Does Walking Your Dog Trim Their Nails? [Includes 9 Great Tricks]


Every now and then, your pup needs to get his nails cut. Wild dogs do not seem to have this problem. While it cannot be completely avoided that you need to cut your dog’s nails, there are multiple ways to prolong the point that time will come again. The methods mentioned in this article require moving your dog. Let’s go.

Answered: Does Walking Your Dog Trim Their Nails?

Walking your dog in a daily manner certainly cuts their nails a bit, but the effect of walking your dog for less than an hour everyday is not sufficient for them to maintain short nail length. To speed up the process, choose rough surfaces to walk on and consider integrating your dog in your exercise routine.

Nail care is just as important for dogs as for us. Keeping their nails short prevents them from injuries. Dog nails will not stop growing. When they get too long, dog nails curl and will from a ring shape if not cut. It is bad to not cut your dog’s nails. Your dog might limp on one leg because it is just too uncomfortable to step on a nail that starts to grow inward.

The reasons why this is happening are manifold.

In most cases, it is a question of time. Your dog just does not get enough physical exercise. Dog walks can be time-consuming. Especially when you are in a rush, you might just aim for that bush over there, and head back as soon as possible. In this scenario, your dog just does not get enough time outside to cut its nails.

Soft surfaces are another reason why your dog’s nails will not stop growing. In the house, there is no suitable floor to address this problem. And on top of that, your dog trying to shorten his nails on the inside might be unpleasant for everyone.

The yard looks like a promising start. However, when your yard or garden is mostly covered with grass, chances are the soil is rather soft. Here, the effect would still be too small. In any case, you will need a rough surface.

How Do Wild Dogs Trim Their Nails?

You might have justifiably asked yourself how dogs cut their nails in the wild. Their nails will also not stop growing, and they have no tools but nature to keep their nails short. The answer to short nails lies in activity.

Wild dogs run multiple miles each day, interact in slow and fast-paced behavior, and run on different surfaces. Those ingredients are key to short nails.

We can learn from this behavior and find similar, but more efficient activities to prevent them nails from growing too fast.

How To Keep Dog Nails Short Without Clipping?

Intensive activity on rough surfaces will wear your bud’s nails off so that they remain short. There are multiple ways you can integrate activities in your schedule that will help both you and your dog.

  • Extensive walks. Increase the distance of your daily walks and adjust your route for more rough surfaces.
  • Take your dog for a run. Choose a nice route that features a good deal of rough surface, and you are good to go.
  • Bike with your dog. Similarly, find a nice bikeways and bring your dog!
  • Agility. If you have an active dog, take them to agility training. Lots of fun, short nails included.
  • Get a scratchpad or DIY. These are really helpful. Alternatively, craft one using cutting boards and sand paper.
  • Let them dig. Perhaps you got a rough surface somewhere. Allow them to dog, it will trim their nails.
Does Walking Your Dog Trim Their Nails?

How To Tell If Dog Nails Are Too Long?

Nails should not reach lower than your dog’s paws. Because they curl, your dog will step on them when they are too long. The correct dog nail length starts where you can see it and ends with the paw.

Just like our thumb, your dog has a dew claw. It can be overlooked while your busy with the other nails. Just do not forget to check the dew claw from time to time. It might not get as much contact to the ground as the other nails.

Do not worry too much about what angle is best to cut your dog’s nails. There is no ideal angle. The most important part is that the nail does not exceed the paw.

What To Do If My Dog Hates Getting Its Nails Trimmed?

If your dog resists in getting his nails trimmed, it is likely because he links nail trimming to a painful memories or fear. Some dogs experience sore legs after a nail cutting procedure, and they might feel trapped since their leg is stuck close to a sharp device.

What you can do in such a situation is to create positive feelings that calm your pooch. For example, if you have dog trimmers, introduce your dog to the tool by letting him sniff on it, associate it with a good smell of dog treats, and most importantly, give your dog the time he needs. Work with treats to reward him for every cut nail.

How Can I Sedate My Dog To Cut His Nails At Home?

You can use Benadryl. Benadryl is an antihistamine, which might help your dog when it feels anxious. Benadryl elicits drowsiness, a temporary state that eases your dog’s mind for a while. It is important to know your dog’s weight before you start giving him Benadryl.

The active ingredient of Benadryl is Diphenhydramine. According to Merck’s Veterinary Manual, you can give your dog 2-4 ml per kg body weight.

Do Vets Sedate Dogs To Cut Nails?

It happens that vets need to sedate dogs that had painful experiences with nail cutting. In such a case, they get medication that will help them feel relaxed.

Final Thoughts

Walking your dog is not an effective solution to trim their nails. Instead, searching for hard surfaces, increasing activity, and permitting to let your dog scratch his nails are more suitable solutions to the ever-growing issue. Dog nails (including the dew claw) should not curl too much, and must in no case be lower than the actual paw. Using treats to introduce your pooch to a trimmer is a good start. Patience is key. Keeping continuous care of your dog’s nails will keep both you and your dog happy.


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