Understanding Your Pet's Needs
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Understanding Your Pet's Needs

After my pet had a long, drawn-out battle with cancer, I realized that I needed to do a better job with understanding my pet's needs. I wanted to be there for them no matter what, so I started focusing on my other animals. They needed more love, attention, and medical care, so I focused on those things. I started taking them in for regular checkups and working on their physical appearance. I was able to spot a few other potentially catastrophic health conditions with my animals because of my actions. This blog is all about understanding your pet's needs.


Understanding Your Pet's Needs

How To Trim A Dog's Nails When The Quicks Are Too Long

Gisele Pereira

Like many dog owners, you may have trouble keeping up with your pet's nails, especially if the process is stressful for both you and your dog. But failing to trim toenails regularly can lead to overgrowth, discomfort and even skeletal issues, making it very important to maintain a consistent grooming schedule. If you realize that it has been a while since you trimmed your dog's nails, you might be shocked to notice that the quick, or the blood vessels and nerves within each nail, has grown so long that you cannot safely cut the toenail without the risk of bleeding and trauma for everyone involved. Thankfully, this problem can be resolved within a few weeks with some patience and regular grooming. 

Understanding How Dog Nails Grow

Dog nails grow uniformly, meaning both the hard outer shell and the soft, sensitive quick grow at about the same rate. Should you take too long to curb this growth, the quick will extend past the usual preferred nail length, making it impossible to return your dog's toes to normal with a quick snip. This is especially common in winter, when dogs spend more time indoors and less time outside. Without exposure to hard surfaces like rock, dirt and asphalt, nails are naturally worn down slower, and the increased growth often takes dog owners by surprise. In these cases, you will probably need the help of a professional groomer to restore the nail to its intended length without damaging the quick or causing a potential infection.  

Making the Initial Trim

The first trim is the most difficult for dogs with ingrown nails, and you may leave your grooming appointment feeling like almost nothing has been accomplished. Depending on the severity of the overgrowth, your groomer could be able to lop off a large chunk or only shave off the very tip. This is when it pays to invest in a professional; an experienced dog groomer will be able to remove as much toenail as possible without hitting the quick, leading to a faster recovery without any complications. He or she may also have access to expensive equipment like electronic nail grinders to make the job easier. 

Allowing the Quick to Recede

Once you begin to make progress cutting back the nail, the quick should begin to recede alongside it over the course of several days. In order to keep pushing the quick back, you will need to continue professionally trimming the nails about once every week until they are back to their normal length. At this point, you should be able to resume your normal grooming routine.