Cats and dogs are happier with short nails. Here’s why nail trims are so important, and how to know if it’s time to schedule a nail trim for your pet.

We get it – giving your cat or dog a nail trim can be daunting, especially if you’ve had a stressful experience with nail trimming in the past. The problem is that without a proper nail trimming schedule, your beloved cat or dog can develop painful health conditions. Here’s what you should know about the all-important nail trim, and how often to clip nails.

Nails don’t stop growing

Although they look different, your pet’s nails are just like our own – they grow continuously. In the wild, dogs and cats keep their nails short by travelling over rough terrain, but what about domestic pets?

What affects your pet’s nails

Hard surfaces, like rough rock and stone, are naturally more effective at wearing down nails than soft terrain such as yard grass and sand on the beach because they generate friction. What’s more, depending on how your pet walks, the nails might not make enough direct contact with the floor to wear down naturally anyway. If you have a cat and you give them a scratching pole, or a tree, they might not need nail trimming, but it’s still best to have a vet take a look if you’re unsure.

Why nail trimming matters

If you don’t trim your pet’s nails, they can be left with very unhappy paws. Long nails can hook onto things and break off, which may cause pain, bleeding, limping, and even bacterial infections if left untreated. Removing an infected nail requires sedation, so it’s best we don’t let that happen. If we take away a nail, a new one grows back in about a month, and it needs the same care as other nails.

How often to schedule a nail trim

If your pet’s nails don’t wear down naturally, they need to be clipped. How often to schedule a trim depends on the individual animal, but on average, dogs need a nail trim every three months. If your cat uses a scratching pole, they may not “scratch” evenly, so you should watch for one or two long nails. These nails can otherwise grow into the pads and cause extreme pain, limping, and infection. This month, we’re offering a free pet nail trim – visit us and take the stress out of nail clipping!

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