"Did you even cut his nails? OMG they are sooo long"
Occasionally we hear this from clients... And yes, we most likely did cut his nails. (unless of course we couldn't) And typically we will file them too, if your dog allows us to do it... But If he doesn't, freshly cut nails can be sharp!
When you walk your dog on the street or sidewalk, the cement or asphalt acts like a natural nail file...keeping their nails trimmed to a healthy length. It will also keep them filed so they are smooth and not sharp.
If your dog doesn't go outside to go potty or if he isn't walked regularly, the nails will be allowed to grow much longer.
The more time that passes without getting the nails trimmed, the longer the "quick" or "kwik" (aka vein) inside the nail will grow.
If you clip too much off the nail and hit the quick, it will bleed. (Sometimes alot! - depending on how high up it was cut.)
It also can hurt. (have you ever cut your own nail too short?)
And It only takes one bad experience with a nail trim for a dog to be traumatized.
Allowing the nails to grow too long can cause all sorts of health problems. Sometimes they get so long they start to curl inward and can cut into the pad of the paw which can lead to an infection. Excessively long nails can also affect how your dog walks and even affect his posture.
Not to mention they can also get caught on the carpet or other things and get ripped out.
The ideal length for a nail is to be flush with the pad of the foot. Anything hanging over is too long.
Depending on the length of the nail and the quick inside, sometimes we are only able to take the tip off without causing it to bleed.
The good news is that after clipping or filing, the quick will recede a little bit and in a few days or a week, more nail can be trimmed or filed...eventually getting it to a healthy length.
Severely overgrown nails. The one on the right has started to grow into the foot and is infected.