So what does the length of your dogs nails have to do with his overall health? Turns out, everything. Just as with us, the foundation of our structure are our feet. If our feet hurt, everything hurts. It also impacts their posture and the health of their joints in addition to the health of their feet. Oh, but cutting those nails can be a horror, for you and for your dog. I am guilty of not wanting to trim my dogs nails and letting them get too long. This can be very problematic for your dog’s overall posture. “Long nails will affect the shape and conformation of the toes and feet, which can, in turn, affect a dog’s legs and posture, much like bad feet in humans can affect our backs and posture. Though it may not be fun or easy, correct length nails will affect the shape and health of your dog’s feet.” explains Dr. Jerry Klein, chief veterinary officer of the American Kennel Club (AKC).
Interestingly, it not only affects his feet, but his shoulders and back. Long nails can cause the bone structure of the leg to become deformed. It also affects the posture of the dog.
The dog’s hind legs will tuck forward. The picture on the right is, of course, an extreme case of nail overgrowth and outright neglect. But nails don’t have to get this long for them to cause problems for your dog. You can take your dog to the groomer or the vet, but I think it is best to learn to do it yourself. I learned how to grind my dogs’ nails from Big Dog Mom, Stephanie Seger. Check out her website for upcoming classes.