Dog nails and the harm of having them too long

Dogs have claws just like us humans have nails and for some of the same reasons as well. However claws are very different from nails because they contain nerve endings and blood vessels meaning dogs can actually feel through their claws. Nails sit on top of our fingers and toes and they grow out of a nail root hidden under the cuticle. Dogs have claws or nails most people call them but they actually grow directly from the phalanx bones which are at the end of their toes. Dogs use their claws to assist with digging, hunting, scratching themselves, and so many other things. Fun fact: dogs have scent glands on the bottom of their paws so when you see them pawing things after relieving themselves they are putting off a scent through their paws. It is believed that it is a form of social communication. Now back to the claws. Since claws are connected straight to the bone of animals. Neglect of dog claws can possibly lead to some severe health problems and extreme pain. When the dog’s nails come in contact with the ground it pushes the nails back into the nail bed. This will cause pressure on the toe joints because the nails are connected to bone. Sometimes the toe joints won’t get any pressure. Instead the toes just twist. Still causing a lot of pain. Now imagine you had a long splinter at the end of your toe. Of course anyone would just stop and take it out. Dogs can’t do that and having too long nails for them is like having a splinter in every toe connected to their bone. Dogs will adjust their weight to avoid the most amount of pain. When they do this it causes them to use some joints more than they were intended to. For a long period of time this will cause joint damage and can result in making things like going up stairs or even getting up from lying down extremely difficult. This weight compensation also makes dogs a lot more vulnerable to injuries. On top of that they are also very vulnerable to infections. With too long nails they could catch it on something and just rip their whole nail out which may lead to infection or sometimes the nail will curl under the paw and cause ingrown nails. Some nail infections can result in permanent defective nail growth. If a nail is really too long sometimes the only option is surgery. Honestly nobody should have to deal with getting surgery for their dogs nails. In conclusion of all of this I am pretty sure you can already tell that taking care of dogs nails are very important. So, how do you tell if a dog’s nails are too long? If you can hear a dog’s nails clack on the ground when they are walking or if they are touching the ground when they are standing they are too long.

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