When it comes to taking good care of your pet, you may find that you often focus most or all of your attention on regulating your pet’s diet, exercise and general veterinary health care checks. All of these things are undoubtedly important, but one thing that tends to fall by the wayside is nail trimming. In actuality, maintaining proper nail length through regular nail trims is a vital part of keeping your pet healthy, happy and comfortable.
Your Pet’s Nails
Your pet’s nails grow constantly, and while some very minor wearing can occur when your pet walks around on hard surfaces, this is not sufficient enough to keep their nails from growing past a proper length. In fact, nothing that they do throughout the course of normal livingness, even if they dig or scratch often, can help them to maintain proper nail length. The only way to truly regulate your pet’s nail length is through regular trimming.
Since you can hear the clicking sound of your pet’s nails on hard surfaces, you may think that the greatest benefit of regular nail trimming is protecting your flooring. Actually, the greatest benefit of regular nail trimming is your pet’s health and comfort. Left untrimmed, your pet’s nails can grow to such lengths that they have an impact on your pet’s overall health and wellbeing. Long nails can get caught on carpet fibers and other materials around the home, and this can result in a nail being torn from the bed, requiring an emergency trip to the veterinarian. Needless to say, this is usually painful for the pet and expensive for the owner. Long nails can also push toe bones up into unnatural positions for extended periods of time, which can cause the pet to develop arthritis in their joints after some time. This too can be painful for the pet and expensive for the owner, as there is no cure for arthritis and ongoing treatments and pain management options are costly. Furthermore, since your pet’s nails do not grow out straight, but rather grow in a curved shape, over time they can curve under your pet’s paw and begin to dig into their delicate pad, causing them considerable pain when they walk. A dog’s dew claw is particularly susceptible to becoming ingrown if it is left untrimmed.
One thing many dog owners don’t know is that their furry friend actually walks on his toes, not his full paw. When a dog’s toes hurt–as occurs when their nails become too long–they try to solve the problem by walking on the backs of their paws instead. This would be comparable to a human walking around on their heels all the time, and can lead to backaches, sore muscles and joints and much more. Something that many cat owners don’t know is that their furry friend doesn’t actually help maintain proper nail length by scratching trees, scratching posts or even your furniture. These actions are actually part of their marking behavior; they have scent glands on their paws. That said, cats that have excessively long nails may tend to scratch more often in an effort to relieve the discomfort their long nails are causing them. It therefore follows that keeping your cat’s nails trimmed may actually help to better protect your furniture.
In addition to keeping your dog’s and cat’s nails trimmed, you should also keep your rabbit’s, bird’s and other small animal’s nails trimmed. Rabbits can suffer from pain and arthritis if their nails are permitted to grow too long, while birds can actually lose their ability to effectively grasp their perch and therefore fall more frequently.
We understand that some pets simply cannot tolerate nail trimming, and this makes it essentially impossible to trim their nails at home. However, rather than letting their nails go untrimmed, you should turn to your groomer or veterinarian for help. Though they may not particularly enjoy the process, your pet’s nail trimming is painless and can help to make them far more comfortable and healthy.
For more information about nail trims, or to schedule an appointment for your pet to have their nails trimmed, contact La Crosse today.