Intro to Nails

A Beginner's Guide

Dogs with long nails can be harmed both in the short and long term. The best way to prevent this is to keep their nails short so that they are not touching the ground. This post give you introductory knowledge about your dog's nails, why you should keep them short, where you can take them if you are unable to cut them yourself.

We interviewed Bree with Daisybelle Paw Spa to answer some simple nail questions that new owners might have.

Although Bree will reference cutting nails yourself that will be included in the future in another post.

The information below is a mixture of our interview with Bree and our own knowledge. Thank you for listening, reading, and learning.

What's What

This diagram shows you what parts of the nail are called.

  • Nail or claw - The hard outer shell surrounding the quick.

  • Quick - The pink part of the dog's nail that contains nerves and blood vessels.

  • Nail Bed - Where the nail attaches to the paw.

Keeping Their Nails Short

How short should a dog's nails be?

Your dog's nails when standing should ideally not touch the ground.

While we are focusing on Pembroke Welsh Corgis, dogs of the same breed can differ a little. Because of this that would be the best answer we can give you.

Why is it important to cut their nails?

It's important to cut your dog's nails so they don't get too long and cause discomfort or harm to their paws.

The longer a dog's nails are, the more pressure their nail bed will be under when they touch the floor. This pressure will result in discomfort and can cause the dog to distribute their weight differently when walking. This can affect the way their toe and paw joints leading to arthritis and pain.

Dogs can easily tear their toenails when playing which could lead to exposure of the quick. If exposed infection can easily occur.

A dog's nails can also curl and become embedded in their paw pad or leg which is painful for them.

When should you start cutting your dog's nails?

You should start cutting your dog's nails within the first week of receiving them. The breeder should have started cutting their nails before you brought your puppy home for the 1st time.

How often should my dog's nails be cut?

We recommend cutting your dog's nails every week or as needed based on length.

If your dog's nails are already too long then consult a groomer to get a better handle on shortening your dog's nails. If you're comfortable cutting them yourself afterwards then you can maintain their nails once it's back to a safe length.

Using A Service

How early can you take your puppy to a groomer?

You can take your dog to the groomer after they have their 1st DHCPP or Parvo vaccine.

Taking your dog in to meet a groomer early can be beneficial so they have a good first impression of the professionals you're going to leave them with for follow up visits.

What owners need to know before going to a groomers?

What many owners should know before going to a groomer is that your dog will be nervous at first. There are dogs there they have never met who they themselves may be nervous causing your dog even more stress.

Waiting too long to see a groomer can be more traumatic since your dog is not used to be touched or grabbed by strangers during nail clipping. They may act out during their stay and be harmed during their nervous event.

When first taking your dog to have their nails cut the duration of their stay might be longer than you expect. They may be too nervous or don't like their feet touched by strangers. Your groomer will have to work with your dog at the speed they are willing to be cared for.

It is common practice to bring proof of vaccination(s) when taking your dog in for their first appointment. Groomers usually require the rabies vaccine at bare minimum. Be sure to ask your groomer when making an appointment. Although precautions are taken to prevent the spread of infection while in the groomer's care, it is always best to keep your dog vaccinated.

A good tip to help your dog transition to being cared for at a groomer's business is to play with their feet, hold their paw for longer and longer periods of time, and using an electric toothbrush to desensitize your dog to a dremel to simulate what your dog will experience.

Bree - DaisyBelle Paw Spa

I started grooming my Yorkie when I was in the 5th grade and I groomed her until we lost her. At 17 I took my Shiatsu to a groomer for the first time and her eyeball got cut! I was terrified to have anybody else groom her again so I went to grooming school to figure out how to do it myself.

I was working for another salon at the time and the owner was looking to sell their business. My family and I looked into buying the salon, but we decided to instead start our own business instead.

When we needed to pick a name for our salon we decided to name it after my first dog Belle, She's what got me started grooming. And Daisy, Belle's sister from the next litter.

We started our salon early in 2022. My sister is Bathing Manager, I'm the Salon Manager, and my Mom runs the front desk and accounting. It's been great being able to work with my family and to build up this amazing team we have at our salon.

To learn more about Bree and her family business visit DaisyBelle Paw Spa!

Disclaimer: Anything on this website should not be considered medical advice. It is purely informative. Please refer to your local veterinarian, groomer, or other professional pet expert for any health related concerns.