to dog nail, how long is too long?

People tend to make exceptions or make explanations for their dog's long nails.

But when it comes to dog nails, how long is too long?

And, when is it advantageous for dogs to grow longer nails?

When your dog is standing on level ground, his nails should not touch the ground, and you should not hear your dog's nails on the floor when he walks.

The length of your dog's nails is okay as long as those two conditions are met.

For a variety of reasons, I want dog nails to be significantly shorter for practically all canines; nonetheless, I am happy to accept these two criteria as the minimal standard.

Dogs that are longer than this will develop a variety of major orthopedic, postural, and movement problems.

This applies to dogs of all sizes, not only enormous and huge breeds.

However, after the length requirements are reached, you may be wondering whether longer nails would be beneficial to the dog.

The following are a few very particular scenarios in which the length of the dog's nail might be useful.

A hunting dog that was bred for and actively utilized in the field for digging.

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The important word here is “Actively used for Hunting” not “Hunting Breed.”

A dog that was bred to spend lengthy amounts of time in snow-covered terrain and is actively doing so.

At the end of the day, you will have to select how long your dog's nails should be.

You have the option to decide how long is too long as long as the minimum criteria is reached.

Overgrown Dog Nail Have Consequences

When considering the implications of overgrown nail, there are three main areas to consider: orthopedic, postural, and aesthetic.

Let's take a closer look at each of these nail problem.


Simply put, excessive dog ingrown nail can cause pain in the foot.

In certain circumstances, the feet are extremely painful.

When a dog's toenails come into touch with hard ground, the dog's nails is pushed back into the nail bed.

This puts pressure on all of the toe joints or causes one or more to twist to the side, producing excruciating agony while running, jogging, or even walking.

It's no surprise that when you touch their feet, they get all worked up.


When it comes to movement, there are various aspects at play.

The first is the problem of pain.

Dogs, like humans, would instinctively try to avoid discomfort by compensating for it by moving in an uneven manner.

Consider the last time you had a rock lodged in your shoe.

Did you continue to walk or run normally, your bare foot fully planted on the rock? No!

You most likely done one of the following three things:

  • To avoid stepping on the rock, twist or turn your foot in an unusual way.
  • To get the rock out from under you, shake your foot or stomp on it.
  • To get rid of the rock, stop moving and remove your shoe.

Unfortunately, our dogs do not have the luxury of wearing shoes to protect themselves from the sharp rocks (nails) that cause them discomfort.

As a result, individuals compensate for their imbalanced movement by limping or favoring specific limbs, which can lead to overworked muscles and, eventually, overworked joints.

This can cause your dogs nail lameness in their hind limbs over time, making it difficult to get in and out of cars, climb stairs, and even get up from lying down.

Second, long toenails might make it difficult for a dog to walk or run efficiently.

Long nail exerts force on the foot and leg anatomy.

This obstructs the dog's movement, and as the nails get longer, walking will become uncomfortable and painful.


Let's return to the example of the rock in the shoe.

Imagine having a rock stuck in your shoe that you couldn't get out of.

You were compelled to jog with that rock in your shoe for the rest of your life.

And you're bending your foot and leg the whole time to avoid the discomfort of stepping on the rock.

If the cause of your gait imbalance is not treated, it will almost probably result in injury.

This is the reality for dogs with long nails.


They can catch on the carpet, plants, or furniture, tearing the entire nail out of the paw and exposing the paw to infection.

The dewclaws are the most commonly affected by ingrown nails.

They are more prone to nail infections, which can lead to permanently deformed nail growth.


For many dogs with excessively long nails, surgery may be their only option for reducing the orthopedic effects of poor nail care.

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But, let's be honest, let's be honest.

Surgical surgery for long nails is an unneeded investment that can easily be avoided with frequent nail trimming and a focus on this often forgotten element of canine health.

Whether you decide to cut your dog's nails back under sedation during another surgical treatment, such as a spay or neuter, or you must plan a separate procedure, you will be putting your dog under anesthesia and paying fees that could have been avoided.

As previously stated, excessively long dog nails can result in a variety of orthopedic concerns, including nail bed infections.

One of the most common treatments for persistent nail bed infections is to remove the nail entirely using dog nail removal surgery performed under local anesthesia.

Surgery should only be used as a last option if your dog's nails are too long.

Dog Nail That Are Too Long Have Postural Consequences

The impact of dog nails that are too long on a dog's posture is an extension of the immediate orthopedic difficulties.

