Are my Dogs Nails Too Long?

Love Your Pets!

When you adopt a dog, part of caring for your new family member is making sure to trim their nails.  Are My Dog's nails too Long is a question that many dog owners ask themselves.

If your dogs nails are too long it could lead to problems for your dog down the road.  Read on to learn if your dogs nails are too long.

How Long Should A Dog’s Nails Be?

If your dogs nails are too long, it causes them a ton of discomfort.  They might find it hard to walk or run properly.  This can put stress on their legs, hips and back if they have to walk differently.  

Their nails could get caught on rough surfaces, or even on their bed and your furniture.   It's more likely especially if they still have their dew claws.  Just like shampooing your dog, nail trims are a part of regular hygiene.

Those things get caught on everything!  This could lead to your dog injuring themselves, forcing a trip to the vet.  Why risk it when you can trim those nails yourself?  A trip to to a local groomer or vet can cost as little as 10$ in some cases to prevent such an injury from happening.

If you regularly walk your dog, the nails tend to naturally wear down, especially if they're being walking on cement.  The walking motion grinds down their nails so you don't have to trim them as often.

We recommend training your dog when they are a puppy to enjoy a nail trim.  Otherwise, it can be a huge battle as they get older.  Trust me.

When Should I Cut my Dogs Nails?

So what is the ideal dog nail length?  You'll know that your dogs nails are too long when you start to hear that annoying click clacking noise on your hard surface such as hardwood, tile or laminate flooring.  

Their nails shouldn't be touching the floor as they walk.    When you start hearing that noise, that's your signal to get out the nail trimmers or take your dog to the groomer or vet for a trim.

How Often Should you Cut a Dogs Nails?

This depends on how fast your dogs nails grow, if you walk them regularly, and what type of surface you walk your dog on (cement, dirt, grass).  

There isn't really a set amount of days in between dog nail trims.  A good rule is to make sure that your dogs nails aren't touching the floor while they're standing.  And if they are, it's time for a tiny trim.

are my dogs nails too long

What happens if I cut them Too Short: How to Stop Dogs Nails from Bleeding after Cutting?

Each dog nail has a tiny vein that run from the paw down the nail and then stops before the end of the nail.  When a dog has clear nails, it’s easy to see where you can clip without causing any bleeding.  A dog with black nails is more difficult.  You can’t see that vein because the nails are dark.  

It’s important to only take a little bit off at a time if your dog has black or dark colored nails.  Each time you trim back some of the nail, the vein gets shorter and shorter.  You can get them back to a normal length after a few trims, when the vein has gone back down to its normal length.

If you accidentally take off too much and clip the vein, there will be blood and it will hurt your dog.  You probably won’t be able to finish trimming their nails after that!  So, how do you stop the bleeding if you clip the nail vein?  

are my dogs nails too long

Most groomers and vets will have styptic powder which you can also buy online.  It contains a topical anesthetic to stop pain. 


Homemade remedies such as cornstarch, flour, and baking soda also work but don't have that topical pain relief that styptic powder offers..  

How to Trim Dogs Nails: How To Video

Follow along with this handy how to video to get started on trimming your dogs nails yourself.


Learning when your dogs nails are too long and clipping them on a regular basis is important for their long term good health.  Start training them when they are puppies and you'll have a much easier time keeping up on your dog's healthcare.