Why should I trim my dog’s nails?
There are more than just aesthetic reasons to trim your dog’s nails–untrimmed nails can cause a variety of problems including broken nails, which are painful and bleed profusely. And unlike humans or some other animals, a dog walks on his toes like a horse, not the soles of his feet. Long nails can cause the dog to rock back on his paws, causing strain on his leg assemblies and interfering with his gait. Some dogs (particularly overweight ones) may find it uncomfortable to put their full body weight on their feet with overgrown nails, causing sore feet, legs and hips. Over the long term, this can also contribute to the development of arthritis.
Groomers will trim your dog’s nails for him, but it can be a very stressful situation for your pooch. The compassionate approach is to use treats and rewards to habituate your dog to the process so you can do the trimming yourself.
The blog Dog-li-ness offers an easy to follow tutorial on nail trimming. The author says she grabs a bag of treats and heads to the bathroom and her dogs are racing to be first in line. If you can learn to trim your dog’s nails in a stress-free manner, it will contribute to his happiness and health.