Intro to Nails

A Beginner's Guide

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

Although Bree will reference cutting nails yourself, this post is just to introduce you to the basics.

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

This post will give you introductory knowledge about your dog's nails, why you should keep them short, and what to know if you decide to use a groomer.

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

Keeping Their Nails Short

How short should a dog's nails be?

A dog's nails should be short enough so that they don't touch the ground when the dog is standing. 

If you can hear your dog's nails clicking on the floor when they walk, it's a sign that their nails are too long and need to be trimmed. 

Why is it important to cut their nails? 

It is important to cut a dog's nails for several reasons:

Long nails can be uncomfortable and even painful for dogs, just as long fingernails can be for humans. Overgrown nails can put pressure on the toes, causing discomfort when walking or running.

Long nails can interfere with a dog's ability to walk or run properly, and they can also affect their balance and stability. This is especially true for older dogs or dogs with joint problems.

Overgrown nails can split or break, which can be painful and may even lead to infections. They can also curl and grow into the paw pads, causing more serious health issues. This can also affect their toe and paw joints leading to arthritis and pain.

Dogs with long nails may scratch furniture, floors, or even people accidentally. They may also be more prone to jumping up, which can be dangerous for both the dog and the person they're jumping on.

When should you start cutting your dog's nails? 

It's a good idea to start getting your dog used to having their paws handled and their nails trimmed from a young age, ideally when they are still puppies. This will help your dog become more comfortable with the process and reduce the risk of resistance or fear later on. 

It's important to note that puppies' nails grow quickly, so they may need more frequent nail trims than adult dogs. You should check your puppy's nails regularly and trim them as needed to prevent overgrowth and discomfort. 

How often should my dog's nails be cut?

The frequency of nail trimming for a dog depends on several factors such as the breed, age, activity level, and the environment in which they spend most of their time. Generally, most dogs will need their nails trimmed every 3-4 weeks, but this can vary depending on the individual dog.

A good way to tell if your dog's nails need to be trimmed is to listen for a clicking sound when they walk on hard surfaces. If you hear this clicking sound, it's an indication that their nails are too long and need to be trimmed. You can also check your dog's nails regularly by looking at them to see if they are touching the ground or curling under.

If you're unsure how often to trim your dog's nails, consult with your veterinarian or a professional dog groomer. They can provide you with guidance specific to your dog's individual needs. 

Using A Service 

How early can you take your puppy to a groomer? 

It's generally recommended to wait until a puppy is at least 8 weeks old and current on their vaccinations before taking them to a professional groomer. 

This allows the puppy to settle into their new home and become accustomed to their new routine before being introduced to grooming.

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

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 and that is normal. There are dogs there they have never met who they themselves may be nervous causing your dog even more stress. 

Desensitize your dog by playing with their feet, holding their paw for longer and longer periods of time, and using an electric toothbrush on their paw to simulate what your dog will experience at the groomers if they use a dremel.

Do some research to find a reputable groomer who has experience working with dogs similar to yours. Read reviews from other pet owners, and check to see if the groomer is certified or accredited.

Groomers can book up quickly, especially during peak seasons, so schedule your appointment in advance. Be sure to arrive on time for your appointment, as most groomers have a tight schedule and may not be able to accommodate late arrivals.

Most groomers require proof of vaccination, so be sure to bring your dog's vaccination records to the appointment.

If your dog has any health concerns or behavioral issues, let the groomer know before the appointment. This will help them tailor their approach to your dog's needs.

Bring your dog's leash, collar, and any other supplies that the groomer may need, such as a favorite toy or treat.

After the appointment, check your dog over to make sure they are clean, comfortable, and not experiencing any discomfort. If you notice any issues, contact the groomer immediately to address them.

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.