This little Cairn Terrier dog had her nails trimmed.
Between dog breeds there can be many differences in their paws, feet and nails. Some are very compact and some are webbed so that they can swim. But all need clipping if they become too long.
I know exactly when my dog needs her nails trimmed. She will not walk on the hardwood floors. Her nails are hitting the floor and being pushed back into the foot causing pain. And since her pads aren't in contact with the floor she will slip and slide and she hates that!
Some have very hairy paws and some are short hair and you have no difficulty in noticing when the nails are too long or there is an injury to the paw.
A dogs walks like a horse in the fact that he puts his weight on the toes. People without toes cannot run very well. Toes are there for agility and make the dog very stable.
Terrier feet have very strong feet, often with nails that grow very fast. This is because Terriers were bred to catch vermin. They often had to dig in and around rocks, which are a natural nail file.
If you wonder why your dog's nails are too long it's because they have not been ground down by every day hunting.
This type of nail clipper is the one to buy. It is much easier on the dogs nails and does not hurt as much as the guillotine clippers. Do not buy the clippers in red. They pull on the nail as it is being clipped and hurts the dog.
Each foot has four nails with dew claws on the inside of a dog's front foot.
These dew claws are usually removed by breeders when they know their dog is a good prospect for the show ring. Otherwise for pups that are going to be sold for families, they are usually left on.
I was lucky. I bought my dog at the pet shop and he had his dew claws removed. I immediately wondered why?
I think he was headed for sale by the breeder, then because of an accident to his jaw, he was sent to be sold.
I was very lucky to have found him.
If you are going to trim dogs nails, look for the red line in the nail. That is the blood vessel and the nerve. If you cut this part of the dogs' nail it will hurt like having your nails ripped off.
Instead, cut just a tiny bit of nail off when first starting. A little less is always better than having your dog in pain.
Dog paws, nails, foot, feet and care of these areas.
Daily grooming or a once over will alert you to potential problems with the paws and nail growth but also catch problems that have just started and you can easily take care of.
A few times I noticed that after my dog had jumped from the sofa he started limping and would not put any weight on the foot. He held it up and was hoping around the house for 2 days. Finally I took him to the vet and he wanted to take 6 or 7 X-rays of his foot.
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Any information contained on this site relating to various medical, health, and fitness conditions of Westies and their treatment is for informational purposes only and is not meant to be a substitute for the advice provided by your own veterinarian. You should not use the information contained herein for diagnosing dog allergies - you should always consult your own veterinarian.