Thick nails dogs tuck their hind legs forward and their front legs off the natural perpendicular of correct posture.

A dog with severely overgrown nails does not plant his feet perpendicular to the ground.

This would be the most visible sign of postural issues caused by excessively long nails.

Furthermore, like all terrestrial creatures, a dog's paws provide vital information about his surroundings and needs regular nail trimming.

Best Way To Trim A Dog's Nails?

Most dogs despise the procedure, and most owners despise performing it, but it is a necessary task.

You should be alright as long as you have your pet in a comfortable position and familiarize them with the equipment before cutting their nails.

A thorough step-by-step instruction to the process can be found below.

1. Make Your Dog Feel At Home

Always remember that the most important first step is to make sure your dog is comfortable.

This covers both physical and emotional well-being.

Many dogs dislike having their nails clipped, and you may need to work with them to overcome their phobia.

Allow them to become accustomed to the cutting instruments by gradually introducing them, allowing them to sniff them, and rewarding them with food.

Repeat this process for a few days until your dog enjoys seeing the tools.

If your tools create noises, such as nail grinders, turn them on and let the dog become acclimated to it.

Be patient with this procedure; it will eventually pay off.

2. Take a position where you can trim your nails.

It's critical to have a single nail-trimming position in which your pet is peaceful and at ease.

It is always preferable to have a second person available to hold them, pet them, and keep them calm.

If they're little enough, you might be able to trim them while holding them on your lap.

Pick up one of their paws and move it close to their body once you've discovered the optimal position so they can't pull it away while you're cutting.

To have better access to each nail, squeeze the paw and lift it toe by toe as you cut.

3. Find The Quick

Before you start cutting a dog's nails, you should learn everything there is to know about the quick.

The quick, which is a cluster of nerves and blood vessels at the core of the nail, grows along with it when a dog's nail grows.

The quick is proportional to the size of the nail.

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We have to work around the fact that cutting down into a group of nerves can hurt your pet.

In the light, you should be able to see the quick in your dog's nails.

For example, white nail will have a pink quick, and there should always be a color contrast.

If they are dark nails and difficult to notice, trim them bit by little until a grey/pink oval appears, which takes only a few minutes.

It is easy to spot the quick on light colored nail than darker nails.

When you see this, stop chopping.

4. Quickly, safely, and confidently trim or grind the nail

You've placed the dog in their proper posture, select the dogs paw and a toenail, located the quick, and are now ready to proceed for nail cutting or nail clipping.

Using a nail clippers, begin by cutting a small portion of the nail at an angle in order to follow the natural curvature.

Use paw pad if necessary and a nail grinder which suits better for you.

Watch out for brittle nails.

Examine the nail for a black dot after each minor incision.

This denotes rapidity and signifies when the nails are at their shortest length.

Try to be calm, work quickly, and avoid being frightened; your pet will pick up on this.

Please don't speed through it, either, as this raises the chances of an accident.

Make sure to praise and reward your dog for being a good boy or girl.

5. Take your time and repeat the process on a regular basis.

Keep in mind that this is a process that should be taken slowly.

It's very normal to need a break between your paws or your nails.

It's possible that you'll have to wait a whole day.

We even advocate these pauses if you're new to the procedure.

Once you've established a regimen, be sure you remain on top of it and cut them on a regular basis.

What Should You Do If You Cut Your Quick?

Let's begin by saying that everyone has done it, and it's a common blunder, so don't feel awful.

It will cause some discomfort to the dog, but it isn't the end of the world.

Simply apply styptic powder to the bleeding nail to stop bleeding, praise and reward your pet for being calm, and then take a pause for everyone to rest.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Does it hurt a dog to have long nails?

Not only does cutting a dog's nails too short hurt them, but allowing them to grow too long might be far worse.
Furthermore, having nails that are excessively long can cause harm to the tendons in our dogs' feet, causing them to distort when the nail presses against the foot while the dog walks.

What to do if my dog won't let me cut his nails?

There are ways to make nail trimming less difficult.
Use a different model of nail clipper or a Dremel instead of a clipper to desensitize your dog to it.
If a dog is highly aggressive and you're scared they'll bite you, the best place to start is with your primary veterinarian.

How do you get a dog's quick to recede?

Giving your dog frequent, gradual nail trims or making sure they get enough exercise on a regular basis is the key to keeping their nail tips short.
Consider how the quick should gradually recede farther and further up into the nail bed as you trim that nail a little bit more each week.

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