4 Ways To Tell Whether Your Dog’s Claws Need A Trim

Are you wondering whether you need to take your pup to the dog grooming parlor? Every dog's claws grow at a different rate, so it can be difficult to tell exactly when you need to bring them in. There are a few telltale signs that you can look out for if you're wondering whether it's time.

1. They Have Begun to Curl

Did you know that human nails will start to curl when they get too long? The same applies to pups! Dog's claws will begin to curl under their paw as they grow, which can become painful. They grow out flat and begin to curl under their weight. (There is a natural curve, but it's very subtle, just as with human nails.) So if you see your pet's claws start curling under, it's time to trim.

2. They "Tap" Against the Floor When Walking

Dogs use their claws to dig in when running, so you will always hear a "tap" when they run around the house on your tile floors. However, you should not hear tapping when they are walking — not running — across any flat surface. That "tap" means that your dog's claws are always touching the ground. Your dog's claws should actually run parallel to the ground if they are the proper length.

3. They Are Rough or Shredded 

As a dog's claws grow, it may gain a rough or shredded appearance towards the ends. This is because the outgrowth has been contacting the floor — and it also signifies a danger. A rough, shredded claw can catch on objects such as carpeting or cloth. Once that happens, it can rip or tear right out! That's never good for your pup, and it can cause some significant bleeding. 

4. You Can Visibly See the Growth

If your dog has even a single transparent claw, you can very easily see whether your dog's nails need a trim. Just look to see how much the claw extends past the quick (the pink, fleshy part). If it's more than a millimeter or two, your dog can probably use a trim if not a full cut. 

Over time, you and your groomer will figure out approximately when your dog's claws need to be cut. But it may not always be on a regularly scheduled basis — it also depends quite a lot on how active your dog is and what surfaces your dog is active on. Regardless, it's better to be safe than sorry; cutting your dog's claws more frequently rather than less frequently is usually not harmful. Consult with a professional like South Tampa Puppy Palace.