Dog Nails Too Long? Dangers Of Overgrown Dog Nails

We get it, cutting your dog’s nails isn’t exactly a fun Saturday evening activity.

As tempting as it may seem, skipping your dog’s grooming session can be dangerous – and not because long nails look unpleasing. Not only can overgrow, unhealthy nails cause pain for your dog, but they can also trigger irreversible damage that could’ve been easily avoided through a simple trimming session.

Dangers Of Overgrown Dog Nails

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As we mentioned, overgrown dog nails can put your dog’s health at risk on different levels.


Long nails can easily split or break. If the claw happens to split on the quick’s level, which is where the blood vessels are located, such an accident can cause extreme pain for your dog.


Long nails touch the ground constantly, and in doing so, they dig into the soft tissue of the paw causing great pain and discomfort for the dog. It’s like wearing a shoe that’s too tight for humans.

Unintended Removal

A long nail can easily catch on carpets, fabrics, and furniture, which can cause the entire claw to be removed. Should that happen, you may even need to have your dog’s nail fixed surgically.


Nails get in contact with different kinds of materials and considering that each nail base has several blood vessels, it’s easy to see how your dog can get infected because of this part of its body. The longer the nail, the higher the chance your dog is going to catch an infection while walking, running, or playing.


Although this is an extreme case, malformations can indeed happen because of overgrown nails.

As we mentioned above, when nails get too long, they start exerting force into the nail bed every time your dog’s paw touches the ground. Should that happen for extended periods of time, it can realign the joints of the foreleg and make the foot flatter and more splayed.

The issue with this goes beyond the aesthetic problem, as it’s a functional one. Such dealignment and misdistribution of your dog’s weight make your pooch more prone to injuries.

In extreme cases, overgrown nails can even curve and grow into the pad of the paw, which leaves your dog with two issues: deformity and constant pain.


Although this is not as serious as the other risks, the aesthetic side of your dog is yet another aspect that can be affected by overgrown nails. There is no denying that long nails look unattractive, and if you want your pooch to look tidy and clean all the time, you ought to cut its nails regularly.

Discomfort For The Owner

Basically, long nails create a vicious cycle. When your dog’s nails get too long, it’s probably going to avoid having them touched, which will make your next nail trimming session quite the hard duty, which will make the process unpleasant for both of you, which will lead to longer intervals between nail clipping sessions, which will lead to more pain, and so on and so forth.

In other words, overgrown nails can be a big problem for both the pet and its owner.

What’s The Ideal Nail Length For Dogs?

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There isn’t an exact length that your dog’s nails shouldn’t reach, but as a general of thumb, the nails of your pooch shouldn’t make contact with the ground when it’s standing. If you can hear your dog walking, you might want to reach for the clippers or grinder or call your local veterinarian or pet groomer.

When cutting your dog’s nails, always remember to be careful not to cut the quick. The quick of a dog’s claw is composed of a nerve and a vein, and cutting it would result in extreme pain and continuous bleeding.

How Often Should You Cut Your Dog’s Nails?

Typically, you ought to cut your dog’s nails every four to six weeks. The exact gap between trimming sessions will depend on several factors, of course, such as your dog’s level of activity, its age, and its diet, just to name a few.

That’s where a dog nail grinder will come in handy. It’s a quick and effective canine accessory that can help to grind down your dog’s nail easily.

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Final Thoughts

Cutting your dog’s nails might sound like a lot of work, but it’s a necessary process for the aforementioned risks of overgrown nails. If you cannot take care of the claw trimming process yourself, you can always drive your furry friend to a technician, groomer, or veterinarian.

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Pete Decker