Not all pets need professional grooming, but they DO all need good nail care...
Dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs...you name it.
Imagine if you never trimmed your own nails.
Wearing shoes would be pretty uncomfortable...if you could even get your feet into them. Our pets don't wear shoes, but overgrown nails DO make them feel like they're wearing shoes that are too small. When their nails continually touch the ground, it affects how their toes rest on the ground..........
they either lift up
or they twist
Neither is normal, and neither is healthy.
Imagine, again, that you are wearing shoes every day that are too small for your feet. Your toes would be scrunched up inside them and they would very quickly get achy. Over years of wearing those too-small shoes, your toes would have a much higher risk of developing early arthritis from the unnatural pressure on them.
Our pets have the same risk of developing early arthritis from nails that are continually too long. Dog/cat nails that are at a healthy length should never be touching the ground when they are standing still. That way, their toes are resting in their natural positions.
In my 18+ years of experience with clipping nails, I've found that monthly trimming does well to maintain nail length, wherever it's at...whether its a good length or still too long.
If you want to shrink the nails back to a shorter, healthier length, then nail trimming must be done weekly or every other week for a couple of months to clip the nails faster than they are growing. Any time frame past monthly, and the nails will always grow faster than they can be clipped.
Using a rotary tool to grind the nails helps tremendously in speeding up the process of shrinking the nails and keeping them short. Not all dogs tolerate the noise or vibration, but it is definitely a huge help, if they allow it. Nail length maintenance can still be reasonably kept with just clipping, if it's done right.
Cats do not ever get their nails ground...just clipped.
See the FAQs page for even more information on nail care.
Long hair between toes can reduce traction in older dogs.
Trimming the hair under their feet, in addition to trimming the nails, may give them a better grip on the floors.
Long hair can hide long nails
Toe nails look ok to you?
Looking better with a trim and grinding, but they still need to go shorter in subsequent trimmings so they don't touch the floor.
After just clipping
After clipping AND filing/grinding
Imagine someone hammered a nail through your finger....that's exactly what this dog's body has done to its own toe. It's been embedded into its own flesh from being overgrown for so long. Situations like this require a visit to the vet.