7 Ways to Tell Your Dog’s Nails Are Too Long

7 Ways to Tell Your Dog's Nails Are Too Long

Taking care of your dog’s health is not only about feeding them the right food and providing them with enough exercise. Your furry friend’s hygiene is just as important, and one of the things that you need to keep an eye on is their nail length. Just like humans, dogs’ nails grow constantly, and if left untrimmed, they can become too long and cause problems. In this article, we will discuss seven ways to tell if your dog’s nails are too long, and what you can do about it.

Clicking Sound

One of the most obvious signs that your dog’s nails are too long is a clicking sound when they walk on hard surfaces. This is caused by the nail hitting the ground with every step. If you hear a clicking sound, it’s time to check your dog’s nails.

Difficulty Walking

Long nails can make it difficult for dogs to walk properly, especially on hard surfaces like concrete. This can cause discomfort and even pain, and over time it can lead to more serious issues like arthritis.

Visible Curling

If your dog’s nails have started to curl, it’s a sure sign that they are too long. This can happen if the nails have not been trimmed in a while, and it’s important to take care of it as soon as possible.

Redness and Swelling

When a dog’s nails are too long, they can start to curl back into the paw pad. This can cause redness, swelling, and even infection. If you notice any of these signs, it’s time to trim your dog’s nails.

Pawing at Face

Dogs that have long nails may paw at their face more frequently than usual. This is because the long nails can irritate their face and eyes, and cause discomfort.


If your dog is limping or favoring one leg, it could be a sign that their nails are too long on that particular paw. Check their nails and see if they need trimming.

Discomfort During Trimming

Finally, if your dog seems uncomfortable or in pain when you try to trim their nails, it could be a sign that they are too long. This is because the quick, which is the blood vessel inside the nail, has grown too close to the edge of the nail. In this case, it’s best to take your dog to a professional groomer or vet for trimming.

What You Can Do

If you notice any of the signs mentioned above, it’s time to trim your dog’s nails. You can do this at home with the right tools, or you can take your dog to a professional groomer or vet. It’s important to be careful when trimming your dog’s nails, as cutting them too short can cause bleeding and pain. Use a sharp nail clipper designed for dogs, and trim just the tip of the nail, avoiding the quick. If you’re not comfortable doing it yourself, it’s best to seek professional help.


Keeping your dog’s nails at the right length is important for their health and well-being. If you notice any signs that their nails are too long, take action and trim them as soon as possible. With the right tools and techniques, it’s a simple process that can be done at home or by a professional.

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Jackie Brown

About the Author: Jackie Brown

Writer, editor, and pet expert Jackie Brown has spent more than 25 years following her passion for animals. She is a regular contributor to numerous pet and veterinary industry books, magazines and websites.Jackie has an extensive background in dogs and cats, particularly in purebred dogs and pedigreed cats, and is passionate about all pet topics, including veterinary and health topics, general care, nutrition, grooming, behavior, training, rescue and animal welfare, lifestyle, breeding and showing (cats as well as dogs), dog sports and activities, and the human-animal bond.