How often should I cut
my dogs nails ?
There's a simple answer: As often as needed so they don't touch the ground when standing still. All the nails. That's it.
For some dogs this is once of month and others, usually small dogs, every 2 or 3 weeks. I have only met two dogs who broke this general rule. One chewed his own nails and the other was the biggest on-leash scrambler! I've read other articles that say nail trims may not be necessary for dogs that take long walks. I disagree. It only worked with that scrambler.
Why it matters: Long nails stretch out the tendons and ligaments in the paw and push the bones up and back, sometimes twisting the toe as well as making a flat foot. I have seen countless dogs with deformed feet and all because the nails have been left too long. Sometimes they are walking with a sideways hitch in their stride and they often end up with shoulder, hip and back problems. Dogs don't complain, they put up with pain. They still run and play and seem alright but there are subtle signs of pain. They may chew on their feet or not want their feet touched. As a groomer, I see the difference in dogs who have nails done as often as needed and those that have the long, reaching, twisting nails. When I touch a paw with overly long nails, the dog is in obvious discomfort when I touch the toes. And it breaks my heart. It's so easily preventable.
How to get long nails short again: Dogs have a quik in their nails which determines how short the nail can be cut. After the nail trim, the quik will recede up the nail a bit. Getting the nail trimmed again (usually 7-10 days after the first trim) before the quik starts growing down again is how we can get the nail shorter. Keep up with this schedule and once it's the right length, we can get back to a regular nail trimming schedule.