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  • Writer's pictureDr. Pamela Dragos

How Nail Trims Reduce Your Dog’s Risk of Injury

Toe Nail Function:

Dogs use their nails to grip and maintain traction on slick surfaces.

One of the little-known functions of the nails is that they provide proprioceptive (or balance) information to the brain. Long nails confuse the brain by making the dog think he’s walking uphill when the nails touch the ground sooner than normal. This will throw the dog off balance, increasing the dog’s risk of injury.

Toe Nail Injuries:

Long nails can tear, break, splinter, or detach. Nail trauma can result in unnecessary pain for your dog, as well as bleeding, limping, and infection of the toenail and bone underneath. Seeking veterinary care can be quite costly, sometimes requiring sedation, nail removal, bandaging, antibiotics and pain medications for your dog.

Long nails can curl around and grow into your dog’s paw pads causing an ingrown nail. This is a painful condition that can result in infection, bleeding, limping and excessive licking of the affected paw. This is another costly and painful problem!


Long nails change the way a dog must stand and cause tendon and ligament strain in the toes. As the dog compensates for this abnormal joint angle of the toes, the tendons, ligaments and muscles are also compromised in the wrists, ankles, elbows, knees, shoulders, hips, and pelvis. The dog will be forced to adjust his core and spinal muscles to maintain balance which increases the chance of injury of any joint or the spine.

Do You Need Help Trimming Your Dog’s Nails?

It is important to keep your dog’s nails trimmed to avoid toenail injury, joint injury and spinal injury. The certified veterinary technicians of Synergy House Call Vet Techs can help you by gently trimming your dog’s nails in the comfort of your home. Our veterinary technicians also trim the nails of cats, birds, rabbits and other small pets. Reach out to us today to set up a home visit at your convenience.

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