Many people think that nail trims are merely cosmetic or just to keep a pet’s nails from scratching floors or skin. In fact, keeping your pet’s nails trimmed is an important part of their health and well-being. When nails grow too long, they can get caught in objects and torn—in the case of small animals, the entire toe can even be torn off. Even a small tear can be very painful, and if an infection sets in, could be difficult and costly to treat. Also, if the nails grow long enough, they can cause the toes to twist unnaturally, which is painful in and of itself but can also cause or exacerbate arthritis in the toe joints, making walking and even standing painful for the pet.
If your pet’s nails click-clack when they walk on hard surfaces – or, in the case of birds, if the nails are long enough to curve back around and touch the perch they are standing on – it means they are too long and need to be trimmed. If they haven’t been trimmed in a long time, the blood vessel that feeds the nails, also called the “quick”, can grow out, too. Trimming the nails regularly – every two to three weeks – will cause the quicks to recede back to a healthy length, and then regular, monthly trims will keep them there.
In order to promote the healthy habit of trimming nails, I am offering free nail trims with all pet sitting and house sitting visits until the end of August. Just make sure to ask for it some time before or during my visits, and I’ll be happy to do it!
Next time, we’ll talk about helping pets learn to accept nail trims…